Seniors at the special Christmas party orgainsed by Indian expat Bubbles Khandari Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A special Christmas party hosted by an Indian expat at her plush Emirates Hills villa last week put the spotlight on an unlikely section of our society: the elderly.

The event was organised by Bubbles Khandari as part of the Young Hearts Group, a two-year-old initiative that aims to bring seniors together so they can spend time with their peers in a fun and relaxed environment. The group meets are seen as a means to overcome loneliness among the elderly as they mingle and make new friends.

“We have around 70 members, including 20 volunteers, and we regularly meet up at different venues,” said Bubbles. “We have members aged from 60 to 93.”

Last week’s party which helped bring the child out in the participating seniors hosted a number of activities, including photo ops, dance, magic show and Bollywood-style carols sung by children from the Malhaar group, the first and largest performing ensemble of Indian expat artists in the UAE. The ederly also received gifts from Santa.

Fashion show

Kirti Vipul, wife of Indian Consul General Vipul graced the occasion which had a themed dress code: red and black.

Last year, the group organised a fashion show for the elderly to mark its first anniversary. The event was attended by over 300 people.

The group has also hosted a picnic and trip to the Miracle Garden, a visit to Bollywood Parks Dubai, a cruise along the Water Canal, educational talks on diabetes and a screening of the Jungle Book movie, among other activities.

An 86-year-old Indian woman in Bur Dubai said she wanted to be part of the group as it gives her something to look forward to every month. “Away from our familiar surroundings, it’s good to meet new people who have similar circumstances and concerns,” she said.

“Advanced in age but young at heart,” is how another senior who has attended several get-togethers said. The group meets once every month.