Dubai: Holidays in the UAE are generally reserved for the cooler months of the year — from November to February.
Temperatures reduce from the high 40s to mid 20s, and can even fall as low as five degrees in mountainous and desert areas.
Rain also falls during the winter months and north-westerly winds (Shamal) also bring cooler windy weather.
According to Dr Naeema Al Hosani, Assistant Professor of Cartography, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), the desert is a popular destination for breaks.
"Since most of the UAE's region is covered by vast sandy plains that stretch as far as the eye can see; people enjoy their time in it. There are many local desert places [that are] an attraction. An example of this is Al Badayer desert, which is one of the most famous desert sand dunes in the UAE, and is closest to Dubai."
She continued that holiday-makers erect tents for camping, go on overnight trips in the dunes, walk, have barbecues, play games such as volleyball or football, climb sand dunes and also just spend time together.
There is also a desert area in Ras Al Khaimah that is not well-frequented. Awafi, according to local visitors, is one of the most beautiful deserts in the UAE.
It is located in Al Degdagah, which also hosts an annual festival in January. Tal Al Sa'ad, Bid Bin Saud and Green Mubazzarah are also popular places for visitors, Naeema added.
After the winter rains, plants and foliage spring up in mountainous areas. Many, Naeema said, walk through the gravel plains and mountains to collect these plants — the northern and eastern emirates are blessed with more rain than other parts of the UAE, and so are home to many plants that only grow after the rains.