Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Shamila Jamaluddin, Staff Reporter
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to Twitter to greet Diwali to fellow Indians residing in the UAE and the world.
Sheikh Mohammed said, “To all who are celebrating Diwali, let me wish them, on behalf of the people and residents of UAE, a truly joyful festival.
“May the light from the festivities around the world shine a blessing of love and hope on us all.”
The UAE is the home to millions of Indians.
Indian families in the capital are excited and preparing days ahead to celebrate the upcoming Diwali festival which could last four to five days starting October 26.
Priya Saravanan, a housewife in Abu Dhabi, told ‘Gulf Today’ the Diwali celebration is observed during the new moon, known as the amāsvasya. This darkest night is the apex of the celebration and coincides with the second half of October or early November in the Gregorian calendar.
Priya has started preparing sweetmeats and cleaning her apartment days ahead of the festival, and she has already done the few must-dos like shopping for a new dress and household items, cleaning and preparing sweetmeats. Her kitchen is stocked with ingredients required for spicy murrukku, adirasam, pakoda, rava laddu and gulabjamun, including ingredients for chicken kolambu and idli for the first day of Diwali’s lunch and dinner.
“We wake up by dawn, have an oil bath, and have pooja. On the second day we fast and the following days we make it compulsory visiting family and friends including catching a movie.” Priya added that she makes this festival as an opportunity to distribute food and sweets for friends, neighbours and the underprivileged.
Since Deepavali is all about good food and sweets. career women told ‘Gulf Today’ their busy working schedule keeps them from making sweets themselves. However they do buy a wide variety from the supermarkets and malls to get the best from the shelves to stock for the festive celebrations.
They are stocking on scented candles, Rangoli colour powders and sparklers including fresh flowers and decorations for the house. Most Hindu families are planning an outing, gathering in a park after dusk, to celebrate the night with crackers.
Nevertheless shops, malls and supermarkets are open all night selling Diwali items to the large Indian expatriate community in the Capital, who are crowding these places to get the best for their ‘Festival of Lights.’ Available in plenty at the stores are house decorations, shrine room decorations namely Kungumam pooja sets, jingle bells, tiny clay pot lamps, and iron standing lamps called Kuthu Vilakku in different sizes.
Moreover with the onset of the festival celebration, sweets are a must-have. A range of special Diwali sweets is available in the capital selling like hotcakes. They include fruit burfi, kesari, mango pedas, boondi, dhal ghee including a range of other sweet delicacies.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, is bringing back a new season of the fan-favorite, Bollywood-themed Festival of Lights for an eleven-day extravaganza. The park will come alive with spectacular live shows, traditional Indian bites, and dedicated festival areas daily from 10am to 8pm, Thursday, October 24 until Saturday, November 2, 2019.
Indians in Dubai and Northern Emirates are in for a great treat as a cultural extravaganza is being organised on Friday in Dubai to celebrate Diwali, the India festival of lights.
Inspired by the unique heritage of India’s multi-ethnicity coupled with different linguistic and demographic identities, the central theme of Diwali Utsav-2019 is to exemplify ‘unity in diversity’ of India by showcasing various folk dances encompassing majority of Indian states along with a display of traditional games and rangoli competitions.
With Diversity being the theme of the event, India is a unique example of multitude of faiths co-existing harmoniously enlivening linguistics, cultural and demographic identities. The theme Diversity will be brought to the fore through dances from various Indian states by teams who will showcase their talents on this glamorous occasion.
“Charter flights operated by UAE carriers to bring Indian citizens from UAE to India will be allowed to carry ICA approved UAE residents (returning to UAE from India) on their return leg (India to UAE).
And all the eight franchises are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the meeting as they look to move into the final stages of preparations for the league to be played in the UAE this time round due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The MoI stated that the suspects were extorting individuals through falsely claiming to them that their names were listed among the wanted persons, so they would not be able to travel, work, or obtain residence visas for them or for their families, unless they paid money to get their names removed from the list.
The Abu Dhabi Police called on drivers to abide by safe driving rules and turn on the vehicle’s lights while driving at night between sunset to sunrise. They also called on them to use the vehicle lights when necessary to alert others and avoid possible accidents and injuries.
The Abu Dhabi Court of Cassation upheld a judgment that obligated a yacht’s owner to pay compensation of Dhs2.058 million to the insurance company, which compensated a number of yachts damaged by a fire caused by the first yacht.
“In my view, overseas Pakistanis should not only get the voting rights but should be allowed to be members of Parliament and Senate as well. No one can understand the problems of expats better than the overseas Pakistanis themselves. Their contribution towards uplifting the country’s economy is immense. Their services should be recognised,” Hans said.
The UAE is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and there are people from different expatriate communities who saw this ‘Golden’ journey through their eyes. Munawar Hussain, a Pakistani expatriate, who has been residing in the country since 1970 is one of them.
Hailing from Sialkot, Hussain’s journey to reach Dubai was not easy or smooth.