After nearly two years of muted celebrations, the Indian community in the UAE is going all out for Diwali this year. From gathering friends and family for feasts to reaching out to the less fortunate on missions of charity, to shopping, cooking traditional dishes and dining out for an indulgent meal – people are exploring every opportunity to connect, celebrate and reflect during the festive season.
“This year we plan to celebrate Diwali with friends who are like our family. Since we are away from India, we want to stay connected with people during the festive season,” says Pranali Dhamankar, Director of education consultancy Gyanberry.
“Preparation for Diwali begins weeks in advance. I shopped for new outfits, accessories and gifts when I visited India during the summer break. Now, I have to shop for lamps, lights and flowers for Diwali,” Dhamankar adds.
Dubai-based food blogger, Chhaya Gupta is also looking forward to celebrating the festival of lights with great fervour. “We will decorate our house with lights and rangoli. There will be plenty of homemade snacks for our guests. On the day of Diwali, we will have a Laxmi puja at home and we will also visit my sister’s house as it is her first Diwali after marriage.
“Dhanteras marks the beginning of Diwali festivities and shopping during Dhanteras ushers in good luck and prosperity. This year, I plan to buy something either in gold or silver,” Gupta says.
Meanwhile, UAE retailers have rolled out shopping deals and special promotions to help consumers get into the festive spirit and mark the festival in a memorable and meaningful way.
Festive deals to lift the spirit
For the UAE’s jewellery sector, Diwali 2022 can be a good time as markets seem to be stabilising now.
“The pandemic has caused a major shift in the retail landscape. Retail was one of the worst-hit sectors during the pandemic and it was challenging to navigate and adapt to the new normal,” says John Paul Alukkas, Managing Director, Joyalukkas Group. “Buying gold during Diwali holds immense sentimental value. People will surely be looking forward to buying jewellery this year as it is just after the pandemic. For the UAE’s jewellery sector, Diwali 2022 can be a good time as markets seem to be stabilising now.”
Ashraf M.A., Regional Sales Director, Lifestyle Fine Jewelry, agrees, as he says, “Shoppers were unable to indulge in high-value purchases during the pandemic, that’s why this Diwali is the time for them to spend on their favourite products. We are expecting a good footfall in our outlets.”
Shoppers were unable to indulge in high-value purchases during the pandemic, that’s why this Diwali is the time for them to spend on their favourite products.
All Lifestyle Fine Jewelry stores in the UAE are ready to welcome shoppers with a wide range of collections. “We have a mega sale where customers can get up to 70 per cent off on diamond jewellery. This Diwali, we are giving shoppers the opportunity to spend less and save more on jewellery.”
Despite volatility in gold prices retailers expect jewellery sales to remain unaffected during the festive season. “Gold prices have fluctuated a lot lately. We can now expect an increased demand, especially during Dhanteras and Diwali. Gold has always been an emotional asset, integral to our celebrations. Despite the volatile gold prices, we can only hope for the best for the industry,” Alukkas adds.
Along with the jewellery sector, festive-induced shopping drives up demand in the food and grocery segments, with retailers expecting brisk business during Diwali.
“Diwali, like all other major festivals, is of utmost importance for the UAE’s retail sector due to the presence of the large Indian diaspora. At Choithrams, we celebrate Diwali with our Goodness campaign. We start planning for the festival at the beginning of the year to ensure we are in line with trends and have a wide range of products to offer to our customers,” says Ashutosh Chakradeo, Chief Retail Officer, GCC, Choithrams.
In demand items during Diwali are decorative earthen lamps, candles and lights. Sweets, dry fruits, snacks, gifting products, home décor, outfits and accessories also see strong rise in sales.
At Choithrams, we celebrate Diwali with our Goodness campaign. We start planning for the festival at the beginning of the year to ensure we are in line with trends and have a wide range of products to offer to our customers.
“With the pandemic and the restrictions behind us, we are seeing an increase in demand for gifting items as people will have more social events this year. Apart from a wide range of Diwali decorations, Choithrams stores have plenty of gifting options such as mithais (sweets), savouries, dry fruits, nuts, chocolates and more,” he says.
Diwali offers in Choithrams stores as well as on the e-commerce site will continue until October 27. “Some of our stores have been specially decorated to celebrate the festival and we invite our customers to visit and join us in the celebrations,” adds Chakradeo.
Al Adil Trading has also lined up festive products and exclusive Diwali deals to draw more buyers and cater to diverse needs of UAE shoppers.
We have a wide range of products specially meant for Diwali. All our products are available at very attractive prices since we want to be a part of everyone’s celebrations.
“We have a wide range of products specially meant for Diwali. All our products are available at very attractive prices since we want to be a part of everyone’s celebrations,” says Dr Dhananjay Datar, Chairman and Managing Director, Al Adil Trading Company.
“This year we are expecting an enhanced demand as people are in a mood to celebrate. With all restrictions being removed, demand is going to be quite high this Diwali.”
Another leading grocery retailer, Madhoor is also expecting strong sales activities during Diwali.
“This year we are expecting celebrations to surpass pre-pandemic levels as people are keen to observe Diwali with full preparations. We are expecting a significant increase in our retail performance this month,” says Prakash Girdharilal, MD, Madhoor Stores.
A range of festive products are on display at all the branches of Madhoor Stores. “With attractive offers on an extensive range of decorations, pooja items, and food products, Madhoor is ready to cater to the Diwali shopping needs of the community,” adds Girdharilal.