Everything you need to know about visiting Abu Dhabi in May
Abu Dhabi enjoys mild to hot weather in May, transitioning quickly from a brief spring to the hot days of summer.
The temperature overnight in May bearly dips below 30°C so evenings can feel warm and muggy, even if humidity is not too high at this time of year.
This year brings with it the special occasions of the Holy month of Ramdan followed by Eid al Fitr celebrations.
Whilst Abu Dhabi is issuing tourist visas again post-COVID, there are strict entry requirements. Depending on where you are flying from you are likely to need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival and adhere to a follow-up PCR testing program. Once this is complete, you are free to explore Abu Dhabi & the UAE. Some events and activities are still subject to cancellation. Stay up to date with UAE COVID Information for travellers here.
Abu Dhabi weather in May
Abu Dhabi’s average day time maximum temperature in May is 35.5°C (95.9°F), with highs as much as 45.7°C (114.3°F) and average lows overnight down to 28.3°C (82.9°F).
In May, not only the air temperature but the sea temperature significantly increases. You should expect sea temperatures on average of 29°C (84.2°F). The minimum sea temperature you should expect is 26.7°C (81.9°F through to a maximum of 31.3°C (86.5°F). You can capture some gorgeous beachy days by month-end, though you’ll definitely want to retreat indoors at the peak times of the day.
Make no mistake, no matter what time of year you visit Abu Dhabi you will still want a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses – you can find our full packing list tips for Abu Dhabi here.
Weather information sourced from the National Centre of Meteorology Climate Report 2003-2019 for Abu Dhabi Corniche and seatemperature.org
Abu Dhabi special events in May
A quiet month is expected in May 2021 with ongoing restrictions to events, crowd sizes and entry into the Emirate. At the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, Eid al Fitr will undoubtedly bring celebrations but much lower key than usual.
- You can check out our guide to Ramadan deals that are on during the month of May here.
- Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will take place from 23 to 29 May 2021
Suggested Abu Dhabi activities in May
As the weather is really getting hot during May, it’s time to seek out indoor activities during the day, then finishing your outdoor activities in the evenings when the temperature drops (a little!). Why not try:
- A morning spent exploring the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi
- An afternoon spent at the Presidential Palace Qasr al Watan
- Enjoy sundowners from Observation 300 in Etihad Towers, or Rays Bar, part of Conrad Hotel Abu Dhabi
- Alternatively, get an early start and go kayaking in the mangroves at Jubail Mangrove Park, Jubail Island
- Adrenaline seekers will love the indoor theme park Ferrari World on Yas Island, a perfect escape from the heat with plenty of thrills and spills.
- Sun worshippers who’ve come for the hotter weather in the UAE will love a luxury beach club day (if you’re not already staying at one of the city’s incredible beach hotels)
An Abu Dhabi Desert Safari in May? Some operators will continue to operate evening tours into the desert well into the early summer. Whilst yes, it’s doable, it is still hot! With kids or elderly members of your group, I would recommend against it over summer. However, if you have a very high tolerance for the heat then go for it! It will be much quieter to take a desert safari in May than in the peak winter months.
Day trips from Abu Dhabi in May
With ongoing border restrictions in place, day trips beyond the Emirate of Abu Dhabi are challenging, but not impossible if you meet the border-crossing rules. Why not consider:
- Visiting the cultural highlights of Al Ain on a day trip – see Al Ain Palace Museum, the oases of Al Ain, Qasr al Muwaiji
- If you have PCR tests in place, cross the border for a day trip up to the highlights of Dubai – learn more on our partner site www.dubaitravelplanner.com
Abu Dhabi with kids in May
In a city built to cope with the heat there’s plenty of fun still to be had indoors and out in May – just bearing in mind that midday heat so time your activities carefully. Some May favourties in Abu Dhabi include:
- Yas Waterworld – the region’s award-wining water park on Yas Island is an absolute crowd-pleaser. The weather in May is perfect as you’ll get a refreshing treat in the water but not too hot for sitting poolside. They cater really well to all age groups from babies through to adults.
- Warner Bros World – the entirely indoor theme park is the biggest indoor theme park in the world! Boasting 29 rides and attractions focused around Looney Toon classics and DC Comic favourites, it’s the perfect way to spend a day out of the heat.
- CLYMB Abu Dhabi – Based adjacent to Yas Mall and Ferrari World, here you’ll find the world’s largest indoor flight chamber and dozens of bouldering and rock climbing walls to go and burn some energy!
Still seeking out some more indoor ideas with kids? Check out this guide for the best of Abu Dhabi indoors.
Before you go… Important things to consider planning a trip to Abu Dhabi
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Abu Dhabi, a handy guide on what to pack as well as top tips for first-timers on the dos and don’ts, laws, and customs in the UAE.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!
- Discover the best places to stay in Abu Dhabi, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our hotel or tour recommendation links.Abu Dhabi Travel Planner