Diwali in Dubai: 19 places to celebrate the Festival of Lights
From specially created menus with tasty Indian fare to spectacular shows and performances…
Diwali, Divali, Deepavali or Dipavali is a four to five-day-long festival which is celebrated by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists every autumn. Also known as the festival of lights, Diwali coincides with the Hindu New Year and celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
Apart from enjoying the lights of the buildings (head down to Bur Dubai and be wow’ed, trust us…), sparklers, the lighting of diyas (candles), creating wonderful rangoli artwork (colourful patterns created using powder), here are some great places to celebrate Diwali in Dubai.
Tuck into a festive feast
Cafe Funkie Town
Bombay Parsi restaurant, Cafe Funkie Town has curated a special menu for the festive season that has been created by five hobby chefs from different communities. The dishes have been named after the chef that created it namely fafda chaat by Ritu, ram ladoo by Jyoti, chicken muthi kebab by Farha, gulab jamun tiramisu by Keerti and more. The menu is available for dine-in and delivery throughout November at both the cafe’s branches in Business Bay and JLT.
Cafe Funkie Town, Business Bay, Bay Avenue, F40 Mezzanine Floor, Dubai, Tel: (0)4 564 6534 and JLT, Cluster Q Saba 3, Shop 12 and 13, Dubai, Tel:(0)4 368 9697 @cafefunkietown
This licensed venue has a special feast for Diwali on November 13 and 14 with dishes set to ignite the senses. Standouts include dahi kabab ki chaat, Punjabi dal makhan, Rasoli kebeb and much more. It’s Dhs59 only for the buffet, Dhs98 for two house drinks and Dhs168 unlimited house drinks. Want unlimited soft beverages and lassi? Pay just Dhs78.
Malasa Bazaar, Park Regis Kris Kin, Opp Burjuman Center, Bur Dubai, Dubai. Diwali special menu only on Nov 13 and 14, 7pm to 11pm. Tel: (0)4 377 1111. @parkregiskriskin
Ellora by Vikas Khanna
For just Dhs165, tuck into a bespoke Diwali menu at Ellora by Vikas Khanna, at JA The Resort, in Jebel Ali. Mouthwatering starters include tandoori paneer tikka or coconut prawn and for main course, there is pista murgh or vegetable jalfrezi. For a sweet treat, there’s baked gulab jamun or badam ki phirni. The delicious menu is only available from just November 10 to 15.
Ellora by Vikas Khanna, JA Lakeview, JA The Resort, Jebel Ali, Dubai, Dhs165 for Diwali menu available from No 10 to 15. Tel:(0)4 04 814 5555 jaresortshotels.com
Khyber at Dukes, The Palm
Khyber at the luxurious Dukes The Palm is celebrating the festival of lights with a festive dinner featuring refreshing starters, a feast of authentic North Indian mains and special treats curated by the talented Master Chef Faizan for this festive occasion. Prices start from Dhs150 and will be available from 5pm to 11pm from November 12 to 14.
Khyber, Dukes Hotel, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, Nov 12 to 14, 5pm to 11pm. Tel: (04) 455 1111. dukesdubai.com
Indya by Vineet
This contemporary Indian restaurant headed by Michelin-starred Chef Vineet Bhatia is offering an indulgent three-course sharing menu for Dhs285 per person. Dishes you can enjoy include charcoal sev papdi chaat and coriander fish tikka, mutton dhansak, butter chicken and more. This amazing menu is only available on Diwali.
Indya by Vineey, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai Marina, Dubai, diwali menu only available on Nov 14, 6pm to 12am. Tel: (04) 3165550. indya-dubai.com
Indybox – Yum Indian delivery
If you’re staying home with loved ones this Diwali, consider this newly launched delivery-only restaurant which delivers an array of delights. Menu items include chicken khurchan tacos, jalapeno chicken curry, kale palak paneer, butter chicken chawal and plenty of desserts like Nutella kheer and shahi tudka. Order on Zomato or call the restaurant on 050 568 6362.
Indybox – Yum Indian delivery, Tel: (050) 568 6362. indybox.ae
Nara Pan Asia
Fancy a brunch to celebrate Diwali? On November 13, head down to Nara Pan Asia for its Nara Diwali Brunch. The brunch will cost you Dhs199 per person for food and unlimited house drinks and Dhs299 for food and premium drinks. Dishes on the starters menu include chilly paneer, dynamite prawns, tandoori chicken baos, butter chicken, and more. For mains, there’s chilly garlic panner, paneer Manchurian and more. Cool your palette with mango sticky rice or a chocolate gulab jamun. Yum!
Nara Pan Asia, Cluster A, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai. Diwali brunch on Nov 13, 1pm to 4pm. Tel: (0)4 421 1356. @narapanasian
Dubai International Hotel
Until November 15, a scrumptious feast at The Gallery, Cadiz – Ahlan Lounge is being dished out by the in-house chefs. The special menu has popular Indian dishes ranging from mutton awadhi biryani, Lucknowi chicken biryani, murgh malai kebab, vegetable cutlet, gulab jamun and more.
If you’re dining at Marea’s this Diwali, go all out and indulge in a golden burrata. That’s right, this burrata compromises of handmade burrata flown in from Southern Italy, coated with 24 karat gold leaves, accompanied by fresh tomato, taggiasca olive and salsa verde. And it’s yours to tuck into for Dhs220.
Marea, Gate Village 7, DIFC, Dubai. Tel: (04) 583 6366. marea.ae
Homegrown Sikka Cafe is serving up a delicious thali this Diwali at La Mer for just Dhs49. On the food platter, you can find mutter paneer, chicken curry, fried king fish, boondi raita served with fresh white rice, home-made Indian bread and of course, crispy pappadums. For dessert, there’s a limited-edition gulab jamun cheesecake served with sparklers. Pair it with a limited-edition drinks menu featuring falooda, mango lassi or passionfruit masala spritz.
