Diwali - or the Festival of Lights – is just around the corner, with lights and lanterns to shimmer across Dubai's autumnal skyline to mark the festivities and hopes for new beginnings.
This year, the Diwali in Dubai calendar - packed with an array of fantastic offers, thrilling raffles, spectacular live entertainment, incredible fireworks and captivating events – means the city's residents and visitors are able to enjoy the festival of lights over a city-wide celebration until 28 October.
Diwali – which takes its name from the rows of oil lamps, electric lights or paper lanterns that decorate the homes, offices and public spaces of those who celebrate the holiday - usually falls in the early autumn. The festival of happiness, prosperity and light is spread over five days, and this year, celebrations begin on 22 October.
Day 1: Dhanteras - 22 October
On the first day of Diwali, Dhanteras, it is considered auspicious to buy gold, silver objects or kitchen utensils.
Shoppers could be in with the chance to win gold – or shopping vouchers to pick up some goods – with multiple Diwali raffles and competitions across Dubai. They include the Dubai Festival City Mall, which has a 50 gms gold bar up for grabs, City Centre Deira, where every day one lucky shopper can scoop a gold coin worth more than AED 1,000 until 30 October, Oasis Mall, which has AED 20,000 in shopping vouchers to give away, City Centre Al Shindagha where customers can drive home in a brand new Suzuki Baleno and BurJuman Mall where visitors have the chance to win one year of rent-free living in a 1-bedroom apartment in Dubai Creek, and many more.
Day 2: Chhoti Diwali - 23 October
The second day of deepavali, is called Chhoti Diwali or Small Diwali. On this day, all family members should wake up early and bathe using oils to relieve the body of tiredness and light up their house.
In Dubai, catch the longest-running water and lights show IMAGINE at Dubai Festival City Mall, along with a breathtaking fireworks spectacle. The show starts at 8:30 PM. See an authentic Festival of Lights experience at the Waterfront Market at Deira Corniche, watch cultural performances at Festival Plaza Jebel Ali, or visit the iconic Global Village.
Day 3: Diwali - 24 October
The third day of Diwali is the main day of the festival. Worshippers cleanse themselves and join their families. Households are abuzz with hectic activity as they prepare to seek blessings of wealth and prosperity. Brightly illuminated houses, parks and public places make up the landscape on Diwali night, while colourful fireworks dot the sky.
The city is packed with family-friendly Diwali celebrations, including the illuminating Diwali-inspired projection at Al Wasl Plaza and various children's workshops at Expo City, a dazzling performance by the world's largest dancing fountain, The Palm Fountain at the Pointe, as well as traditional dance shows, themed entertainment, and plenty of fun for the little ones at Diwali in JLT. For an entertaining gastronomical experience, visit the immersive Bombay Dreams show at Namaste India, Bollywood Parks.
Day 4: Govardhan Puja - 25 October
On the fourth day of this five-day festival, gifts and sweets are exchanged among family and friends, while many celebrate this as annakut, a word that includes anna, meaning grain. Large quantities of food are prepared at home.
All of the décor, sweets, gifts and accessories needed for the festive season can be found at Lulu Hypermarket, and visitors can enjoy scrumptious Indian cuisine at many restaurants across the city, including The Crossing at the H Hotel Dubai, Kaleidoscope Buffet Restaurant at Atlantis, The Palm and Kinara by Vikas Khanna at the JA Lake View Hotel.
The fourth day of Diwali also indicates the start of a new financial year, with businesses opening a new book of accounts. Any new business ventures typically start on this day.
Day 5: Bhai Dooj - 26 October
The fifth day of Diwali is a day dedicated to rejoicing in the bond between brothers and sisters.
In Dubai, shoppers can buy Diwali gifts such as electronics and home appliances at reduced prices at Jumbo and are in with a chance to win great prizes at Emax.
Stay on top of the festivities and celebrations this Diwali in Dubai - visit Visit Dubai and @CelebrateDubai and @StyledbyDubai on social media channels for more information.