Dubai is among the most popular destinations for tourists with its shimmering beaches, shopping, and majestic buildings for sightseeing.
The weather in May is a bit hot with the temperatures soaring up, yet it is pleasant to go out in the evenings.
Dubai has always so much to do that you have to choose between indoor and outdoor activities and May is your time to have a combination of both.
From the Burj Khalifa to the amusement parks and outdoor theatres, Dubai has a lot to offer.
Tourists and locals love the older part of the city for its authentic Emirati/ Arabic cuisine, desert safaris and dhow cruises, as well as the new part of the city for shopping malls like Dubai Mall and the Mall of Emirates and entertainment avenues.
A visit to Dubai in May gives you a chance to explore it all with lesser crowds.
Visiting Dubai in May 2023? Here is our guide on the top things to do in May 2023 in Dubai.
1. Ramadan 2023 and Eid al Fitr
Note: This year, Ramadan will end on Apr 21st, 2023 and Eid al Fitr will fall on Apr 22nd, 2023.
By visiting Dubai during Ramadan, you’ll be able to see how this cosmopolitan city still manages to retain its traditional charm - not to mention the innumerable varieties of amazing food that will be up for grabs (during Iftars).
Ramadan, in Islam, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and the holy month of fasting.
It begins and ends with the appearance of the new moon and this year will start on Thursday, Mar 23, 2023 (depending on moon). Celebrating Ramadan is a way to honour Prophet Muhammad and develop more self-control.
This is done through the practice of fasting from drinking or eating from dawn through dusk.
After a sunset prayer, this introspection can be broken with a meal with friends and family called the “iftar,” and reinforces family and the brotherhood.
The end of the Ramadan fast is celebrated as Eid al-Fitr, the “Feast of Fast-Breaking,”
Tips for traveling during Ramadan:
- Ramadan affects business hours so you should plan your trip well in advance.
- Make sure you do not eat or drink water in public during the fasting hours
- If you plan on attending a Ramadan tent for Iftar, make sure you book your table well in advance. A lot of tents have discounts in the first week of Ramadan.
- It is a good idea to dress a bit conservatively during Ramadan.
Closer to Ramadan, we will let you know of the top 10 Ramadan tents in Dubai.
Eid Al Fitr is a joyful occasion that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, where the entire city comes together to celebrate.
From the festive finale to the season of spiritual reflection, the holiday is all about spending quality time and sharing special moments with friends and family.
2. Watch Disney Princess Concert
A performance tour called Disney Princess - The performance will feature Broadway performers singing Disney Princess tunes.
The concert is sponsored by Pandora Jewelry and produced by Disney Concerts.
Disney Princess - The Concert is advised for a broad audience and lasts roughly two hours with a break.
This play is advised for ages 6 and up as a warning to parents who might bring kids.
No matter their age, everyone entering the theatre needs a ticket.
When: May 5-7, 2023
Where: Coca-Cola Arena
To buy tickets, click here.
3. Hatta Day Trip
About a 2-hour drive from Dubai is a perfect day or a weekend getaway- Hatta.
The place offers beautiful mountain ranges with a culturally rich history.
You can either walk through the heritage street or a bike ride or kayak in the blue water in the Hatta Dam. There is much to do for adventure seekers.
A trip to Hatta is an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
For the kayak ride, you can rent a kayak or a paddleboat from the kiosk near the lake and experience the birds and fishes in the vicinity.
You can opt for a paddleboat or around the family boat if you wouldn’t like the adventure and want a peaceful ride instead.
You can also then watch the old towers, mosques, and forts in the area.
The Hatta village was restored in 2011 and has numerous artifacts that will give you an insight into the past.
4. Spend an evening at Al Seef
Found upon the shores of the Bur Dubai side of Dubai Creek, the Creekfront development is packed with shops and restaurants.
But equally, it’s a top spot to just meander around and enjoy the views of the Creek. Al Seef is an area of Dubai steeped in history, with a huge amount of Emirati culture.
This latest attraction leans heavily on the contemporary elements of life in Dubai in 2023, but in equal measure reflects and pays homage to the city.
Easily accessible as it is a walking distance from Burjuman Metro station and cab rides are easily available. You can also check our blog on how to get around in Dubai.
You can also visit a museum if you visit Al Seef with the kids. The Museum of Illusions in Al Seef houses 80 exhibits of all shapes and sizes.
The museum promises to tantalize visitors with a unique visual and sensory experience – and provide heaps of fun, of course.
Unlike other museums, you are encouraged to interact with the exhibits and take as many photos as you like.
Tickets cost AED 80 for adults and AED 225 for a family of four people.
If you would like to soak up the neighbourhood more, you can stay at the no-frills hotel- Zabeel House by Jumeirah. The hotel is an explorer’s dream and offers an affordable stay with Jumeirah’s convenient service.
The area also has two classic hotels which are great for art lovers, the Zabeel house hotel.
The Zabeel House is a four-star property while the Zabeel House mini is a three-star property.
However, being a part of the Jumeirah collection, they are described as ‘maximum attitude, minimum frills.’ To know more, you can also check our blog on the Zabeel House hotels.
5. Take a Sunrise Desert Safari
‘The desert shines when the sun rises from the east in the Arabian Desert.’
Desert Safari is one of the most enjoyable activities and a must-do for anyone who comes to Dubai.
But why opt for a traditional Safari when you can beat the hustle and bustle of the city, beat the heat, and enjoy the sun rising behind the Dubai Desert which will mesmerize your mind completely?
You will be picked up from your hotel early morning by 4 am so that you can enjoy the sunrise in the desert at the ideal time.
