Perhaps I should have paid more attention during those geography lessons. Then I might not have been quite so surprised by the past four days of steady rain.
This has followed a spell of pleasant weather, not unlike a good English summer in case anyone remembers one of those, when long-established expats were telling us: "Make the most of it while it lasts. It's by far the nicest part of the year."
There is, I am sure, no serious risk of rainfall continuing for weeks and weeks to deny us the promised moderate levels of sunshine and warmth before we reach the fierce, unrelenting heatwave of the long summer.
But the streets and skies have had a wet, grey and distinctly Manchester look to them since the weekend. Moreover, I am sitting in drenched clothes because it was impossible to find an empty taxi this morning.
Being unable to get a cab is not the sort of predicament that is calculated to inspire sympathy back at home. But if you have no car or bicycle of your own, it is pretty much the only way to get around Abu Dhabi. The Tube doesn't exist, of course, and a bus is not so much rare as an endangered species.
In theory, taxis hog the nearside of the long avenues waiting to pop into a layby or side road to pick up passengers. There is no strong queueing instinct. People think nothing of positioning themselves ahead of others who have clearly been there for some time.
Most days, the system just about works, though people complain continually that there are nowhere enough taxis on the road. Today, though, was a bad day to be in a layby. The rest of the carless population was there with you, and every taxi that appeared was already occupied.
So I set off on foot. It would be an exaggeration to say this was the desert equivalent of the Lyke Wake Walk, but it was a fair old trek given that the two-mile route is not especially picturesque unless you have deep fascination with tall buildings and fast, wide dual carriageways.
And the rain ensured that it was not an agreeable stroll. Cabs whizzed and splashed by and, while you stood a good chance of taking a roadside shower, it was clear that there was no point in trying to hail one. Passing the Al Wadha shopping mall, I briefly cheered up when I saw there was no one in the taxi queue. But there were also no taxis, which rather cancelled out the benefit.
If we are to be brutally honest, Abu Dhabi does not give the impression of being a city well prepared for downpours. Water stands deep on roads and pavements and surfaces seem dangerously slippery, adding to the hazards of sharp or high steps and kerbs.
Today began with persistent but relatively light rain, but grew later to a torrent. "I've been here for four years and never known it go on for day after day and be this heavy," said a Canadian colleague.
It was even worse in Dubai, as my second photograph shows. That was taken by Alam Khan, who will be the sports editor of our new newspaper in Abu Dhabi, outside the internet cafe where, unable to get here by road, he spent the day working.
But I won't be letting a spot of uncommonly wet weather rain on my Abu Dhabi parade. Salut! readers who have followed me here from France will know how delighted I am to have found, at a bistro called Beaujolais, my beloved andouillettes. It would be pushing it a little to make some link between climate and cuisine, but I am sure everyone feels better for knowing that I am not being deprived of pig's intestines while here.