Despite Ryan Constable's side winning just once in six outings in the Emirates capital over the past two days, some strong individual performances will give his 12-man squad hope for next week's second tournament in George, South Africa.
The Irish finished 14th overall of the 16 participants, just one place below their pre-tournament ranking.
Tunisia's Otfi Nino and Mohamed Yousri Souguir grabbed tries before the break in the Shield decider, and a second from the elusive Nino killed off the game in the second half.
Dolphin scrum half Tomas O'Leary grabbed a late consolation score for Ireland, who ended the tournament having scored 15 tries in all.
England claimed the Emirates International Trophy after defeating Fiji 26-21 in the showpiece final.
Earlier, a resurgent Kenya edged Ireland 29-19 in the Bowl Quarter final, before Constable's outfit defeated Canada 24-17 in the Shield competition.
Two tries from Loughborough University's Mark Bruce had the Irish 12-5 in front against Kenya, but four tries in the final five minutes from the Africans saw them pull through.
Lansdowne and Leinster flanker Niall Ronan got Ireland's other try.
Yesterday the Irish - with an average age of 23 - finished third in Pool D in the Emirates Capital - losing 38-17 to Fiji, shipping a 35-12 defeat to South Africa and hanging on for a 12-12 draw with European Qualifying champions Portugal.
Former Ireland Under 21 Michael McComish was the scoring hero, notching three of sevens tries scored on the opening day.
Ian Humphreys, Bruce, O'Leary and David Hewitt were also on target.
IRB DUBAI SEVENS: Ireland results -
Shield Final:IRELAND 5 Tunisia 17Scorer: Ireland: Tomas O'Leary try
Shield Semi final:
Bowl Quarter final:IRELAND 19 Kenya 29Scorers: Ireland: Mark Bruce 2 tries, Niall Ronan 1 try, Ian Humphreys 2 conversions
(1) Gary Brown (Ulster - Belfast Harlequins)(2) Mark Bruce (Loughborough University)(3) David Hewitt (Leinster - Clontarf)(4) Ian Humphreys (Belfast Harlequins)(5) Chris Keane (Connacht - Buccaneers)(6) Seamus Mallon (Ulster - Dungannon)(7) Michael McComish (Ballymena)(8) Martin McPhail (Munster - Ul Bohemian)(9) James Norton (Leinster - UCD)(10) Tomas O'Leary (Dolphin)(11) Niall Ronan (Leinster - Lansdowne)(12) John Hearty (Leinster - Blackrock College)