Desert Safari is a must-do if you are in Dubai for dune bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, henna, shisha, and some hours of unlimited desert fun.
There are several safari companies that allow you to camp overnight in the desert as well. Camel rides make for a great hands-on Dubai Desert Tour.
Most desert safaris include a short ride, but you can opt for a tour with extended riding time. You will also feast on dates and a traditional Emirati breakfast on your tour.
6. Ski Dubai
A perfect day activity for you and even the children is to visit Ski Dubai. Snow in the desert? Sounds odd, doesn’t it?
But Dubai makes sure to give you an experience that you would never imagine. Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort located in Dubai Mall of the Emirates.
Ski Dubai was opened in 2005. Ski Dubai is the world’s third-largest indoor ski slope and the first to open in the Middle East.
It has a chair lift and a T-bar, 6,000 tons of snow are at your disposal. Children, as well as families, can have fun at this ski resort.
It has activities for all age groups as well as all skilled people.
At the resort, you can also meet Snow Penguins in an up close and personal one-of-a-kind intimate encounter that the whole family will love.
Prices depend on the activity you opt for and can be checked here. Alternatively, you can buy the tickets from the counter as well but you need to take into consideration the time for the queue as well.
After enjoying the snow and skiing, you can head for a delicious meal at the Cheesecake Factory which is right outside Ski Dubai.
7. Visit the Burj Khalifa- At the top
Opened in January 2010 to visitors, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest and most marvelous building ever made!
Each time you see the building dominating the skyline of Dubai, you go in awe of it. If offers breathtaking views of the city from the top.
Visitors are allowed to go on the Top, 124th floor (452m) and 148th floor (555m), and to go to the top, you walk past several multi-media exhibits and the double-decker lift takes you up in not more than 10m per second.
As you are back on your way after enjoying the view, there is an open souvenir shop, do not forget to buy a keepsake.
The place is a paradise for avid photographers. Today it is one of the most popular attractions in Dubai.
Tickets to the Burj Khalifa can be bought online on their website or at the entrance of the Burj Khalifa or inside the Dubai Mall (near the Dubai Aquarium).
Tickets: AED 169 (For 124th/125th floor) and AED 399 for At the Top (148th floor)
A captivating water, music and light spectacle in Downtown Dubai, The Dubai Fountain is the world’s tallest performing fountain.
At over 900 ft in length – equivalent to over two football pitches – The Dubai Fountain is situated on the 30-acre Burj Lake and performs to a selection of different melodies.
The fountain performs to a range of different songs from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.
Some popular tracks include Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman’s Time to Say Goodbye, and most recently Power by Korean pop band EXO.
Shows start at 6:30 pm onwards every day till 11 pm. There are two shows in the afternoon as well at 1 pm and 1:30 pm. You can also pay for a boat and view the fountain dancing from a very near distance.
Visiting the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain should definitely be in your list of top things to do in May 2023 in Dubai!
8. Take the monorail to the Palm Jumeirah
With the monorail starting from the Palm Jumeirah tram station, you can head out to explore one of Dubai’s Architectural Triumphs- the Palm Jumeirah!
It happens only in Dubai that you can see a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, the luxury hotel is located on the Palm Jumeirah. This was the first resort to be built on the island and shows distinctive elements of the Arabian world.
The hotel has a nautical theme and consists of 1539 rooms. It is complemented by the Aqua venture water park and the Nasimi Beach, which frequently plays host to concerts and other events.
There are lots of exciting activities that make Atlantis beach resort the epicenter of adventure and the greatest holiday experience ever.
You can swim with dolphins at Dolphin Bay or meet the sea lion at the Sea Lion Point or visit the home to 65,000 incredible marine animals in the Lost Chamber Aquarium.
The Pointe is a brand-new promenade for lovely strolls and another spot to watch the gorgeous dancing fountains – the Palm is now transforming from a mainly residential place to one of the top hangouts in the city.
The Pointe couldn’t be in a better location, directly across from Atlantis, imagine the views!
And with a monorail running down the ‘trunk’ that connects to the mainland’s tram system, getting to the Palm Jumeirah couldn’t be easier.
9. Take a walk in the oldest neighborhood of Dubai with Dubai By Foot
The Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, previously known as Bastakiya is the oldest neighborhood of Dubai, and the Old Dubai Walking tour is our signature and most popular tour.
Dubai is known for its glitz and glamour, but before the tourism boom or the discovery of oil, it was a vastly different place.
Dubai was then a land of fishermen, divers and Bedouins. On this tour we will visit the Coffee Museum, Dubai Museum, the Spice and the Gold Souk and cross the creek on the Abra boat.
The Creek is the historic heart of Dubai, which once divided the city into two areas: Deira and Bur Dubai.
Until the construction of Al Maktoum Bridge, the first bridge in Dubai in 1963, the only way to get from one side to the other was in a rickety little wooden boat called an abra.
It’s still undoubtedly the most fun (and affordable) way across. We offer this tour daily as both public and private tours, for those who like to book a luxurious tour for themselves.
Our Old Dubai Walking tour is the best way to visit this part of the city!
For those who would like to delve fully into the Emirati culture as well as get a flavour of the Old city, we would recommend our food tour, Flavours of Arabia: Emirati Food walk.
We treat on delicacies like falafel and hummus, Majboos and crunchy Luqaimat.
We will also visit the Arabian Tea House Restaurant, one of the very famous go-to places in Dubai, a Heritage house in Bastakiya that has been converted to a restaurant.
You can easily reach both the start locations by metro and by taxi. Here is our guide for you on how to get around in Dubai.
Tour Details: Old Dubai and Souk Walking Tour
When: Every day (10 am or 4 pm slots)
*Private tours can start at the time of your convenience