Is the air polluted in Dubai? Scientific data analysis

Dubai, one of the most recognizable cities in the world, is famous for its luxury, tall skyscrapers and spectacular tourist attractions. But is the air polluted in Dubai? In this article, we will look at the scientific data on air quality in Dubai, discuss the impact of pollution on the health of residents, and introduce working sources of information.

Dubai air pollution data

According to data collected by the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 Dubai is not one of the most polluted cities in the world. The concentration of PM2.5 (fine particles less than 2.5 μm in diameter) in the United Arab Emirates is around 41.75 μg/m³, which is higher than the WHO annual recommended value (10 μg/m³) 2.

According to IQAir 3 data from 2022, Dubai ranks 179th in the list of the 1000 most polluted cities in the world, indicating a moderate level of air pollution.

Factors affecting air quality in Dubai

In Dubai, air pollution is mainly due to two sources:

  1. Vehicle Emissions: Dubai has a high engine per capita ratio which has an impact on air quality. Vehicle emissions are a major source of air pollution in the city, especially during morning and evening rush hours.
  2. Building and Infrastructure Development: Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. The increase in the number of construction sites and the development of infrastructure affect air pollution, especially through the emission of particulate matter and other dust.

Another factor affecting Dubai’s air quality is weather conditions related to its geographical location. Dubai is located in the northeastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, in a region encompassing the desert.

Desert sandstorms

Desert dust storms are common in Dubai and have a significant impact on air quality. The wind can carry large amounts of sand and dust from the desert to cities, which increases the concentration of particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5) in the air. Dust storms can affect visibility, impede transport, and can cause health problems, especially for those who suffer from allergies, asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Impact of air pollution on health

Although Dubai is not one of the most polluted cities in the world, moderate air pollution can still affect the health of residents. Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to a range of health problems, including respiratory disease, heart disease, stroke and cancer 4.

How to check air quality in Dubai

To check the current air quality in Dubai, you can use various online platforms such as:

These sources provide real-time data on Dubai’s air quality so residents and visitors can make informed decisions about protecting their health.


Dubai is not one of the most polluted cities in the world, but its moderate air pollution can affect the health of residents. To protect yourself from the negative effects of air pollution, it is worth monitoring the air quality in Dubai on an ongoing basis, using the available information sources.

1: World Health Organization – WHO
2: WHO Global Ambient Air Quality Database
3: IQAir World Air Quality Report 2019
4: WHO – Health effects of particulate matter