Gemma Altarriba
Clockwise from top-left: Gemma Altarriba, Lisa Richards, Ivano Ianelli and Anne Cabanel. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: UAE expats might just be better off staying here this summer after a heatwave across Europe has seen temperatures soar to within just a few degrees short of Dubai this week.

When asked by Gulf News, many said that if it wasn’t for getting to see their family they would probably opt to stay in the emirates considering the heatwave because European infrastructure isn’t as accustomed to dealing with the heat as it is in Dubai.

Italian expat Ivano Ianelli is heading back to Rome, where temperatures are hitting highs of 38 degrees, just one or two degrees short of Dubai. “Rome is not built for this heat,” he said. “If it wasn’t for my son getting to see his grandmother, I would rather be here in Dubai during such heat, because there is better air conditioning. Climate change is definitely a reason for this heat,” he added.

I am not going to Europe this summer. But if I were, the heatwave would make me cancel my plans. I would rather be here in Dubai.

- Mariam Ali | Russian expat

Spanish expat Gemma Altarriba, agreed, “I am going to Barcelona next week. I’ve been to Europe during a heatwave before and it was like Dubai except that Spain just isn’t as equipped for the heat because there is no air conditioning. Also because you can’t always drive everywhere like you can in Dubai, having to use public transport in Europe becomes really hard. It doesn’t change my plans though because I still really want to see friends and family so I will brave it out,” she added.

Russian expat Mariam Ali, was completely against a return home to Europe. “I am not going to Europe this summer,” she said. “But if I were, the heatwave would make me cancel my plans. I would rather be here during a heatwave because Dubai has air conditioning everywhere.”

But others still thought Europe amid a heatwave was still more comfortable than the Dubai desert.

French expat Anne Cabanel, said, “The heatwave doesn’t affect my plans, I’m going home next week. In the morning and night time the weather is much better in Europe because it’s not as humid. Also if you live in a big house the walls are thick and not much heat gets in. However, I’m concerned about climate change. The temperature is rising everywhere and it’s a global issue.”

The Brits were also confident the weather wouldn’t be that bad at home. Lisa Richards from Northern Ireland said: “We never get high temperatures, the highest it gets is about 28 degrees. Even if it does get hot, it’s still better than here. There’s no humidity either.”

—Mohamad Bassam is an intern with Gulf News