Sharjah/ Abu Dhabi: It is not just in Dubai that Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, is going to be bigger and brighter this year.

The Flag Island in Sharjah and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi have also announced details of how residents and visitors in those emirates can take part in bigger Diwali celebrations this festive season.

The Flag Island, the outdoor destination on Khalid Lagoon will unveil ‘Indian Night’ – a nine-hour long Indian cultural extravaganza on Friday.

Free entry ticket has been announced for the event organised in association with Strikers Dance and Entertainment Services.

From 3p.m to 12am, visitors will be treated to Bollywood dance performances to the season’s chart-topping numbers, local and international music bands who will be pleasing crowds with popular Indian and Indonesian songs, colourful fashion shows, dance shows featuring local dancers who will present the Indian classical style of kathak and the high-energy ‘garba’, and there will be plenty of singing too.

Celebrity performances

The full day festivities also feature celebrity appearances. Bollywood choreographer and winner of popular Indian dance show ‘Jhalak Dikhla Ja’ – Salman Yousuff Khan; famous singer and winner of Tamil music reality show, Nikhil Mathew; and MJ Sriram, actor and multilingual singer from Tamil Nadu will bring the best of contemporary Bollywood and Kollywood to their UAE audience.

On the spot competitions for the best-dressed male, female, couple and family will be organised, and winners will take home exciting prizes.

An array of stalls bustling with food vendors, authentic jewellery and clothing will all come together to paint the perfect festive picture truly reminiscent of the vibrant sights, sounds and colours of India.

Fireworks and celebrations in Abu Dhabi

Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s vibrant leisure and entertainment hub, has announced Diwali celebrations in the UAE capital from October 24 through November 2, with festivities taking place at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and capping off at du Arena with the one of largest Indian lifestyle, culture and Bollywood events in the region, the Yas Mega Mela Festival.

Diwali firework shows will take place at 9pm every evening during Yas Mega Mela Festival that invites guests, families and their friends to immerse themselves in Indian culture from October 31 to November 2.

The first ever Mela in Yas Island showcases the rich traditions of the Indian subcontinent with a range of entertaining acts, from live heart-pounding Bollywood musical performances to special celebrity appearances, such as Junaid Currimbhoy, Kanika Kapoor, and Ankit Tiwari alongside Indian culinary masters Chef Vicky Ratnani and Chef Sandeep Sreedharan.

Paying homage to the best of Indian art, food, music and theatre, Yas Mega Mela Festival highlights include bhangra and dhol drumming performances by dance group Pure Bhangra and a Taste of India event where guests can sample all the fresh food, sweets and treats their palates desire. Fashionistas and design enthusiasts will find a variety of wares to add some Indian vibes to their wardrobes and homes.

Cricket and rides

Families will also enjoy a dedicated children’s zone with live entertainment along with arts and crafts, while those with more competitive spirits can participate in a cricket academy, complete with competitions and masterclasses.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi will feature Diwali celebrations alongside its more than 30 thrilling rides and attractions, lining up shows and performances starting from day one, and transforming the iconic indoor attraction with colour and lights.