10 things to look forward to in Dubai this May

Beach festivals, new restaurants, a comedy festival and a sleek city staycation…

May is almost here, and if you thought the city was winding down for summer, think again. For foodies, the return of Dubai Food Festival means tasty deals at top restaurants, plus there’s new openings from Bluewaters to the Palm Jumeirah to look forward to. Music fans have DJ sets, popstars and a classical festival to look forward to, and it’s your last chance to check out one of the city’s biggest events before the top temperatures strike.

Here’s what’s happening in Dubai during May 2022.

From May 1: Gather your squad for dinner in a pod

Say hello to The Pods, a one-of-a-kind experience accepting reservations from Sunday May 1, where you can dine in an Instagrammable VIP dining pod with stellar sea and JBR skyline views at Bluewaters Island. There are a total of 22 luxury dining pods, and while most seat six, there are a few larger pods for 8 to 12. The sleek black pods are lined with cushy green or ruby red sofas surrounding a central table, and each comes with its own speaker so you can control your own music. Here, you can tuck into elegant Pan-Asian cuisine, which explores flavours from China, Japan and Thailand, albeit with a ‘modern touch’.

The Pods, Bluewaters Dubai, 6.30pm to 12am daily, opening Sunday May 1. @thepodsdubai 

From early May: Soak up the sun at a brand new beach club

You’ll have a new spot for tan-topping from next month as Playa Beach Club prepares to open its doors. Housed within The Club at West Beach alongside luxurious new beach club SĀN Beach and the ever-so-pretty Eva Beach House, Playa is a vibrant beach club with a boho edge. Playa is self-described as a ‘celebration of the renewal of life’, and will feature an indoor restaurant as well as several alfresco areas that spill down to the white sandy beach. Offering something for everyone Playa’s roster of events will include a weekend brunch, signature business lunch and chilled sunset rituals that promise extravagant ceremonies as day turns to night.

Playa Beach Club, Palm West Beach, opening Wednesday May 4, 10am to 2am daily. @playadubai

May 6 to 13: Dine for less at some of the city’s top restaurants

Get excited, foodies! Dubai Food Festival is back this may, and with it comes one of our favourite excuses to eat out every night: Dubai Restaurant Week. Across the 10-day event, you can dine at some of the best restaurants in Dubai for a fraction of the normal price. Two-course lunch menus are priced from Dhs95, while three-course dinner menus will set you back between Dhs150 and Dhs350 per person. Some restaurants are included for dinner or lunch only, while some offer both lunch and dinner menus. You can check out the full list of participating restaurants here. Spaces are limited, so be sure to book your favourites fast via Open Table.

Dubai Restaurant Week, May 6 to 13, various locations across Dubai. dubaifoodfestival.com

Until May 7: See the world in one place at Global Village

Missing Expo 2020? A lot of us are, which is why Global Village decided to extend Season 26 until May 7. As Dubai’s top multicultural family destination for culture, shopping, and entertainment, Global Village brings together kiosks, food stalls, retailers and entertainment from across the globe. Visitors can enjoy an abundance of attractions, dining options, and shows for the whole family, as well as a one-stop-shop for clothing, homewares, accessories, gadgets, spices and so much more.

Global Village Dubai, E311, Dubai, Season 26 – October 26 2021 to May 7, 2022. @globalvillageuae

May 8 to June 2: Enjoy a celebration of classical music

InClassica International Music Festival

The InClassica International Music Festival is back for its eleventh edition, taking place at the stunning Dubai Opera and showcasing renowned musicians from across the globe. The four-week celebration of world-classical music performances and international collaboration will see a number of consecutive concerts taking place in the evening that will please both your ears and your soul. Expect well-known and popular classics and contemporary masterpieces including works by Verdi, Beethoven, Debussy, Mendelssohn, Strauss and Dvořák from 50 world-renowned soloists and 11 celebrated conductors. The music festival runs from May 8 to June 2 with ticket prices starting from Dhs180.

Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd – Downtown Dubai, Dubai, May 8 to June 2, performance begins at 8pm, Tel: (0)4 440 8888. dubaiopera.com

May date TBC: Check out the new Bidi Bondi, The Byron Bathers Club

Byron Bathers Club

Restaurateur and all-round bonzer Aussie bloke Tom Arnel (of Tom & Serg fame) has taken over the space of Bidi Bondi, and is replacing it with a new Aussie-inspired multi-concept called The Byron Bathers Club. The Byron – as it aims to be affectionately known – will be a seafood focused beachside dining destination offering a la carte breakfasts, lunches and late-night dinners. Taking inspiration from Australia’s celebrity hotspot, Byron Bay, the new concept hopes to become a Palm local offering a range of diverse concepts, including Byron’s Bar & Bistro, Ulu’s Oyster bar and Tigerlily’s Beach.

The Byron Bathers Club, Al Manhal Building, Shoreline, Palm Jumeirah (formerly Bidi Bondi), opening May 2022. @byronbathersclub

May 8: Sing along as a Brit popstar performs

British singer Conor Maynard is set to perform at the Coca-Cola Arena next month as he makes his return to the stage in Dubai for the first time since 2018. Conor Maynard rose to fame a decade ago after being discovered on YouTube, and went on to release catchy pop-hits such as Can’t Say No and Turn Around with Ne-Yo. In more recent years Maynard has turned his attention to covers, putting his signature spin on Adele’s tear-jerking smash hit HelloSomeone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi, and most recently Whitney Houston’s Dance With Somebody. So, we can’t wait to see what his Dubai set list will look like.

Coca-Cola Arena, City Walk, 8pm onwards, Sunday May 8, from Dhs100. coca-cola-arena.com

May 12 to 22: Laugh out loud at Dubai Comedy Festival

In case you are in need of a few laughs, Dubai Comedy Festival is coming back to the city this May. The 11-day comedy extravaganza will take place from May 12 to 22 at venues across the city. Among the highlights, see global comedy superstar Russell Peters on Thursday May 12, and one of the UK’s most-loved personalities, Josh Widdicombe on Wednesday May 18, both performing live at The Agenda in Dubai Media City.

Dubai Comedy Festival, May 12 to 22, various locations, from Dhs100. dubaicomedyfest.ae

May 20: Bust some moves as a top DJ spins on the beach

Legendary DJ Fatboy Slim will be returning to Dubai for the first time since he headlined Party in the Park in 2019. Taking place on Friday May 20, 2022, Zero Gravity’s popular DXBeach is back with another huge party on the sand. Resident DJs and live entertainment will build the atmosphere before the iconic headliner will take to the stage around 10pm.

DXBeach presents Fatboy Slim, Zero Gravity, Dubai, Friday May 20, 10am ’til late, from Dhs149. 0-gravity.ae

Throughout May: Check-in to a sleek new city staycation

A new hotel opening in Dubai might not be something to shout about typically, but the arrival of the city’s second W property – this time on the shores of Mina Seyahi – is one to bookmark for a stylish city staycation. The skyscraping property opened on Monday April 25, inviting guests to soak up the sun at the sea-facing swimming pool, enjoy alfresco evenings at the pretty W Lounge Terrace, and dine on flavours from around the world at all-day dining restaurant, Ginger & Moon. Opening rates start from Dhs2,200 which includes an overnight stay for two, welcome amenities, early check-in and late check-out, breakfast, and a Dhs200 credit to spend on food and drink.

W Dubai – Mina Seyahi, Al Sufouh, now open, from Dhs2,200. Tel: (0)4 399 4141, wdubaiminaseyahi.com