Dubai’s May calendar is full of diversity, taking in everything from the world squash finals to Italian opera, and tango festivals to exhibitions for parents with young children. Perhaps the two most intriguing are the Arabian Bubble Celebration – proclaimed as the world’s first ever bubble show – and the iconic sails battling out the Al Gaffal Traditional Dhow Race.
1. EYEDEX – Early Years Education Exhibition: Friday 13th and Saturday 14th May 2016, Conrad Dubai.
This free exhibition is designed to assist parents in finding suitable childcare and early years education in Dubai. It’s particularly useful given that most parents of young children are expats living in Dubai. Over 70 nurseries and providers are in attendance, along with a range of teachers and early years experts. Special workshops help navigate parents through the complexities of education in the UAE.
Entrance is free and the exhibition runs 11am to 6pm.
2. 8th Dubai Tango Festival: Wednesday 18th to Saturday 21st May at the Meydan Hotel (Nad el Sheba)
If you don’t know your tango canyengue from your Buenos Aires milonga then the Dubai Tango Festival has a variety of workshops to help improvers move up the tango dancing trail. It’s also a hub for enthusiastic tango lovers to connect and take a series of lessons with some of world’s most experienced teachers. The festival centres around daily milongashosted by a series of international tango musicians and singers. Grab a partner and pull a few moves, or sit back and watch the pros perform plenty of surprises.
Various ticket packages are available dependent on your experience while tickets can also be purchased for individual events.
3. Arabian Bubble Celebration: Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st May 2016, Dubai World Trade Centre.
Building on the success of the Kite Festival and the Dubai Balloon Fiesta, the city’s gone a step further to host the world’s first ever bubble festival. It’s more Broadway show than interactive exhibition, with a 70-minute performance that combines everything the futuristic side of Dubai loves: lights, lasers, and 3D effects. Melody Yang and Deni Yang hold the recored for the world’s biggest bubble and they’re the stars of the visual show.
There are 12 family-focused shows over the three days with tickets available here.
4. Mummy & Me: Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st May, Dubai International Marine Club.
Targeted towards expecting couples and parents, this family event is filled with seminars, workshops, and talks from recognised experts in parenting and pregnancy. It’s inevitably supported by an exhibition containing a huge range of products and services for young mothers, encompassing maternity to childcare and the different types of pushchairs and highchairs.
Entrance is free but you’ll need to register in advance.
5. Al Gaffal Traditional Dhow Race 2016: Saturday 21st May, across Dubai’s Arabian Gulf.
Over 100 traditional dhows will be racing through the Arabian Gulf on the 21st May, their iconic white sails competing beneath the backdrop of Dubai’s skyscrapers. The boats set off from the tiny island of Sur Bu Na’air, racing for 50 miles into the finish lines at the Burj Al Arab and the International Marine Club. Various commentators have proclaimed it the world’s most beautiful boat race. You can watch it all for free from the shore, with premier views coming from any elevated restaurant with Gulf views. To get closer to the action, Dubai RTA will be offering ferry rides that follow racers around various point of the marina.
6. Dubai World Series Squash Finals: Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th May, Burj Park (Burj Khalifa).
Squash has often struggled to be recognised as a spectator sport. Dubai will be glamourising the squash season’s finale with a spectacular court featuring the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain as the backdrop. Squash players compete throughout the year to rank in the world’s top eight and gain a place at the World Series Finals – so you’re guaranteed to be watching the absolute elite of the sport.
Tickets for the final day are sold out but they can be purchased for the group matches and semi finals.
7. Italian Opera Gala Dubai 2016: Thursday 26th May, DUCTAC (Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre).
Resonant voices will ring out across DUCTAC at 8:30pm on the 26th of May, some of the world’s finest tenors and pianists performing for one-night only. The program is a celebration of classic Italian opera, transporting you to Milan with the most famous opera arias of the most renowned maestros.
The date celebrates Italian national day and tickets are available in various categories.
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