Diwali in Dubai - Witness the Emirati Festival of Lights!

Dubai, the most happening metropolitan Middle Eastern city hosts a vast number of Indians although it maybe not a part of India. Not only have Indians built themselves a secured life, but also affected the culture and food in the city. Though the official religion of Dubai is Islam, the country is still tolerable and welcoming to other faiths. Despite the small Hindu population, its impact on the city is evident with the festivities of Diwali in Dubai. 

Brief Background of the Festival

Diwali in Dubai is the most significant Hindu Festival that celebrates Good over Evil. Known as the Festival of Lights, where "light" is a metaphor for knowledge. The days are highly celebratory, with lots of music, dancing and dining, along with some Hindu traditions. 

Diwali in Dubai Dates

Diwali in Dubai is a 5-day long festival, with the main Diwali falling on the 3rd day on New Moon. Diwali is preceded by two festivals - Dhanteras and Choti Diwali and succeeded by two - Goverdhan Pooja and Bhai Dooj. 

Diwali 2020 Dates: 27th October 

5-Day Celebration of Diwali in Dubai

Diwali in Dubai
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Day 1: Dhanteras

The first day of Diwali in Dubai begins with buying a utensil of brass/silver/gold. It is considered a very sacred day to shop the markets of Dubai for decorations, lights, sweets and materials of daily use. Markets of Dubai are filled with people; sweet shops flourish with hustling customers. People also buy gifts for family and friends, ranging from sweets to gold/silver jewellery. Various places to go for Diwali Shopping are : 

  • The Dubai Mall

  • Wafi Mall

  • Deira City Centre

  • Mall of the Emirates

  • Bur Dubai Souk

Day 2: Choti Diwali

A day preceding the main festival, this day is used to make all the arrangements for the next day. This includes making sweets at home, visiting close family and friends and sharing gifts. Households and buildings are lit up with lights, diyas and candles.

Day 3: Diwali

As the main day arrives, Everyone dresses up in their best traditional Indian attire, worship Laxmi-Ganesh, Hindu Gods of wealth and protection. It is an evening spent with family and friends, playing indoor games like cards and dancing and singing. Using fireworks is not permitted to the households in Dubai; however, one can see the sky lit up with fireworks by the Emirates. 

Day 4: Goverdhan Pooja

The day after Diwali in Dubai, Hindus prepare a large vegetarian meal and offer it to Lord Krishna. Langars are held across the city where Hindus will be serving home-cooked vegetarian meals. Special menus are made in several Indian restaurants. 

Day 5: Bhai Dooj

Bhai Dooj is the day of siblings and cousins. A sister offers sweets to his brother, and in return, the brother gifts his sister with presents and vows to protect her. 

Places To Visit During Diwali in Dubai

1. Dubai Creek for Fireworks

Dubai Creek
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Fireworks light up each occasion of Diwali in Dubai; this also happens to be the only place fireworks are allowed in the city throughout this festival. Thousands of people witness a fantastic fireworks display with their family and friends.

2. Bollywood Parks


Bollywood Parks
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A Bollywood themed park, the place is a host to various shows and festivals that happens for one whole week. Numerous Bollywood celebrities perform at shows here, along with multiple concerts by famous singers. The theatre airs some of the favourite Bollywood movies, and there is a street food festival serving authentic Indian cuisine. 

3. Festivities at Al Seef

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If you want to witness Diwali in Dubai just like how it is celebrated in India, Diwali Mela at Al Seef is the place to go. This place offers everything in one place. There is a Diya lighting ceremony that illuminates the whole area symbolising good over evil. Diwali Mela is also organised, where several stalls sell and showcase handmade diyas, decorative items, beautiful jewellery and traditional clothes. You can get henna designs on your hand, and make colourful rangolis. Al Seef also witnesses various Bollywood performances and concerts with lots of music and dancing that you can enjoy.

4. Waterfront Promenade at the Dubai Mall

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Witness a floating art showcase on boats that use water as a canvas and display a beautiful scene to its viewers.

Diwali in Dubai is one of the most popular festivals that is enjoyed not just by the Indian community in the city, but all residents and tourists as well. How will you be celebrating it this year?

This post was published by Shreya Prasad

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