Abu Dhabi: The Indian community in Abu Dhabi is gearing up to indulge in wide range of festivities to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali along with family and friends. Many have already bought decorative items, electric lights and earthen pots [diya] to light up diyas (clay oil lamps with cotton wicks dipped in ghee or vegetable oil). Others also plan to buy gold jewellery for themselves and their children on Dhanteras. Diwali, on Sunday, is the festival of light, while Dhanteras, on Friday, is the first day of the festival.

Hindus across the UAE will be getting together with family and friends on Sunday to celebrate the annual festival, which marks the victory of light over darkness.

Speaking to Gulf News on Wednesday, a full-time-mother of two daughters, Ritika Maloo, said, “I bought LED lights, diyas, natural flowers and a variety of colours to draw rangolis [patterns]. On the special occasion of Dhanteras, I buy gold jewelleries for myself and my daughters as well,” she added.

On Dhanteras, depending on their income, devout worshippers buy everything, including kitchen essentials and electronics, but the charm remains in buying gold and silver coins, bars or jewellery.

“We light up lots of diyas on Diwali pouring mustard oil in it and I have already bought about 45 diyas. Generally we place it at the entrance and back doors of the house in significance of welcoming Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, fortune and prosperity,” said Maloo, who is originally from Delhi, but came to Abu Dhabi from London three years ago.

“Compared to London, Abu Dhabi is more homely, and the Indian culture is more vibrant. It feels more like India, whereas in the UK, your family is far and we don’t have as many celebrations there,” she added.

Fireworks and bright lights will dominate the night skies from Thursday onwards in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island as Indian communities across the UAE unite to celebrate festival.

Jonia Mathew, another resident of Abu Dhabi, said, “this year Diwali will be celebrated in a grand way on Yas Island with fireworks and the Yas Mega Diwali Mela where thousands of people will gather.”

Mathew added that about a thousand people from her all-ladies group ‘Style Diva’ would take part in the event.

“On Dhanteras, I will buy gold jewellery for sure and for a gold chain for my son because this is best time to buy as the best designs come on sale especially for this occasion,” she said.

“This year, Diwali has been the main focus of celebration, we are going to mark it in a big celebration,” she added.

Diwali is celebrated in countries including Fiji, Guyana, Pakistan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar, Singapore and Sri Lanka, but is widely marked in India and Nepal because of their large Hindu populations.

Abu Dhabi taxi driver, Dipak Thakuri, 34, from Nepal, said, “I am away from the family but have remitted money home so that the family can buy new cloths, utensils, small jewellery and decorative items.”

Each year, the family buys something in gold on Dhanteras, said Thakuri, who has a 12-year-old daughter back home in Nepal.

Here, he will mark the day with friends sharing sweets and meals with them. He said he will miss his family lot on this occasion.

Diwali celebrations in Al Seef along Dubai Creek

Diya ceremony, Friday to Monday, 6pm to 10pm, Modern Area

Indian live band, Friday, 5pm to midnight, Modern Area

Indian live band, Saturday, 5pm to 10pm, Modern Area

Bhangra dance, Friday, 5pm to midnight, Modern Area

Bhangra dance, Sunday, 4pm to 11pm, Modern Area

Dhol Tasha Group, Sunday, 4pm to 11pm, Modern Area

Bollywood dancing, Saturday, 5pm to 10pm, Modern Area

Bollywood dancing, Sunday, 4pm to 11pm, Modern Area

DJ, Friday, 5pm to midnight, Modern and Heritage Area

DJ, Saturday, 5pm to 10pm, Modern and Heritage Area

DJ, Sunday, 5pm to 11pm, Modern and Heritage Area

DJ, Monday, 6pm to 11pm, Modern and Heritage Area

Fireworks, Sunday, 8:30pm, Modern Area

Diwali Market, Friday to Monday, 4pm to 10pm, Heritage Area

Themed Kids’ Workshops, Friday to Saturday, 12pm to midnight, Heritage Area, near Museum of Illusions

Themed Kid’s Workshops, Sunday to Monday, 4pm to 10pm, Heritage Area, near Museum of Illusions