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Understanding wind for shading in the UAE

shading in the UAE

The UAE climate receives a large change in temperature between January and December. We receive high temperatures, Humidity, and also strong winds and storms. An understanding of wind is important in ensuring your shading remains in good working condition. Knowing when to close a shade and when to expect heavy winds is vital to keeping your shade in tip-top condition.

Types of winds

There are many different types of winds, and they can be classified in a number of ways. The most common way to classify winds is by their speed. Winds are typically classified as either high-speed winds or low-speed winds. High-speed winds are typically over 120 kilometers per hour, while low-speed winds are under that threshold.

Another way to classify winds is by their direction. Winds can come from any direction, but they are often classified as either north winds, south winds, east winds, or west winds. These directions correspond to the cardinal points on a compass.

Finally, winds can also be classified by their type of movement. The three main types of wind movement are Katafrontal, frontal, and gradient. Katafrontal wind moves across a cold front, frontal wind moves along a warm front, and gradient wind blows upslope or downslope.

The Windspeed Table

Wind TypeSpeed in km/h
Light winds19 km/h or less
Moderate winds20 – 29 km/h
Fresh winds30 – 39 km/h
Strong winds40 – 50 km/h
Near gale51 – 62 km/h
Gale63 – 75 km/h
Strong gale76 – 87 km/h
Storm88 – 102 km/h
Violent storm103 -117 km/h
Hurricane118 km/h or more

Types of winds in the UAE

There is one main type of wind in the UAE: the Shamal – which is the name given to the strong wind that prevails for a period of time. Shamal can come from any direction and usually lasts for one to two days, but at times even longer.
The shamal is a dry wind that can reach speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour. The shamal typically occurs during the summer months and can cause dust storms and reduced visibility.

Another westerly type of wind that blows from the southwest is a moist wind that is usually cooler than the shamal. The westerly typically occurs during the winter months and can bring rainfall to the UAE.

The first major Shamal occurs around May 25th. The second, arriving in early June is a somewhat stronger wind. Near the end of June, the last shamal arrives, known as the Al-Dabaran. It is a very strong wind, with dust storms, continuing for several days.

For every seasonal change, that’s winter to summer and summer to winter, expect a few days of storms and prepare your outdoor shading and facilities accordingly.
Most of our umbrellas and awnings can withstand moderate to heavy winds, however, there are different factors affecting their strength – the umbrella base weight, location, wind gusts between building spaces etc. If opted for, some models of awnings come with wind sensors, which will measure the speed of wind/ vibrations and will close automatically when the situation demands.

If your Awning doesn’t have a sensor currently, contact us to see if it can be fitted.

Wind Speed Limits on Popular Shading Models

ModelMax Rated Windspeed
Sunflex 300×300 Umbrella25-30Km/H (depending on the version)
Fortano 300×300 umbrella55Km/H
Fortello 400×400 Umbrella75KM/H
Complet pro 400×300 Awning49Km/H
Art Monoblock 600×350 Awning28KM/H

The windspeeds for umbrellas are rated for when the umbrellas are fixed to the floor with either a mounting plate or support tube. The Umbrella frames are able to withstand these windspeeds according to the manufacturer.

Staying informed on Wind

It is important to stay informed of strong winds or unusual weather events so that shading can be closed to ensure nothing is damaged.
There are a number of weather agencies that monitor weather conditions in the UAE.

Additionally the national centre for meteorology NCM monitors weather conditions in the UAE. They offer a website with map showing the latest UAE warnings.

See how Glatz is wind-testing their umbrellas