Dubai: Savvy Kisani’s villa in Satwa, Dubai, is a beehive of activity on Sunday morning. The Dubai-based entrepreneur has just sorted out her latest buys – two new dresses and a set of silver lamps - and is now instructing two electricians on where to put up the garden lights. A worker from a cleaning company is busy scrubbing the dining area windows with the house help, even as two others are arranging some furniture.
“This is a familiar sight in our home as we prepare for Diwali every year,” said Savvy. She is among the many Indian expats in the UAE who go into overdrive to spruce up their homes - and wardrobes - ahead of the festival of lights this week.
From pest control and spring-cleaning to guilt-free shopping and party planning, the to-do list is long. Savvy said, “I specially hired a maintenance company to clean my villa inside out as my regular help can’t manage on her own. I will be hosting over 200 guests for a Diwali party this weekend.”
As Preeti Shah, an Indian housewife, explained, “It is customary for homeowners to thoroughly clean their homes, even add new coats of paint where possible, ahead of Diwali as it is a time that marks a new year with new beginnings and celebrates the triumph of good over evil.”
She said the festival is spread over five days, beginning Monday. “While the first day is marked as a day of fortune, the second is the day of knowledge. The third day is the actual day of lights, followed by the New Year day and a day to mark love between siblings.”
All that glitters
Traditionally, Hindu women buy jewellery on the day of fortune or Dhanteras. This year is no exception.
Chandu Siroya of Siroya Jewellers in Bur Dubai said, “People buy jewellery on this day because it is considered auspicious and adds to their wealth. The demand this year is for smaller items of jewellery. Bigger sets of kundan and polki are not very popular.”
Even costume jewellery is doing well. Pritti Nanda of Sopritti, which recently held a pre-Diwali exhibition, said, “The designs and finish of costume jewellery are so good these days that the even the affluent want them.”
In terms of clothing, she said, “Bling is certainly on its way out this Diwali. People are getting back to traditional silks. Frills are ruffles are in, fusion is also doing good.”
With residents lighting up their homes over the five days, electric lights, candles and diyas (lamps) are also making brisk sales.
Prem Chander Dhansinghana, owner of Khalifa Adnan Novelty Gifts in the Mandir lane in Bur Dubai, said, “Diwali is a very busy time for us. We have to had bring fresh stocks of home decorations, buntings, lights and candle holders as there is a huge demand for these items.”