Must-See Diwali Shows, Attractions & Food at Expo 2020 Dubai
Diwali is one of South Asia’s biggest festivals and Expo 2020 Dubai recognizes this with a busy schedule of events over the weekend. The five-day festival of lights celebrations have already started at the World’s Fair, with some of the biggest attractions taking place on the main day on Thursday. Events will continue through Saturday, with shows, attractions and catering specials planned.
Scroll through the gallery above for photos of Diwali preparations at Expo 2020 Dubai. Follow the latest Expo updates here
Below are some must-see Diwali events.
The ongoing Late Nights @ Expo concert series will host a two-night Diwali special with Badshah, currently one of the hottest names in the Indian music scene, as the featured attraction. The rapper, known for hits such as Paani Paani and Genda Phool, will perform on Thursday (November 4) with singers Aastha Gill and Rico.
Fans can expect a take on the viral Bachpan Ka Pyaar song featuring the three artists as well as young internet sensation Sahdev Dirdo. The song has been viewed over 276 million times on YouTube since its debut in August.
On Thursday evening there will also be performances by Dhol Tasha, a group from Dubai made up of Indian musicians, known for their traditional tunes. The multilingual indie-folk group When Chai Met Toast from Kochi, South India, will complete the lineup. Comprised of vocalist Ashwin Gopakumar, guitarist Achyuth Jaigopal, keyboardist Palee Francis and drummer Pai Sailesh, the group will present their mix of folk, rock, synth and electronic music.
UAE music star Esther Eden, who signed a recording deal with international label Universal Music at the age of 17, will open Diwali Weekend with her self-written tunes on Friday. influenced by jazz. Eden will be joined by Indian singer and songwriter Shilpa Ananth, known for her unique sound that fuses soul, jazz and electronic influences. Ananth, who divides her time between Dubai and New York, fuses three of India’s oldest languages - Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi – with English to create music that transcends borders and cultures.
New Delhi band Peter Cat Recording Co, whose voice of lead singer Suryakant Sawhney has been compared to legendary Rat Pack singer Dean Martin, will also perform on Friday. With seven albums behind them, the group is known for their experiments with jazz, ambient and electronic music.
At the Dubai Millennium Amphitheater, musical duo Salim-Suleiman, whose credits include some of Bollywood’s biggest hits in more than a decade, will perform on Thursday starting at 9 p.m. Dubai rock band Dhruv, who performs primarily in Hindi, will be on the same stage on Friday, starting at 8:30 p.m.
The Diwali Late Nights @ Expo weekend takes place on the jubilee stage from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. on both evenings. Admission is open to all Expo 2020 ticket holders on a first come, first served basis
Diwali is as much about food as it is about celebrating new beginnings. And the many restaurants at Expo 2020 will take note, offering special menus and flavors for the occasion.
Hailed as one of the UK’s most creative and accomplished Indian chefs, Rohit Ghai brought his first solo restaurant, Kutir, from Chelsea to London to the World Expo. To mark Diwali, Kutir will present a special five-course Signature Expedition menu from Thursday through Saturday, including vegetarian options.
Bread Ahead Bakery & School is holding Diwali themed workshops where they will teach the techniques of cooking traditional Indian treats served as a centerpiece during Diwali. On the menu, ladoos bread (sweet bread balls), nan khatai (cookies with orange, almonds and cardamom) and gulab jamun (candies made from solid milk) soaked in saffron and rose syrup . The two to three hour Diwali classes are held on Thursdays and Fridays from 6 p.m.
The bakery will also sell special pistachio donuts throughout Diwali.
Farrago, which serves international cuisine and is found in both the mobility and sustainability districts, has also introduced an extensive Diwali candy menu, serving everything from rasgulla (a sweet, sweet and spongy dessert), kesari phirni (Kashmiri rice pudding), rasmalai (a Bengali candy made from Indian cottage cheese) and boondi ladoos (festive candies made from chickpea flour, ghee, sugar, nuts and cardamom powder). The Diwali candy menu will be available until Saturday.
2020 Club by Emaar, the restaurant next to Al Wasl Dome and the UAE Pavilion, will offer an exclusive Diwali dinner, with five contemporary cuisines to choose from. The restaurant’s farm-to-table concept features dozens of organic and local ingredients in line with Expo 2020’s sustainability philosophy.
Those looking for a no-frills and affordable Indian meal can head to Al Farwania, which started as a small tea shop in Dubai in 1981. Expect to enjoy dal, parathas, keema, and chili parathas, drizzled with the famous Al Farwania karak chai.
Restaurants and workshops will require advance reservation, so be sure to check before heading to the show.
To mark the festivities, the India Pavilion will have dance, music and food specials until Saturday. It even has an interactive LED musical rangoli – the colorful patterns traditionally made from flower petals, colorful rice or sand, meant to bring good luck – activated when visitors step on sensors, emitting light and patterns. to represent happiness, positivity and prosperity.
Each evening, Al Wasl Plaza, the centerpiece of Expo 2020, will present a show specially organized to celebrate Diwali. The 360-degree projection on the world’s largest immersive dome will come to life with lighting created especially for Diwali, while live performances will take place in the plaza. Visitors can attend the shows every evening until Saturday, from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Scroll through the gallery below for images of Diwali preparations across India:
Updated: November 4, 2021, 8:57 am