Air quality in Dubai

Air quality index (AQI) and PM2.5 air pollution in Dubai

LAST UPDATE (local time)

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Weather

What is the current weather in Dubai?

Weather icon
WeatherClear sky
Temperature84.2°C
Humidity66%
Wind4.6 mp/h
Pressure1002 mb
Air pollution has cost an estimated1,000 deaths*in Dubai in 2021LEARN MORE*Air pollution also cost approximately $3,700,000,000 USD in Dubai in 2021.

live aqi city ranking

Real-time United Arab Emirates city ranking

Tooltip icon
#cityUS AQI
1 Liwa, Abu Dhabi

127

2 Dubai, Dubai

120

3 Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi

82

4 Al Ain, Abu Dhabi

72

5 Ruwais, Abu Dhabi

63

6 Al Maqtaa, Abu Dhabi

61

7 Sweihan, Abu Dhabi

57

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

live Dubai aqi ranking

Real-time Dubai air quality ranking

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#stationUS AQI
1 Polo Homes

107

2 The Greens - Mosela tower

99

3 Jebel Ali Village

75

4 US Consulate in Dubai

72

5 Palm Jumeirah

63

6 Sheikh Zayed Road

60

7 Zabeel Park

58

8 Nad Al Shiba

57

9 Deira Union Square

56

10 Emirates Hills

53

(local time)

SEE WORLD AQI RANKING

US AQI

120

live AQI index
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

Human face indicating AQI level

Overview

What is the current air quality in Dubai?

Air pollution levelAir quality indexMain pollutant
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 120 US AQItrendPM2.5
PollutantsConcentration
PM2.5
43.1 µg/m³trend
PM10
65.7 µg/m³trend
O3
18.6 µg/m³trend
NO2
47.4 µg/m³trend
SO2
4.2 µg/m³
CO
295.1 µg/m³trend
!

PM2.5

x4

PM2.5 concentration in Dubai air is currently 4 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value

Health Recommendations

How to protect from air pollution in Dubai?

An IQAir mask icon Sensitive groups should wear a mask outdoors
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An IQAir purifier icon Run an air purifier
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An open window iconClose your windows to avoid dirty outdoor air
A man cycling iconEveryone should reduce outdoor exercise

Forecast

Dubai air quality index (AQI) forecast

DayPollution levelWeatherTemperatureWind
Monday, Sep 20

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 111 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Tuesday, Sep 21

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 111 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Wednesday, Sep 22

Moderate 83 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Today

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 120 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°84.2°
Wind rotating 297 degree

13.4 mp/h

Friday, Sep 24

Moderate 94 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon95°84.2°
Wind rotating 346 degree

15.7 mp/h

Saturday, Sep 25

Moderate 84 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon95°86°
Wind rotating 327 degree

11.2 mp/h

Sunday, Sep 26

Moderate 84 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°87.8°
Wind rotating 273 degree

11.2 mp/h

Monday, Sep 27

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 107 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°86°
Wind rotating 276 degree

11.2 mp/h

Tuesday, Sep 28

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 108 US AQI

Human face indicating AQI level
Weather icon93.2°82.4°
Wind rotating 340 degree

13.4 mp/h

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Historical

Historic air quality graph for Dubai

How to best protect from air pollution?

Reduce your air pollution exposure in Dubai

AIR QUALITY ANALYSIS AND STATISTICS FOR Dubai

Does Dubai have bad air pollution?

Dubai is a city located in the United Arab Emirates, being the most populous city in the country and a major financial hub that is focused around exports and trade, tourism, real estate and other similar services, as well as its reserves of natural resources such as oil. This is something that has in more recent times been recognized as an unsustainable industry, despite its helping hand in the country (and Dubai’s) economic and population boom that occurred during the 70’s and onwards.

In regards to its pollution levels, Dubai saw itself coming in with a PM2.5 reading of 40.9 μg/m³ as a yearly average over 2019. This put it in the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³ to be classed as such, and as the name implies, this poorness of air quality would be particularly dangerous to vulnerable portions of the population, with demographics such as young children, the elderly, pregnant mothers and the immunocompromised or ill being most at risk.

