It’s double the dose of festivities this weekend and next as Diwali is followed close on the heels by Halloween.
Whether you’re planning to light up your life and throw some firecrackers into the mix, or you’re inclined to dim the lights and spook it up, we’ve got you covered.
Dubai Festival City: The popular light and sound show Imagine, is showcasing a brand new tale in celebration of Diwali called Hathi’s Garden. Pyrotechnics, water technology, lasers and more will be used to take you through the journey of baby elephant Hathi through India in a bid to reunite her with her herd. Show runs until November 29, from 4pm. The venue will be home to 50 different life-size sculptures of baby elephants to raise awareness about elephant conservation. The exhibition is in partnership with global initiative Elephant Parade.
The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah: Until Saturday, visitors will be treated to a Surprise Box Dance show and a flash mob performance as well as fireworks display Friday.
Al Seef: The shopping and recreation destination will be hosting the Diwali Mela – a one-of-a-kind Diwali fair until October 28. There’ll be a festive market, stage performances and kids’ workshops, accompanied by fireworks.
Burjuman: The mall will be decked up in Indian-themed décor, floral ceiling displays and an array of activities you can enjoy with your family, such as candle, tiara and diya decoration, henna painting and more. Until Saturday.
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi: The Yas Mega Mela Festival runs until November 2 with events spread across the island’s themeparks and tourist attractions. There’ll be musical performances by Bollywood singers Kanika Kapoor (on October 31) and Ankit Tiwari (November 1) as well as appearances by Indian chefs Vicky Ratnani and Sandeep Sreedharan. You can also look forward to foot-taping bhangra and dhol drumming performances by dance group Pure Bhangra. Stay put until 9pm daily to catch the fireworks. For details, yasisland.ae.
Flag Island, Sharjah: The party is on for nine continuous hours Friday at this outdoor destination on Khalid Lagoon. As part of their Indian Night celebrations, there’ll be Bollywood dance performances, fashion shows, performances of traditional dance forms such as kathak and garba, celebrity appearances by Salman Yousuff Khan, winner of reality dance show Jhalak Dikhla Ja and singer and winner of Tamil music reality show Nikhil Mathew. MJ Sriram, an actor and multilingual singer from Tamil Nadu, will also be at the event. Entry is free.
Indian Classical Forum: From India With Love kicks off on October 31 at the New World Private School, Dubai, and will feature some of India’s top classical musicians including Bombay Jayashri (above), Aruna Sairam, sister singer duo Ranjani and Gayathri, Anirudh Athreya who plays the kahnjira (a frame drum) and flautist J. A Jayanth. Until November 2, tickets from Dh50 at q-tickets.com. Call 056 993 6234.
Global Village: Global village’s 24th season starts on October 29 with special Diwali celebrations – the Indian Pavilion will offer more than 240 stalls including India’s best handicrafts and artefacts, cuisine spanning the southern and northern territories of India and cultural shows on the pavilion’s stage.
You scream, I scream, we all scream because it’s Halloween.
Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort and Spa: Grab your little monsters and head to the resort’s Monster House Celebrations – it’s a spooktacular day of skeleton yoga, Halloween crafts, spooky painting, a dancing zombie show and Trick-or-Treating. From 9.30am – 8.30pm.
IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai: The world’s largest indoor themepark is hosting its annual spookfest Festival of Fright on October 31. This year’s wonderful horrors include giant cobweb, bats, hay bales, dinosaur bones, bloodied handprints, a bloody fountain, hanging ghosts, zombie mannequins, and a dark foggy environment. Did we also mention that over 600 live zombies will be roaming the park as DJ Blizz plays some haunting tunes? Park entry costs Dh299 and tickets to Halloween Festival of Fright costs Dh125 per person; from 8pm-1am. Visit IMGworlds.com.
Mattel! Play Town: The edutainment destination for kids will be running their Not So Spooktacular event until November 2. Starting 10am, kids and their parents can celebrate Halloween with popular cartoon characters such as Fireman Sam, Bob the Builder and Barney and Friends. They can also participate in spooky arts and crafts, games and trick-or-treating and a skeleton treasure hunt. If your tot loves to dance, don’t miss out on their Halloween Dance Craze that shuffles out daily at 2.15pm and 3.45pm.
Legoland, Dubai Parks and Resort: the themepark’s Brick-or-Treat experience features dances by Lego characters, free candy for kids, Halloween-themed games as well as the opportunity to help build a 3x3 metre Lego spider. On October 31 and November 1, they’ll host a Monster Disco, so make sure you save up on your creepiest moves till then. Halloween celebrations are complimentary for guests with a valid entry ticket. Visit Legoland.ae.
Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of The Emirates: The Garden Bar intends to spook you out with films playing in the bar, tables decorated with carved pumpkins with candles and special Halloween-themed snacks, including ‘blood-soaked’ popcorn. Shudder. Special creepy cocktails will be concocted for the night and guests get to play a game of ‘what’s inside the bowl’. From 6pm till late on October 31.
Project Rising Star – The Immersive Halloween Experience: the historic vessel Queen Elizabeth II will transform into a ghost ship of sorts with this immersive Halloween experience. Guests get to explore spaces of the ship below decks that have remained untouched for decades and live as a theatrical storytelling experience combining fact and fiction to reveal the horrific past of these eerie parts of the ship. Until November 2. Tickets can be purchased on Platinum List or at the door.
Calling all book lovers
The 38th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair opens on October 30 at the Sharjah Expo Centre.
Apart from Nobel Prize–winning Turkish author Orhan Pamuk (look out for an interview with him in Friday soon), Academy Award winners Gulzar and Resul Pookutty, Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Manisha Koirala, Malayalam actors Siddique and Tovino Thomas there will be a bookworm’s dream invite list attending the fair. On until November 9 at the Expo Centre, Sharjah, this is the third largest book festival in the world and this year’s edition is set to host over 2,000 exhibitors from 81 countries.
Some of the major authors in attendance include Steve Harvey, Vikram Seth, Anand Neelakantan, Jeet Thayyil, Anitha Nair, Ashwin Sanghi, Robin Sharma, Malayalam poet Vayalar Sharath Chandra Varma and Anitha Thampi. There is also going to be several cookery experts and motivational speakers who will be taking the stage all through the 10-day fair.