Updated OCTOBER 2022
Diwali in Dubai
This year Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, falls on Monday the 24th of October and while Diwali is a Hindu festival, it’s now celebrated all over the world. Dubai is no exception! Diwali in Dubai is a big event!
There are actually 5 days connected to the festival of Diwali starting from October 23rd through to October 27th. Each day holds a different significance with the 23rd being Dhanteras typically associated with buying gifts of gold, and the 24th is Choti Diwali or Little Diwali.
The Diwali story
The Diwali story’s got all the elements of a classic Good conquering Bad tale. Wicked stepmothers, multi headed demons, beautiful princesses, it’s all there.
Hindus all over the world celebrate the triumphant homecoming of Prince Ram, his wife Sita and their brother Laxsman from a gruelling 14 years spent in banishment in the jungle.
They were banished as part of an orchestrated request by Ram’s step mother Kaikeyi as a last wish from her husband King Dashrath. He ruled the ancient kingdom of Ayodhya.
Story has it that the night the weary travellers were returning home was one without any moonlight to show the way. Excited villagers decided to light small clay earthen ware lamps using oil and wicks to make it easier for them to navigate their way back.
So Diwali is really a mix of 2 words, Deep and Avali, DEEP meaning light and AVALI meaning row.
They also lit up the sky with firecrackers, hence the present day fireworks again to show the rightful rulers of the Kingdom of Ayodhya the way home.
Celebrating Diwali in Dubai
You’ll see many houses in Dubai lit up with tiny diyas in rows, often on the entrance or porch of a house re enacting what the villagers did. Houses are often spring cleaned during this period so that good luck and prosperity can visit in the form of Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth.
Families share gifts of money and new clothes as well organize huge Diwali feasts where authentic Indian varieties of burfi (sweet fudge made from ingredients such as milk, coconut, almonds, cashewnuts and sugar) and desserts like ras malai (a soft cheese based milk dumpling soaked in cream and pistachios) and ladoos play a starring role.
If you don’t want to give heavy Indian Diwali sweets this year then try making some gorgeous energy balls instead, then be creative about how you package them up!
Traditionally the best Diwali sweets shared with family and friends were always homemade.
There are Diwali brunches, dinners and even fireworks displays in Dubai. We loved our Indian meal at Indego by Vineet at the Grosvenor House hotel.
Click the picture to see our experience of that on Instagram.
Emirates airlines announced it’s serving traditional Indian sweets to celebrate Diwali on Indian routes in all cabin classes!
Authentic Indian favorites like motichoor ladoos, mixed nut tribooj and angoori rabdri are being served in it’s cabins and lounges.
Dal kachoris and vegetable samosas for those of us with less of a sweet tooth. Some brilliant biscuits – Nan Khataai served in Emirates lounge in Cape Town too!
Diwali Shopping in Dubai
The Meena Bazaar area of Bur Dubai is a great place to visit during this festive time. Shop fronts are festooned with orange marigold flowers and there’s an excited buzz in the air.
People stock up on garlands, both real and fake, intricate rangoli pattern makers and stencils – see the one below. You can see which colour I’ve used the most for my Diwali rangoli designs!
They buy vibrant rangoli powder colour for doorways, hand-painted clay diyas, shiny brass candle holders everything linked to traditional worship at home.
The fact that gold is around 1700 dollars a Troy ounce hasn’t deterred people buying jewellery at this auspicious time. Plenty of offers abound at major jewellery shops all over Dubai. Get down to Bur Dubai and experience Diwali in Dubai yourself.
And if you just feel like a simple or more elaborate INDIAN THALI MEAL then choose from our selection here.
Diwali Gift ideas
You can’t go wrong with gifting anyone a candle at Diwali time. We love all the candles from PURE CANDLES DUBAI AED 180
If you don’t want to make your own energy balls then get down to LITTLE URTH BY NABZ AND G. Buy some from there! They’re as good as good as home made (I’ve tried them!), nicely packaged too.
AED 50 or so for a generous portion.
Or buy some bite size Indian inspired brittle bars from VARAK EDIBLE LUXURY get some for yourself too! Better than burfi and biscuits! Click the link and go to the Brittles page. 8 bites for just AED 27 with my discount code!
Tell me about any cool Diwali gifts you’re giving or receiving this year. Please also SHARE THIS POST with your friends and to all my loyal DoinDubai readers:
Warmest wishes for a prosperous and peaceful Diwali in Dubai and all over the world.
Never mind the markets and British politics for now.
NOTE JUST IN..
The Pointe on Palm Jumeirah will celebrate Diwali with a performance by the world’s largest dancing fountain, The Palm Fountain.
From 14 to 28 October from 6pm to 10pm, every 3rd performance will be a popular Hindi song! So visitors can dress up and head to the nearby eateries for delicious deals as they enjoy the show.
Also Diwali Fireworks at Global Village on the 28th October 2022 in the evening!