9 things to look forward to in Abu Dhabi this May

Fireworks, international acts, a bingo rave and a book fair is back…

This May, Abu Dhabi is packing our calendars with top things to do. The Etihad Arena has a whole host of shows, from Maroon 5 to Peppa Pig. Elsewhere a bingo rave comes to the Dusit Thani, Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is back at ADNEC, and it’s your last chance to see Stan on display at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Here’s 9 things to do in Abu Dhabi this May. 

May 3 to 5: Dazzling fireworks displays at Yas Bay

The Eid Al Fitr holiday will see a three-evening fireworks spectacular at Yas Bay from May 3 to May 5. Historically launching from Yas Marina, the Yas Island sky pyrotechnics are a traditional part of Abu Dhabi’s Eid celebration schedule, and are completely free to see (although you will need to follow the appropriate public health guidelines). We strongly advise you to get some restaurant reservations in now if you want the best seats in the house. And for more information on what’s now open at Yas Bay, check out our guide to the leisure mega project.

Yas Bay Waterfront, Yas Island, 9pm, Tuesday May 3 to Thursday May 5. yasbay.ae

May 5: See one of the world’s biggest bands perform

Get perfecting your Moves Like Jagger, as Grammy Award winners Maroon 5 are making their Abu Dhabi debut this May. The famous pop rockers will bring their first-ever regional tour in the Middle East to Yas Bay’s impressive Etihad Arena on Friday May 6. Led by Adam Levine, Maroon 5 will be treating fans to an unmissable live performance of some of their greatest hits including Sugar, Maps, Animal, Moves Like Jagger and more. Across their incredible career as one of the most in-demand pop groups on the planet, the group have had 15 Top 10 singles, played over 750 concerts in more than 30 countries, and sold in excess of 7.5 million tickets worldwide.

Live Nation presents Maroon 5 at Etihad Arena, Yas Bay, Yas Island, doors open 7pm, Friday May 6, from Dhs300. ticketmaster.ae

Throughout May: Bounce around at an indoor entertainment centre

Abu Dhabi’s second location of AirManiax has just opened its doors right in the heart of the capital’s excitement hub, at Yas Mall. It’s a gigantic indoor kids’ entertainment megaplex arriving, mercifully, just in time for the return of summer heat. Located on the ground floor of the mall, next to the Grand Prix entrance, this intelligently designed adventure complex is now open and offers multiple themed zones and attractions for all age groups of kiddlywinks.

Air Maniax Abu Dhabi is open now at Yas Mall, daily 10 am to midnight, prices from Dhs85 for 60 minutes. Tel: (02) 635 2544, airmaniax.booknow

May 7: Make a splash at a Cinco De Mayo themed pool party

Al Maya Island & Resort is bringing back its legendary Pool Parties – Maya Saturdays, with a Cinco de Mayo themed season launch party on Saturday May 7. The adults-only event features Latin entertainment, a taco bar, live DJ sets and a Piñata Game where the winner can win a chance to be one of the first guests to stay in the villas when they reopen. Tickets start from Dhs250, which includes a Dhs100 voucher to spend on food and drink. Ladies that head down before midday can enjoy free entry.

Al Maya Island & Resort, Abu Dhabi, 10am to 8pm, Saturday May 7, Dhs250. Tel: (0)2 667 7777, almayauae.com

Until May 12: See a 67 million year old T-rex

One of the most complete T-rex skeletons will soon have a new home at the Natural History Museum in Abu Dhabi. But before he moves into his permanent residence, you can get up close with the 67-million year-old skeleton at a limited-time exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat. 

Manarat AlSaadiyat, Abu Dhabi, until May 12. Tel: (0)2 657 5800. manaratalsaadiyat.ae

May 13: Go loco at a fun-filled bingo night

Dance-offs, confetti showers, DJs spinning ‘90s hits and international holiday prizes up for grabs – Bingo Loco promises a massive bingo rave when it takes over Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi on Friday May 13. Tickets are priced at Dhs200 and include a free drink on arrival. 

Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi, from 6pm to 10.30pm, Friday May 13, Dhs200, incl one free drink. bingo-loco.com

May 23 to 29: Enjoy a literary celebration as Abu Dhabi Book Fair returns

Now in its 31st year, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair stages a huge literary celebration, and over 150,000 visitors flock to the heart of the publishing industry in the Middle East and North Africa. This year, ADIBF will host a hybrid event, with virtual sessions and shows, over 200 exhibitors and the chance to drop in and buy books in person.

ADNEC, Abu Dhabi, Monday May 23 to Sunday May 29, adbookfair.com

May 26 to 29: Take the family to Peppa Pig Live

The global kids entertainment phenomenon, Peppa Pig along with her family, friends and no doubt a ‘grr dinosaur’ or two are making their way to Abu Dhabi for a series of live shows in May. Peppa Pig’s Adventure will unfold on stage at the Etihad Arena, Yas Island between Thursday May 26, and Sunday May 29, 2022. There’s one show daily on Thursday and Friday (at 6pm). And there are two shows daily on Saturday May 28 (at 2.30pm and 6pm) and Sunday May 29 (at 11am and 2.30pm). This 60-minute live musical stage show features life-size puppet performances, telling the story of a Peppa Pig camping adventure.

Etihad Arena, Yas Bay, from Dhs96, multiple timings from Thursday May 26 to Sunday May 29. Tickets available now via etihadarena.ae.

May 27: Sing along at a Motown show

The best Motown songs are timeless soul classics that capture everything it means to be in love, to suffer heartbreak – and to want to dance with abandon. Head to Theatre by Erth this month and relive the ‘60s, where hits from Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5 and The Temptations are performed by slick cover group Tops & Temps.

Theatre by Erth, Khor Al Maqta, Friday May 27, from Dhs99, Tel: (0)58 838 3107. theatrebyerth.com