The biggest and brightest Hindu festival of Diwali is a time of celebration in many places, including Dubai. This festival takes place over five days in November, when the weather in Dubai is very pleasant. Whether you're planning on taking part in Diwali-related activities or just want a destination with plenty to do and wonderful weather, Dubai offers it all.
Celebrate the Festival of Light
The start of Diwali is Dhanteras, a day on which people customarily shop for gold and other precious metals. Head over to the Dubai Gold Souk on Khalid Bin Waleed Road to get in on the action. Located right in the center of Dubai's business district, the souk has more than 300 jewelry retailers, including established brands such as ARY Jewellery, Damas, Pure Gold and numerous local vendors. Even if you don't plan to shop, admiring the stunning window displays of gold jewelry is an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
You don't have to visit the souk to buy gold; there are plenty of other places ready to accommodate Diwali visitors and those looking to expand their jewellery collections. The Dubai Mall on Financial Centre Road hosts a wide range of designer shops, including jewelry stores, and you'll also find ones selling precious pieces at the Mall of the Emirates on Sheikh Zayed Road.
For a special Diwali culinary experience, head over to the Le Méridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre on Airport Road for some traditional Indian vegetarian fare and specialty dishes, such as the Chicken Reshami Kebab. There's also the Clay Pot on Kuwait Road, which features a North Indian buffet, while some fantastic Diwali sweets are available at the Khana Khazana on 15th Street in Bur Dubai behind American Hospital. No Diwali visit to Dubai is complete without a meal at the popular Antique Bazaar at the Four Points by Sheraton on Khalid Bin Walid Street, Bur Dubai.
While you're in Dubai during Diwali, don't miss out on all the local attractions. Start with some shopping excursions. The Dubai Mall on Financial Centre Road is considered the largest in the world and features a wide variety of designer brands. Visit the Mall of the Emirates on Sheikh Zayed Road for more shopping choices and the chance to visit Ski Dubai, an indoor winter activity venue that is complete with snow and penguins.
For your cultural and sightseeing day, start with the Burj Khalifa on 1 Emaar Boulevard for a guided tour and a stunning view of Dubai from up high. You can turn lunch into a cultural experience at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding on Al Mussallah Road. While you enjoy local cuisine, a speaker will talk about the Emirati culture and its traditions. For an experience that the entire family can enjoy, it’s worth taking a trip to the elaborate Miracle Garden on Al Barsha South. You could also pop into the Dubai Butterfly Garden next door. Finish off your day with a bang by experiencing the music and water show at the Dubai Fountains near the Dubai Mall on Financial Centre Road.
Have a fun day on your own or with your family at the Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis The Palm, a 141-acre water theme park with 20 swimming areas, places for kids, 11 pools, and an immersive marine environment. If you prefer to enjoy marine life from a distance, visit the neighbouring The Lost Chambers Aquarium and check out the wide variety of sea creatures, live shows, and the touch tank. To see other natural wildlife, spend some time at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary on Oud Metha Road.
The winter months in Dubai are a great time to play outdoors sports. If you're an avid golfer or just want to give the sport a try, head to the Emirates Golf Club near the Nakheel Metro Station, which is known for its service and state-of-the-art features. You can also enjoy a spa day at Spa Cordon on the Concourse Level of Sky Gardens on Park Avenue, and you can even customize your own oils for your massage there.