TOO HOT TO HANDLE IN DOHA
“THE weekend weather forecast is for highs of only 36ºC. I think summer is finally over!”
There’s silence on the other end of the line. Eventually, my mom replies: “Oh my word. We’ve had temperatures in the 30s here in Cape Town this week, and it’s been terribly hot. How can you say summer’s over in Doha when it’s 36 degrees outside?”
I suppose my mom’s got a point. But then again, everything’s relative. Even the heat. When you’ve had temperatures of 45ºC and higher for about five months, 36 is a number to celebrate.
It really has been a long, hot, summer – and that’s before adding humidity to the sweaty mix.
After a few minutes of listening to my mom explain that you still need to wear a jersey at night in Cape Town despite the hot days, I end the call and message Shihaam.
“We need to take advantage of the weather cooling down, starting this weekend. Any ideas?”
I should have known better than to ask my Virgo wife. The reply is almost instantaneous. “I’ve already made a list. We can have some friends over to braai and swim at home, or we could picnic in the park, preferably late afternoon, as the sun might still be a little strong earlier in the day.
“The other option would be to go to the aqua park. The kids have
When you’ve had temperatures of 45ºC for months, 36ºC is to be celebrated. It’s been a hot, summer – then add humidity to the sweaty mix
been asking for a while, and we keep telling them to wait until it’s not that hot any more. I guess that day has arrived.”
Welcome to Qatar, where it can actually be too hot to swim during the peak summer months of June, July and August, with the period just before and after not much more accommodating.
It’s why the 2022 World Cup to be held in this Gulf emirate has been moved to November and December, when the temperatures hover in the 20s, and conditions will be much more hospitable to fans than during the unforgiving summer.
The reality is that there are only a few months during the year when the weather is optimum for outside activities in Qatar, which is why Shihaam has prepared a list, I suppose.
As the summer temperatures drop in Doha, the pace seems set to heat up for the Bawas.
“There are also camping trips, desert safaris and dhow cruises,” continues Shihaam.
“And, of course, let’s not forget the beach. We might not have the waves of Muizenberg, but the kids will love playing in the sand and splashing in the water. The best thing is we can enjoy being outdoors at night as well, as the weather will still be warm after sunset.”
Warm enough to leave the jerseys at home, I imagine. Just don’t tell my mom.
Bawa, a former newspaper executive editor and magazine editor, is writing a weekly column about the life and experiences of a proud South African living as an expat in Qatar. Follow him on Twitter @ridwaanbawa