Diwali celebrations in Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai is set to glitter this October and November as Diwali – the Indian ‘Festival of Lights’ – will see an array of festivities taking place across the city. With spectacular shows, amazing promotions, diverse retail offers and surprises around Dubai, this year’s celebrations promise to make it one of the most fun-filled Diwalis yet.

Organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) and one of the key events in the annual Retail Calendar, Diwali is a special time of year when all of the communities that call Dubai home can come together and celebrate.

With spectacular shows, amazing promotions, diverse retail offers and surprises around Dubai, this year’s celebrations promise to make it one of the most fun-filled Diwalis yet

Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), said: “Dubai’s Diwali celebrations showcase what a great and culturally diverse city Dubai is, and how much there is on offer for residents and visitors alike. Diwali is the perfect start to the festive season and will showcase the city’s status as a truly world-class retail and entertainment destination.”

From live music and comedy to spectacular fireworks displays, jaw-dropping competitions, mammoth sales and world-class foodie offers, there is something for everyone to enjoy this Diwali in Dubai.

Retail Events

In association with Dubai Shopping Malls Group, visitors and residents will be in with a chance to Shop & Win gold worth Dh100,000 with the Golden Diwali Surprises. They can simply spend Dh200 at any participating mall to receive a digital raffle coupon to be entered into a draw.

Dubai isn’t known as the City of Gold for nothing, and this year the City of Gold Diwali Glow will see visitors and residents – who buy jewellery in more than 125 jewellery outlets – have the chance to win Dh150,000 in jewellery vouchers. There will also be a host of Golden Goodies on offer: free gifts upon selected purchases, as well as 50 per cent off on select jewellery purchases. The campaign takes place from Thursday, 21 October to Saturday, 6 November. Visit www.dubaicityofgold.com for more information.

The campaign takes place from Thursday, 21 October to Saturday, 6 November.

Festival Plaza in Jebel Ali is celebrating Diwali by giving shoppers the gift of choice. Visitors can get the “Festival City Malls Gift Card” for free when they download the Festival Rewards app. The offer runs from 16 October to Saturday, 13 November.

The Pointe on the Palm Jumeirah will mark this year’s Diwali festivities with an incredible performance by the world’s largest dancing fountain, The Palm Fountain. There will also be an array of restaurant deals, so foodies can sample some of the best local and international bites from Friday, 29 October to Saturday, 6 November.

Dubai Festival City Mall will get into the Diwali spirit with a host of wonderful offers and a range of delicious food at Ripe By The Bay. This night market will offer everything from homegrown bites to handmade one-off accessories, art and clothing. Visitors to Dubai Festival City Mall will also get the chance to enter the draw and win a top-of-the-range Honda Accord EX Turbo 2021 when spending Dh300 or more! The festivities start on Thursday, 21 October and continue until Saturday, 13 November.

City Centre Deira is going all out this Diwali – shoppers who spend Dh200 will have the chance to win a gold necklace from Jawhara, or 100,000 SHARE Points. The offer runs from Thursday, 28 October to Saturday, 6 November.

City Centre Al Shindagha will offer shoppers a chance to win a Citroen car as a grand prize. For a chance to win, shoppers have to spend Dh100 in stories or Dh200 in Carrefour.

Jumeirah Lakes Towers is offering visitors a one-stop-shop destination for those looking to celebrate, shop, and have a gala time this festive season. From festive clothes and jewellery to decor and gift hampers, Diwali Bazaar has everything shoppers are looking for and more. Visitors will also enjoy a ton of fun activities and delicious street food from the vibrant Indian restaurant, Khau Galli, which will take place on 22 and 23 October from 4pm till 10 pm.

For visitors and residents looking to explore delicious food this Diwali, they can simply log on to the Zomato app and discover a world of food promotions through the Zomato Diwali Collection. This curated list will feature the best in Indian cuisine, all at reduced prices.


Dubai Fitness Challenge Opening Fireworks will take place on Jumeirah Beach, just behind Sunset Mall on Friday, 29 October at 8:30 pm. Jumeirah Beach offers spectacular views of the Burj Al Arab and beyond, and this promises to be one of the highlights of Diwali.

With spectacular views overlooking Dubai Marina and the city skyline, there are few places better suited to watching fireworks than Bluewaters, which is why the Bluewaters Fireworks will be one of this year’s Diwali must-sees. The show will start at 8:30 pm on Thursday, 4 November.

