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Diwali preparations in full swing in Dubai – News

Celebrations are expected to be ‘extra-large’ this festive season.

Diwali preparations are in full swing across the UAE. Since many families are going to be enjoying a long weekend, thanks to schools being closed for the festive season, celebrations are expected to be ‘extra-large’ this festive season, residents told Khaleej Times.

Also read: 62 schools in Dubai closed for Diwali 2019

Great Indian shopping spree

The four-day long celebration has kickstarted with a shopping spree. Supermarkets selling traditional Indian paraphernalia are witnessing unprecedented crowds in Bur Dubai and Sharjah’s Abu Shagara. Stores such as Madhur Supermarket, Choithrams, and Adil Supermarket are chock-full with Indian shoppers.

Geeta Bhatia, the marketing manager of Madhur Supermarket said, “We are offering at least 400 varieties of thoran (a decorative wall hanging) being sold. The most popular products are diyas, earthen pots, electrical lights, candles, flowers, platforms, thalis (small plates), lotas (metal pots), haldi Kumkum (turmeric), sweets, and dried fruits are very popular buys.”

She added, “The Diwali shopping rush began two weeks ago, with Karva Chauth. We are expecting a big rush on Friday as well.”

Textile and tailoring shops are in a rush to complete last-minute orders. Kachins Tailoring, Dream Girl Tailoring, and other shops were also heavily crowded, starting Wednesday.

Kanchan Gupta, a Dubai-based housewife said, “Diwali shopping usually begins a week ahead of the festival. We start by deep cleaning our homes, prepare for pooja (traditional worship), and shop for new things at home.”

Celebrations kickstart in full-swing

City-wide celebrations including fireworks, diya-lighting ceremony, Bollywood dance performances, festive markets, and an exclusive show called Haathi’s Garden debuted in Dubai on Thursday, October 24.

A special LED tealights presentation in a pre-prepared diya (earthen lamp) pattern during the special diya-lighting ceremony will be organised at Al Seef on Sunday, October 27.

Diwali songs performed by local bands and Dhol Tasha, a drumming group will be performing at Seef as well. Dressed in traditional headgear, the drummers will lead a celebratory procession from Al Fahidi metro station all the way down to the streets of Al Seef on Diwali day. The Diwali Market will showcase handicrafts, silverware, Diwali decorations and colourful Indian outfits.

Haathi’s Garden comes to Dubai

Dubai Festival City Mall launched its fourth record-breaking IMAGINE show, ‘Haathi’s Garden’ on Thursday, October 24. The show included a huge firework display and Bollywood dance shows at 8pm free for the public. The first 5,000 guests on Festival Bay received free LED wristbands.

For the first time in the Middle East, visitors were also witness to the world-famous Elephant Parade exhibition with 50 life-size baby elephant sculptures created to raise awareness for elephant conservation globally.

Gold rush in Dubai ahead of Dhanteras

Preparations for the four-day-long festival of lights is in full swing in Dubai. Celebrations begin with Dhanteras on Friday, October 25, the first day that marks Diwali. However, large crowds of shoppers were seen thronging into gold shops at the Deira and Sharjah Gold Souq and Bur Dubai’s little India, Meena Bazaar.

“We do not need to spend large sums of money on gold and other precious metals. It is considered auspicious, a sign of welcoming prosperity into the family when precious metals are purchased,” said Madhumati Gokhale, a housewife from Karama told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

Sanjay Jethwani of Meena Jewellers said the crowds are expected to be highest on Friday. “There have been several pre-orders which we expect people to collect on Friday. Polki jewellery is selling very well this time,” he said.

Retailers prepared for the ‘Gold Rush’

Tawhid Abdulla, the chairman of Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group, said, “Diwali is a very Indian-centric occasion; hence 22 karat gold and diamond jewellery get sold the most. Millennials, however, may choose 18 karat jewellery as well.” He added, “Consumers also prefer gold coins.”

Shamlal Ahamed, the managing director, international operations, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, said, “We see good demand for all kinds of gold and diamond jewellery, especially in traditional and lightweight daily wear category.”

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88


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