This reading of 40.9 μg/m³ was enough to place Dubai in 1st place out of all cities ranked in UAE over 2019 (coming in just ahead of Abu Dhabi), as well as being 222nd place out of all cities ranked worldwide. This is indicative that Dubai is suffering from some fair amounts of pollution issues, with an unsafe quality of air to breathe for much of the year. The reasons as to why Dubai is coming in with elevated levels of pollution will be discussed in short.

What are the main causes of pollution in Dubai?

There are several factors that compound the pollution situation in Dubai, with meteorological conditions such as its extreme heat and high humidity during summer months assisting in trapping pollutants within the atmosphere, as well as the more pertinent manmade causes.

Some of these would include the high usage of personal vehicles, with Dubai being a city that requires a car or other vehicle in order to properly navigate its urban landscape. As such, vehicle ownership is extremely high and far more prevalent than the use of public transport is, leading to a large amount of pollution stemming from this source.

Cars and motorbikes would put out large amounts of noxious pollution, along with heavy duty vehicles such as trucks, lorries and buses all playing their part, often running on fossil fuels such as diesel and therefore having a far higher pollutive output than their non-diesel counterparts would.

Other causes of pollution include factories and industrial areas, as well as the city and whole country relying heavily on its natural resources of fossil fuels to provide much of its energy, although this is slowly changing in recent times due to the acknowledgement that it is an unsustainable practice.

Industrial sites such as desalinization plants (that make sea water drinkable) are in heavy use due to the massive increase in drinking water demand due to Dubai's population explosion. The widespread use of these exacts a large toll on pollutive output levels, causing the year round ambient readings to be higher than they should be. To reiterate, the main causes of pollution in Dubai are vehicular emissions as well as factories and other similar industries.

When is Dubai's air at its most polluted?

Observing the data taken over 2019, the months that came in with the highest readings of PM2.5 occurred during the summer season, which takes place between April and October. PM2.5 refers to particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, making it roughly 3% the size of a human hair, and as such is of particular danger when respired. Due to this, it is used as a major component in the calculation of overall levels of air quality, and will be used to discuss Dubai's most polluted times.

Air quality starts to decline during the aforementioned summer months, with the last ‘cleaner’ reading coming in over April with a number of 23.9 μg/m³. This then rises rapidly up to 44.1 μg/m³ in May, reaching a peak in June at 59 μg/m³, making June the most polluted month out of the entire year, sitting in the ‘unhealthy’ ratings bracket (55.5 to 150.4 μg/m³).

The months following this were equally as polluted, with these higher levels of pollution not abating until the end of October, when the PM2.5 levels fell from 54.2 μg/m³ (in October) to 21 μg/m³ in November, a marked difference that highlights just how prominent the rise in pollution is during the summer months.

When is Dubai's air quality at its cleanest?

In contrast to the previous question, as stated, the months that had the worst levels of pollution came exclusively during the summer months, with the extreme heat and high humidity causing pollution to accumulate within the city. High levels of sunlight mixed with pollution given out by vehicles can also cause dangerous pollutants such as ozone (O3) to form, with the various nitrogen oxides from exhaust fumes reacting under the high heat conditions to cause the aforementioned harmful pollutant.

In regards to when the air is at its very cleanest, February through to April showed some very promising signs of cleaner air quality, albeit with some data missing in January. The cleanest month of the year was February, with a PM2.5 reading of 18.7 μg/m³, classifying it in the lower end of the ‘moderate’ pollution ratings bracket. Other months with better qualities of air were also November and December, both of which fell into the moderate bracket.

What are some of the main pollutants found in the air in Dubai?

As information for those who are breathing polluted air in Dubai, the chemical compounds or fine particulate matters that are most pertinent are ones such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), with nitrogen dioxide being the most prominent in the atmosphere due to its high release from vehicles, so much so that high levels of nitrogen dioxide often correlate directly with a larger volume of traffic.

Other pollutants would include those released from the combustion of fossil fuels, which would be black carbon (a major component in soot) as well as volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), with examples such as benzene, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde all being present.

All of these have highly detrimental effects on human health and are very easy to respire, due to their volatile nature making them a gas at much lower temperatures. Other ones of importance would include the previously mentioned ozone, as well as fine particulate matters such as finely ground silica dust from construction sites, which along with black carbon has carcinogenic properties when inhaled.

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