Dubai Fitness Challenge Opening Fireworks will take place on Jumeirah Beach, just behind Sunset Mall on Friday

Dubai Festival City Mall is putting on a breathtaking fireworks display at its Festival Bay waterside location on Thursday, 4 November at 9:30 pm. Visitors can book their preferred restaurant overlooking The Bay and enjoy the Diwali celebrations.

Tourists and residents can experience the world in one place at Global Village this Diwali, and also look forward to the Global Village Weekend Fireworks from Tuesday, 26 October to Saturday, 13 November at 9:00 pm every Thursday and Friday.

Expo 2020

Visitors to Expo 2020 will be able to get into the Diwali spirit as Expo celebrates the festival of lights with beautiful traditional décor and illuminating projection showcases. Each evening, Diwali will be celebrated with a custom show created exclusively for Expo and performed in Al Wasl Plaza. On the Jubilee Stage, Late Nights @ Expo will feature performances inspired by Diwali and artists including Peter Cat, When Chai Met Toast, Shilpa Ananth and Dhol Tasha. The celebrations will run from Friday, 29 October to Thursday, 4 November.

External Events

One of the world’s biggest sporting events, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup comes to the UAE this year with 16 of the world’s best teams battling it out for the title. Cricket fans will be able to enjoy the action at three venues across the UAE: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The event runs from Sunday, 17 October to Sunday, 14 November, with the final taking place in Dubai.

GITEX Shopper has long been considered the region’s premier technology event and this year will see the usual array of exceptional electronics deals on offer. Visitors can pick up the latest smartphone, tablets and wearable tech, and enter amazing daily prize draws, witness product launches and enjoy family-friendly events that will keep all ages happy. Gitex Shopper takes place from Tuesday, 26 October to Saturday, 30 October.

The Filmfare Middle East Achievers Night will be adding some sparkle to this year’s Diwali celebrations as a host of Bollywood stars descend on Dubai. With everyone from Sunny Leone and Nivin Pauly to Maya Ali and Nawazuddin Siddique taking part, this is sure to be a night to remember. The event takes place on Thursday, 28 October at The Meydan Hotel.

Make it a Diwali to remember at the Coca-Cola Arena as X-Factor India contestant Jubin Nautiyal performs some of his greatest hits, including Bawara Mann, Kaabil Hoon and Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata, and his latest Hollywood single, Breaking the Rules. Kicking off at 9pm on Friday, 29 October, this is a show not to be missed.

Dubai Design Week is the region’s most important design festival and this year’s event will see more than 200 free-to-attend events taking place across Dubai. From the fascinating 2040: d3 Architecture Exhibition, which examines the future of our cities, to workshops in the ancient Palestinian embroidery technique of tatreez, there is a huge amount of things to see, do and experience. There will also be a vast array of locally designed products to buy at the Dubai Design Week Marketplace at Dubai Design District (d3). The event takes place from Monday, 8 November to Saturday, 13 November.

Celebrate the Festival of Lights at Global Village where visitors can experience an authentic slice of Indian tradition, culture and food at the India Pavilion. Residents and tourists can shop for authentic handicrafts and one-of-a-kind gifts, and keep their hunger at bay with a host of delectable Indian dishes on sale from restaurants, kiosks and street-food stalls. Enjoy all the festivities from Tuesday, 26 October to Saturday, 13 November.

The Indian comedy star, Harsh Gujral will be bringing his show Jo Bolta Hai Wohi Hota Hai to Dubai this Diwali with his brand of observational stand-up comedy sure to bring the house down. His shows will take place at 6pm and 9pm on Friday, 29 October at The Theatre, Mall of the Emirates.

There will be events across Dubai

For those who fancy themselves as a potential singing superstar, the Motta Maadi Music Sing Along Concert is just the ticket. A sort of collective karaoke performance, a live band plays a selection of popular musical hits and the crowd can sing along, as the lyrics are displayed for everyone to see. This takes place at 4.30pm on Friday, 29 October. Tickets start at Dh75.

The biggest Desi family concert of the year, E3AE Live! will feature a star-studded lineup of the biggest names in South Asia's music scene. From Ammy Virk, Garry Sandhu and Karan Aujla to Maninder Buttar, Mannat Noor and actress Sonam Bajwa, this is a must-see for anyone who wants to experience the world-famous music and dance of the desi scene. Tickets cost Dh75 and the concert will take place on Friday, 12 November at 8pm.