Diwali is around the corner again – that festive time of the year to (literally) burn the midnight lamp, but in a good way!

The five-day Festival of Lights is likely one of the most electrifying celebrations in town – with the Indian community lighting up their homes, restaurants and shops with festive strings of twinkle lights, intricate coloured sand art, bright (and loud) fireworks and sparklers and most importantly – mouth watering Indian sweets and delicacies.

Your best bet on Diwali – an invitation to an ‘Open House’ on one (or all!) of the five celebratory evenings. A Diwali Open House typically means a family home hosting a lively social affair full with food and drink, where you drop in for an hour or two, burn a few sparklers and fireworks, grab a handful of the gorgeous ladoos, samosas and other yummies laid out, and leave vowing to get in a workout the following morning.

If, however, you haven’t been able to get yourself invited to one of these, worry not! There’s plenty of options for food and entertainment for you to really get a true taste of Diwali.

We’ve put together a collection of some wonderful places celebrating Diwali that will get you in the festive mood right here in Dubai:


Naya at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Decked up in traditional Diwali décor and a special all-vegetarian Diwali menu, Naya will surely transport you to the heart of the Indian festivities. The special menu features authentic tastes from the streets of India, blends delectable flavours from the vast and varied cuisines for main course options, and offers 2 typically ‘Diwali’ dessert options.

Cost: The Diwali Menu is À La Carte, but it works out to about AED180 for one starter, a main and dessert

Date and time: 16th to 21st October, 6pm to 11:30pm

Bombay Bungalow on JBR

With the cooler evenings kicking in, it’s getting to that time of the year where a dinner by the beach would be just perfect – so two birds with this one!

Bombay Bungalow has put together its signature dishes in a unique Diwali menu – a nice mix of traditional and continental tastes. The Diwali set menu is offered at AED 145 per adult, and keeping in mind they allow children to share their generous portions, it’s a good deal. Expect to savour Burrata Butter Chicken, Gulab Jamun Cheesecake and other interesting East-West concoctions!

Cost: AED 145 per adult (kids can share)

Date and time: 12th to 28th October, served all day (12pm to 11:30pm)

Amala at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

With a reputation for year-round culinary perfection, Amala has raised the bar even further with a special Diwali menu, and from the glimpse we’ve had, it looks deliciously authentic. The Jhinga Masala (spiced prawns) and Chokhi Tikki (potato, green pea and cumin dumplings) are sounding amazing! A great mix of vegetarian, meat and seafood options – so this one’s probably a pleaser all around the table!

Oh, and one more little perk – some lucky diners stand to win tickets worth AED 1,000+ to Bollywood Parks and one more Dubai Parks & Resorts park of their choice.

Cost: AED 185 per person for food only

Date and time: 19th to 20th October, 6pm to midnight

Iz at the Grand Hyatt

Always a charmer, Iz is going to get super festive this Diwali, with the live cooking stations all geared up to bring the Festival of Lights to life. The restaurant will turn into a cultural slice of Indian flavor, dress, colour and aroma, drawing you into an exotic Diwali experience. They’ll be offering a traditional vegetarian set menu, with cold and hot starters, authentic Indian main course and dessert options and non-vegetarians can order À La Carte.

Iz is offering a 3-for-2 on the Diwali set menu for groups dressed in traditional wear!

Cost: AED 160 per person for food only, children under 6 years dine free, and kids aged 6-12 dine at half price

Date and time: 19th to 21st October, served at lunch (12pm to 3:30pm) and dinner (7pm to midnight)

Rajdhani in Karama

If you want to go really authentic, down to the roots, and taste every possible Diwali delicacy, then this casual dining ‘thali’ restaurant is the place to be. They serve up to 35 different items, each bursting with flavour, so if you’re an Indian cuisine fanatic, then the Rajdhani Diwali Thali is going to be a real treat! But expect to wait about 20 minutes for a table as it can get really busy down there.

Cost: It’s a total steal at AED 45 per person, with children ordering at full price

Date and time: 17th to 21st October, served at lunch (12pm to 4pm) and dinner (7pm to 11:30pm)


Festival of Lights at Ferrari World, Abu Dhabi

The entire Ferrari World venue will light up in celebration of Diwali this year, with lots of live entertainment and traditional performance acts inside the park, making for a great day out with the family.

Cost: Tickets from AED 275 per person online or AED 295 upwards at the door

Date and time: 20th to 28th October, 11am to 8pm

Diwali Dhamaka at Bollywood Parks Dubai

If you were looking for a reason to take the kids down to Bollywood Parks, then this might be a fun time to make that trip! Bollywood singer Mika Singh is going to put up a spectacular live show, and the rides down there are always fun! The food carts are great and will serve a few Diwali specials, too. Head down for a colourful ‘Bollywood’ experience.

Cost: Tickets start at AED 95 per person

Date and time: 20th October, park timings – 11am to midnight

With all that choice, we wish you a de-lightful Diwali!

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