Sikka Cafe, City Walk, La Mer, Dubai, Diwali thali from Nov 12 to 14, Dhs49. Tel:(800) 666 353. sikkadubai.ae
Show off your artistic side at Collage Fashions
Love rangoli? Collage boutique on Jumeirah Road is hosting a competition where you get to show off your talent. You’ll have to pick your favourite festive wear from the stunning collection first and replicate its design in your rangoli. Delicious sweet treats such as mango-coconut pudding by Indiana Delights can be enjoyed at the event. The best news? The delicious treats are made from healthy ingredients. This sweet event is running from November 9 to 14 and you can walk away with exciting prizes from the boutique and healthy goodies from Indiana Delights. Make an appointment through Collage’s Instagram or by ringing the boutique.
Collage Fashions, Villa 272, 3 Al Wasl Road, Dubai, from Nov 9 to 14. Tel: (0)4 325 5753. @collage_fashions, @indianadelights
Catch a show
The retail and leisure destination in the heart of Old Dubai is welcoming guests to enjoy the festival of lights with a colourful night-bazaar and a series of special Bollywood-themed live shows. There are three shows, 7pm, 8.30pm and 10pm and they last 30 minutes each. Expect to see a beautifully illuminated bazaar with diyas, colourful rangolis and more. You can shop for a range of artful decor items, handicrafts, Indian clothing, and Diwali sweets, snacks, and beverages throughout the weekend.
Al Seef, Creekside, Dubai. Tel: 800 Meraas (637227). alseef.ae
Dubai Festival City Mall
Two Bollywood-themed performances will take place by the hopping destination’s record-breaking IMAGINE show starting at 6.30pm. Watch a performance called ‘Hathi’s Garden’ – a heartwarming story of a baby elephant which features hit song ‘Jai Ho’ from Slumdog Millionaire. After each IMAGINE performance, visitors will enjoy a special Diwali greeting. You can catch this performance everyday until November 21.
Dubai Festival City Mall, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Tel: 800 332. dubaifestivalcitymall.com
From November 10 to 21, you can catch the award-winning 90-minute show by Franco Dragone at a special Diwali rate with prices starting from Dhs119 per person with popcorn. Want a VIP ticket that includes access to the F&B lounge, a Dhs50 merchandise coupon, free drink, and complimentary valet parking? Pay just Dhs598 for two – it’s a great buy one get one free deal. Book your tickets here.
La Perle by Dragone, Al Habtoor City, Dubai, from Nov 10 to 21. Tel: (0)4 437 0123. laperle.com
Dubai latest (and incredible) attraction is joining the Diwali celebrations with an incredible performance by the world’s largest dancing fountain, The Palm Fountain plus a firework show on November 13. The dancing fountain has been choreographed to dance to classic and contemporary Bollywood tunes and Hindi pop songs. It starts at 9pm. In addition to this, a selection of restaurants at The Pointe will offer a 25 per cent off special Diwali menus on the night.
The Palm Fountains, The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. 9pm, free. thepointe.ae
A musical firework show takes place at Global Village from 9pm over the weekend on November 13 and 14. At the main stage, a colourful performance of Absolute Bollywood takes place or you can watch the Lights, Camera, Action… Bollywood show, promising a fast-paced skip through some of Bollywood’s most memorable moments. Keep your eyed peeled for the Bollywood Street Flashmob. And of course, don’t forget to feast on tasty Indian food from whole meals to snacks, sweets and more. Read more here.
Global Village, October 25, 2020 to April 18, 2021, Sat 2pm to 11pm, Sun to Wed 4pm to midnight (last entry 11.30pm), Thu and Fri 4pm to 1am (last entry 12.30am). Dhs15, free entry for under threes, over 65s and people of determination. globalvillage.ae
A range of activities to mark the colourful festival is taking place this week from November 12 to 14. Shop at the market and take some time to be amazed at the wonderful creations created by rangoli artists and catch energetic Bollywood dances performed by skilled artists throughout the day from 2pm to 10pm.
Waterfront Market Main Atrium, the intersection of Al Khaleej Rd and Abu Hail Street, Deira, Dubai, diwali celebrations from Nov 12 to 14, from 2pm to 10pm. waterfrontmarket.ae
Diwali Home Kit by Vida Emirates Hills
For the loved one in your life who is staying indoors, this gift is perfect. In the Diwali kit, you will get everything you need to tuck into a delicious festive meal at home. From delicious starters including crunchy papad and chutney to pain puri, popcorn with chaat masala and sweet desserts such as kaju barfi-katli-pista mithai and fresh laddu. It’s only available until November 14 and good enough to feed three to four very hungry people and priced at Dhs225 with delivery. Call to place orders.
Diwali Home Kit, Vida Emirates Hills, Dubai. Tel:(0)4 872 8888. vidahotels.com
For home decor accessories or infused aromas, Dwell’s has a wide range of products perfect for ticking names off your Diwali list. From refreshing candles and diffusers, bedroom decor and more, you’ll surely find something you can wait to gift wrap and hand over to your loved one.
Dwell Stores, Crescent Drive, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, Tel:(0)4 232 5435. dwellstores.ae
Perfect for gifting your loved ones (or yourself…) these bitesize cupcakes are perfect for a Diwali sweet treat. The flavours include triple chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, mint and chocolate, lotus biscuit, red velvet and for Diwali they’ve put out a special sleeve with a beautiful rangoli design. Want to order? Pay Dhs125 for a box of 25.
Sugargram Dubai, available on Deliveroo. @sugargram_me