Prakash Girdharilal Bhatia
Prakash Girdharilal Bhatia Image Credit: Supplied

When did you come to Dubai?

I was born in Dubai.

How was Madhoor Stores born and where was the first store?

Madhoor started off in the old Souq al Kabeer near the abra market in 1956 as a small Indian convenience store providing essential Indian groceries to the Indian community. Madhoor Stores was founded by my father, the late Girdharilal Dattaram Bhatia, when he moved to the UAE in 1956. He saw an opportunity to set up shop as a trader for Indian household essentials specialising in the highest quality of produce from India with the motto “If it’s not the best I will not sell it.”

How has it grown over the years?

Over the years Madhoor has transformed itself from a small convenience store selling basic foodstuff to a one-stop-shop for all Indians with a vast range of food from all over India along with festive products for all celebrations.

What does Diwali mean to you?

For me, Diwali holds a multitude of meanings. It’s not just a festival; it’s a tapestry woven with threads of tradition, family, and heritage. Even though we live in the UAE, every year Diwali embodies a connection to our roots back home, and at the same time a reminder of how we celebrated Diwali during our childhood in Dubai. Living in the UAE, Diwali becomes a bridge between two worlds — a celebration that transcends borders and brings the spirit of India to the UAE. It symbolises unity, both within the Indian community in the UAE and among the diverse population of the city.

Any special Diwali traditions in your household?

Diwali is one of the most important festivals for any Indian household, it’s a time for family and friends coming together and celebrating friendships. For our family, it’s a festival when the entire family comes together to decorate the house, host guests and of course have our Diwali pooja.

For us, Diwali is a symphony of traditions that creates a unique and cherished atmosphere. One prominent tradition is our home’s meticulous festive decoration with diyas and rangoli symbolising prosperity and light