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© Michaela Pointon | Culture Trip
© Michaela Pointon | Culture Trip
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The 10 Sunniest Cities In The World

Picture of Courtney Stanley
Updated: 21 August 2017
As summer approaches and the days grow longer, some parts of the world are shedding their winter blues and daring to dream about the sun again. But if you live in one of the sunniest cities in the world, you likely never stopped. According to the World Meteorological Organization’s rankings, these ten cities are considered the sunniest in the world, based on highest sunshine averages over a period of nearly 30 years.

Yuma, Arizona, USA

With an average of 4,015 hours of sunshine per year, Yuma, Arizona, claims the title of the sunniest city in the world. Yuma is home to around 100,000 residents and is located near the Kofa Mountain Range and wildlife refuge, making it a great place for outdoor activities. July is the warmest month on average with a typical high of 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius). In July 1995, Yuma saw their record high of 124 degrees Fahrenheit (51 degrees Celsius). Located less than 30 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, the city is an important trucking station for goods moving to and from Mexico.

Welcome to Arizona | © Phil Whitehouse/Flickr
Welcome to Arizona | © Phil Whitehouse/Flickr

Phoenix Arizona, USA

Phoenix, Arizona, sees 3,872 hours of sunshine per year on average. The hottest month of the year is July with highs reaching on average about 107 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), and the record high being 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) in June 1990. Phoenix is the capital city of Arizona as well as the largest with nearly 1.5 million residents in the 2010 census. It is the sixth most populous city in the U.S. and the most populous state capital in the country. Located in the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a subtropical desert climate that is characterized by extremely long and hot summers and short, mild winters. Known as the ‘Valley of the Sun,’ Phoenix has more days exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit than any other city in the U.S.

Arizona State Flag | © NiksWebDesignAz/Pixabay
Arizona State Flag | © NiksWebDesignAz/Pixabay

Aswan, Egypt

The first non-American spot on the list is Aswan, Egypt, a city with an average of 3,863 hours of sunshine per year. Located in the south of Egypt, just north of the Aswan Dams on the east bank of the Nile, Aswan is a bustling market city. The city grew as an important strategic location for Egypt, but today it’s a laid-back town that’s much less overwhelming than other popular tourist stops in the country. Aswan has a subtropical desert climate with arid, hot temperatures year-round. The average annual temperature is around 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Celsius), and rain is rare. In the summer months (March-November) temperatures reach over 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius).

Aswan, Egypt | © klausdie/Pixabay
Aswan, Egypt | © klausdie/Pixabay

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Although it is known for its raging nightlife, Las Vegas gets plenty of sun. On average, the city basks in 3,825 hours of sunshine per year. The resort city, most popular for the Las Vegas Strip tourist destination, calls itself The Entertainment Capital of the World, and it acts as a sort of oasis in the midst of the Mojave Desert, surrounded on all sides by tall mountains. The rocky, arid landscape has a subtropical, hot desert climate with year-round sunshine. Every year there are 134 days on average that reach at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and 74 days of at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).

Las Vegas is known for its resorts | © stokpic/Pixabay
Las Vegas is known for its resorts | © stokpic/Pixabay

Dongola, Sudan

Dongola, located in one of the hottest, sunniest, and driest regions in the world, sees 3,814 hours of sunshine per year. The city is located on the banks of the Nile in a hot desert climate. June is the hottest month of the year, reaching 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), and the record high is 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). The laid-back city is famous for its palm groves with hotels and restaurants mostly clustered on the main road. Visitors enjoy walks along the Nile to the ruins of the Temple of Kawa, which is almost totally buried under sand.

Desert Area in Sudan | © Jeffery Wong/Flickr
Desert Area in Sudan | © Jeffery Wong/Flickr

Tucson, Arizona, USA

Another of Arizona’s sunny cities made the top ten list with 3,806 hours of sunlight per year. With a population of more than 520,000 in 2010, Tucson is the second-largest populated city in Arizona after Phoenix. The city is home to the University of Arizona and situated 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexican border. Because of the city’s high elevation compared to Phoenix, the weather is always slightly cooler and wetter, but its desert climate still allows plenty of sun and heat through, with daytime temperatures that often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in the summer.

Saguaro Cactus in Tucson | © skeeze/Pixabay
Saguaro Cactus in Tucson | © skeeze/Pixabay

Faya, Chad

Faya, sometimes still known by its post-colonial name of Faya-Largeau, is the largest oasis in northern Chad and averages 3,792 hours of sunlight per year. The city has a hot desert climate typical of the region where it is located in the Sahara Desert. Average high temperatures between April and September reach over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) to record highs of 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius) in June. Every month has an average sunshine duration of more than 290 hours. Rain can come from June to September, but some years have no rainfall at all.

A car traversing the southern Sahara in Chad | © David Stanley/Flickr
A car traversing the southern Sahara in Chad | © David Stanley/Flickr

Kharga, Egypt

The second Egyptian city to make the list receives 3,791 hours of sunshine per year. Kharga is located in the Libyan Desert to the west of the Nile Valley, and it is the southernmost of Egypt’s five western oases. In 2012, the population of the city was more than 67,000. The average temperature is highest in June, at 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), and the highest on record was 123 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius). June sees the most sun of the year with nearly 360 hours of sunshine every day. The area is beautiful at sunset, and the oasis is filled with ancient sites to visit.

Kharga Oasis | © kairoinfo4u/Flickr
Kharga Oasis | © kairoinfo4u/Flickr

Abu Hamad, Sudan

The Sudanese town of Abu Hamad is located on the right bank of the Nile. The city sees 3,763 hours of sunlight every year on average, and it has a hot desert climate that peaks in temperature in June at an average high of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Celsius). The highest temperature on record to date was in May at 118 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius).

El Paso, Texas, USA

El Paso, Texas, is located in the westernmost corner of Texas, bordered by New Mexico to the north and Mexico to the south. The city is geographically closer to Phoenix, Arizona, than it is to the capital of Texas. El Paso has the same average hours of sunshine per year as Abu Hamad, Sudan—3,763 hours on average. El Paso consistently ranks high as one of the safest large cities in America, and you can enjoy the sunshine in the largest urban park in the U.S. The hot desert climate means arid summers and mild, dry winters, and on average, the sun shines 302 days of the year giving El Paso the nickname ‘The Sun City.’ The temperature peaks in June and there are typically 109 days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and 20 days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) every year.