Everything you need to know about visiting Dubai in May
If you are looking for a beachy getaway holiday then get set because May is the month for you in Dubai! Hot, but not summer extreme hot; plenty of activity still happening around town, Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations and sea temperatures hit their sweet spot with little chance of rain – welcome to sunshine time in Dubai!
Dubai Weather in May
Daytime temperatures rise significantly over the course of May. Your average daytime maximum in May is 37.8°C (100°F), but don’t be surprised if temperatures can hit as high as 43.5°C (110°F) by the end of the month. You can expect overnight lows down to 25.2°C (77°F).
Humidity is at the lowest point in May so it is a drier heat than usual, and rainfall is unlikely – though not unheard of – in May in Dubai. Dust storms may be experienced at this time of year too.
Sea temperatures are not quite at their summer peaks but do significantly warm up in May making it ideal for beachgoers to still enjoy a dip in the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf. You can expect lows of 26.3°C (79.3°F) in the water through to highs of 31.2°C (86.2°F) by month-end.
Dubai Special Events May 2022
May in 2022 will see the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, proceeded by Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations likely to occur from around 2 May.
Gone are the days when May was considered a quiet month in Dubai where nothing happened – quite the opposite. May in Dubai is shaping up to be an exciting time of cultural enrichment with limited changes to the tourism offering.
This starts to change towards month-end when many al fresco dining options and outdoor activities are forced indoors by the heat.
- Holy Month of Ramadan – the 9th month of the Hijri calendar will fall from approximately 2 April to 1 May 2022 (the official start and end dates are determined by a moon sighting committee).
- UAE Government sector employees and schools have been granted a whopping 9-day break covering 30 April to 8 May 2022 marking the occasion of Eid. The private sector will enjoy a 3-day break from 2 May to 4 May 2022. Do expect the entire city to be exceptionally busy at this time.
- Catch the last few days of Global Village, this year’s season is extended until 7 May 2022 so families can enjoy final celebrations over the Eid break
- Dubai Comedy Fest – several venues across the city will host this annual event running from 12 to 22 May 2022.
- Dubai Food Festival will be from 2 May to 15 May 2022, this includes Dubai Restaurant Week, Foodie Experiences and Uncover a Hidden Gem
Will cafes and restaurants be open during the day in Dubai during Ramadan?
Since 2019, dining establishments are no longer being asked to apply for a license nor blackout their windows during the Holy Month. The Government have confirmed this is again the case in 2022 as they continue to promote tourism at all times of the year.
It is still disrespectful (and in most cases against the law) to be found eating or drinking in public outside of dining establishments during Ramadan.
We talk more about the exact rules in our Dubai Ramadan Guide.
Suggested Dubai Activities in May 2022
Bearing in mind the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan and Eid celebrations, it’s important to note that business opening hours will change at this time of year.
Some shops and attractions may open earlier than usual, then close for the afternoon, reopening after Iftar (the evening breaking of the fast). Always check the details closer to the time with anything you’ve booked. Also note many special offers and discounts do not apply when it is a public holiday such as Eid.
We suggest that the following activities may be a great way to spend your time in Dubai in May this year:
- Experience a traditional Iftar at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in the city’s Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Or, try one of the lavish hotel buffet iftars in Dubai.
- Take a night cruise down the Dubai canal to experience the thriving evening culture (NB entertainment program altered during Ramadan). Finish this with a spectacular show at La Perle, Al Habtoor City.
- Enjoy a morning desert safari – the mornings in Dubai are much cooler than the late afternoons and evenings during May. If you’d like a more pleasant Dubai desert safari experience, head out pre-dawn for maximum enjoyment – try a hot air balloon experience for a completely unique and unforgettable experience.
- Explore Souk Madinat Jumeirah with its traditional Arabian design and enchanting waterways, including superb views back to the Burj Al Arab
Dubai with kids in May 2022
Dubai is a city burgeoning with family-friendly activities year-round. May can be a popular time to visit Dubai with your family as schools in Europe take a short half-term break.
As May is getting quite hot to be outdoors unless you’re in the water why not try these ideas:
- Cool of at one of Dubai’s outdoor adventure playgrounds such as Aquaventure at Atlantis the Palm or at Wild Wadi, attached to Jumeirah Beach Hotel. We have a complete water park comparison guide here so you can work out which may suit you best.
- Head out to Dubai Parks & Resorts – 4 theme parks in one location! Little ones will love Legoland Dubai while older kids will likely prefer Motiongate – advance book tickets to save on gate passes! (Note that Legoland water park is not always open every day)
- Enjoy night ziplining through the Ghaf tree forest in Mushrif Park at Aventura.
More frequently asked questions about Dubai in May
If warm weather and low crowds sound appealing then absolutely, May is a great time to be in Dubai. The daytime temperatures are hot (averaging 37.8°C/100°F) but if you avoid heading into the sun at the peak of the day it’s still manageable for heat-lovers.
Just be mindful that in 2021 and partly in 2022 the Holy Month of Ramadan will fall in the Gregorian month of May. There are modifications in some tourist behaviours expected during Ramadan – see the full guide here.
May was traditionally the start of the low season for tourism in Dubai but in recent years this has not been the case so much. With the Holy Month of Ramadan falling over May now, this means the Eid ul Fitr celebration (breaking of the fast) falls during the month.
This is a long weekend locally, and for all countries in the GCC region, which leads to increased tourist numbers; you are unlikely to bag a bargain on accommodation over Eid. Visiting before or after Eid you may still be able to grab some cheaper accommodation.
Note, some services and entertainment attractions will not run over Ramadan [2 April to 2 May approx].
This all depends on your heat tolerance levels and your interests. The daytime average in Dubai during May is 37.8°C/100°F, getting hotter throughout the month with highs as much as 43.5°C/110°F experienced.
The sea temperature in May rises from lows of 26.3°C/79.3°F to highs of 31.2°C/86.2°F making it the best month for beach weather if you love it hot but not spa-like!
If you are pregnant, with young children or don’t like to be too hot and sweaty you will be pushing it by the end of May. There are plenty of indoor alternatives and the city is made to handle the heat but do expect to spend the middle of the day indoors. You can find our complete guide to Dubai weather in May here.
If you prefer to do more exploring on foot and day trips beyond the city, it may be getting too hot by May.
May is one of the traditionally quieter tourism months in Dubai. Most visitors who come seeking heat and sunshine come earlier in spring (March/April) in line with the European school holidays. Local schools are in class during May, except for maybe a few days of mid-term break, this differs across schools.
You will find a couple of busier points in May 2021. The Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations, marking the end of Ramadan, will see a 4-5 public holiday mid-month which will bring a lot more people out than usual and many shopping sales and special events will be held (in line with social distancing and capacity rules in 2022).
There is sometimes another small peak in tourism experienced at the end of May when UK schools have a half-term break. Due to COVID restrictions from the UK and many European countries in 2022, this is unlikely to have a big impact on tourism this year.
From late May 2022 and through to summer school break will be the least crowded time to visit Dubai in 2022.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack, and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws, and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Go City Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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