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Festivals in Dubai: What to Celebrate in May?

Dubai, the modern-day oasis is a dynamic city in the Middle East. The desert sands, shimmering beaches, adventure sports and incredible sights make this a popular tourist destination. The essence of Ramadan, economic accommodation rates and other events make travelling in May an attractive option. Here are some of the popular festivals to celebrate in Dubai during the month of May.

Festivals and Events in Dubai in May

1. Ramadan

Ramadan in Dubai is synonymous with iftar and traditional festivities and is one of the most-awaited festivals in Dubai in May. The holy month of the Islamic calendar is an experience to behold in Dubai. Ramadan in Dubai starts and ends with the sighting of the moon. Muslims worldwide perform the sunset prayer and fasts are broken at maghrib followed by the sound of the azan from the mosque loudspeakers. Experience the tradition in Dubai for wonderful moments.

What to look forward to?
  • Iftar tents in landmark hotels such as The Atlantis and Jumeirah Beach Hotels.
  • Lounge activities, board games, shisha experiences and delicious feast spreads in events at The Atlantis and other venues.
  • Buffet extravaganzas and Ramadan dining tents at restaurants.
  • Traditional exhibitions to showcase Dubai’s culture at the Dubai Museum, Etihad Museum, and Camel Museum.
  • Amazing shopping items at the Ramadan night markets at Dubai World Trade Centre and Jumeirah Lake Towers.

Where? Across Dubai


2. Ramadan Run The Track

Run The Track is a festive marathon during the Ramadan season. The Ramadan Night Run encourages participants to individual events. The run includes the 3 km, 5 km or 10 km run on tracks in the Dubai Autodrome. You can also take the stands to cheer the runners and revel in the excitement of the arena. There are plenty of gifts for grabs all evening. The event starts at 7.45 pm open to novice first-time runners and all members of the running community.

What to look forward to?
  • Look out for the run/bike/run race on a closed-off course for thrilling performances a day before the Ramadan Run The Track event.
  • Enjoy a spectacle of a running circuit with the official chequered flag adding to the frenzy.
  • Witness some of the best athletes in action on the tracks such as Omari Barton-Ellington who holds records.
  • Come back to witness the finale run at the Ultimate Athletics Racenight on May 23.

Where? Dubai Autodrome


3. Dubai Opera Show

Witness amazing shows at the Dubai Opera in Downtown Dubai. The colossal centre for performing arts seats a capacity of up to 2000 people. The shows scheduled for May bring some of the biggest stars of the music and art world together. The beauty of the building and the performances remain truly a work of art and splendour. Dubai Opera is an iconic venue in the heart of the city.

What to look forward to?
  • Experience the Dubai Opera Backstage tour to discover the backstage areas, dressing rooms, piano room and the hidden world of theatre.
  • Witness how the seat storage area transforms into a flat floor mode, an engineering marvel.
  • Watch the wonders of performing art in the architectural Dhow themed designed venue.

Where? Dubai Opera


4. Eid Al-Fitr

The important Muslim festival marks the end of Ramadan month and is one of the gloriously celebrated festivals in Dubai in May. It is observed the world over and is believed by Muslims that the Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammed in this month. Dubai becomes alive in the celebrations where families gather to exchange gifts and goodwill. Hotels, restaurants and attractions are prepped up as the city residents revel in the festivities. Taste delicious chicken machboos, slow-cooked succulent lamb called ouzi and more. 

What to look forward to?
  • Spectacular shows and entertainment in the city’s biggest malls.
  • Music concerts and roaming shows all across Dubai.
  • Retail outlets have excellent Eid offers with incredible shopping deals.
  • Signature dishes of rice and toppings of fried pine nuts among other cuisines are offered at various dining venues and opulent restaurants.
  • Amusement parks and resorts offer unbelievable deals for family entertainment and fun.

Where? Across Dubai


5. The Ripe Market

This wonderful community affair brings local produce and handicrafts to the visitors. Audiences from around the world visit the pop-up event and shops for purchasing fresh fruits, vegetables, trinkets, gift articles and more. Regular updates on the fair are available on social media and several activities happen at the fair. The market runs across several locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It is a great way to support local businesses and provide a platform for talented artisans and the local community. The weekly event takes place every Friday and Saturday from October to May.

What to look forward to?
  • A colourful lineup of local produces, art, craft, jewellery, food retail and home decor.
  • Organic food produced by homegrown businesses with a passion for everything local.
  • Variety of interactive adventures for little ones.
  • Market stalls with local artisans offering a unique shopping experience.

Where? The Springs Souk, The Academy Park, Times Square – Dubai

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Also Explore: Festivals in Dubai: What to Celebrate in April?

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