Discover 4 ways you can celebrate Diwali on Yas Island.
Diwali – which literally means “a row of lamps” – is considered India’s brightest and most significant holiday. It commemorates the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, light over darkness, and good over evil.
Although it’s not an official holiday in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Diwali is one of the most highly awaited events in Abu Dhabi and other major cities in the country.
The festivities extend for five days during autumn, around the middle of October or November. This year, Diwali falls on October24, with the new moon marking the beginning of the Hindu month Kartik. The days before and after are marked by various celebrations as well.
In this article, we’ll round up some of the most illuminating ways to celebrate Diwali in Abu Dhabi.
Diwali in the UAE
Diwali signals the beginning of a new fiscal year in India. But to many, it means more than just welcoming a new year.
Traditionally associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, the festival is deemed as important to Hindus as Christmas is to Christians. It is an event that transcends religion that is honored across different faiths – Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
That said, Diwali has also become a popular event in the UAE. Marked by light shows, feasts, and prayers, it is observed by the large Indian expatriate population.
Many residents of the UAE come together to commemorate the occasion through cultural gatherings. Happily, Diwali also coincides with the start of cooler weather - the best time to visit the UAE - both for the drop in temperature, and the event season kicking off into high gear.
4 of the Best Ways to Celebrate Diwali in Abu Dhabi
The UAE celebrates Diwali by bringing people together over food, music, arts, and stories of heroism.
Here are four great ways to get into the Diwali spirit:
1. Celebrate Goodness With Disney on Ice
Get started on the Diwali festivities early and watch all your favorite fairy tales and childhood stories depicted in Disney on Ice at Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Scheduled for October 12 to 16, 2022, the show features popular stories around everyone’s favorite Disney characters:
Overcome challenges and just keep swimming with Dory. Discover what love and family truly means with Elsa and Anna. Honor friendship and loyalty with Woody and the rest of the Toy Story crew. Explore the emotions that inspire us all with characters from Inside Out. Keep the faith and figure out how far you’ll go with Moana. Witness Disney Princesses make their dreams come true.
Ready to enjoy Diwali on ice? You can buy tickets online for as low as AED 84 (USD 23).
2. Meet Your Heroes
What is the essence of Diwali? Folklore and religious beliefs across the different parts of India have various versions of the tale:
South Indian stories depict it as a commemoration of Lord Krishna’s defeat of the demon Narakasura.
Up north, the story focuses on how King Rama lit a row of clay lamps upon his return to Ayodhya after overcoming Ravana.
Those who live in the western part of the country celebrate the day Lord Vishnu sent the demon King Bali to the nether world.
Notice a common theme across all three versions? Each story showcases the undying inner light that overcomes spiritual darkness. In other words, good triumphs over evil.
Although these ancient stories may not always be highlighted in modern festivities in the UAE, you can still experience the true meaning of Diwali in the UAE capital by meeting your favorite superheroes in Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi.
Join Batman Season this October and pose with Batman and Batgirl or get a closer look at the Batmobile anytime you visit Gotham City.
Visiting Metropolis? You can also see the Justice League in action as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, and Cyborg join forces to keep the universe safe.
Park admission tickets start from AED 310 (USD 84.40). You can also enter for free using your Yas Parks Annual Pass.
3. Get Good Vibes With Mesmerising Music
Want to have a music-filled Diwali? Get into the groove and enjoy good vibes from the mesmerising music of globally acclaimed Indian composer AR Rahman and other legendary artists on October 26 to celebrate the festival of lights.
Besides Rahman, Pakistani singer Rahat Fatel Ali Khan and Indian musician Arijit Singh will also be performing on the Etihad Arena stage, so be sure not to miss it.
Want to enjoy more pop, alternative, and dance music?
Join Club Social, the Middle East’s ultimate feel-good music festival, and listen to the upbeat performances from Kaiser Chiefs, Clean Bandit, and Liam Gallagher from October 28 to 30.
4. Experience Yas Water world in a New Light
Who says you can’t enjoy water parks in the dark?
Overcome darkness this Diwali and experience Yas Water world in a new light on Neon Nights, a special event bringing glow-in-the-dark versions of some of the water park’s 40+ rides, slides, and attractions.
Below are some of the water adventure highlights you can enjoy every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. until October 15:
Neon River, the first and only illuminated lazy river in the UAE
LED-powered shows from performance art and LED stilt walkers
A dazzling show of fire, colour, and lights
A live Hydrojet Show at the Amwaj Wave Pool
Enjoy Diwali in Abu Dhabi
Diwali is one of the most-awaited events in Abu Dhabi and other major cities in the UAE. Spend the festival of lights this year in the most illuminating way by visiting Yas Island.
Want to get more value for your trip?
Check out these exclusive Yas Island Abu Dhabi holiday packages and make the most of your Diwali break.
Getting To Yas island
Yas Express is our complimentary shuttle bus service that can get you to any of the major island attractions. For more information, timetable and map, download the pocket guide or call +971 (0) 600 511115.
- To Yas Island:
- Boarding spots are available at the Deira City Center entrance (beside Aloft Hotel) and Ibn Battuta Mall, Parking 7 stop (right in front of the China Court section).
- Within Yas Island:
- The shuttle service bus can take guests to any of the major island attractions.
- Air travel to Yas Island
- If you're coming from outside the UAE, aim to land in Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH), as it is located just 10 minutes away from Yas Island.
- Rental car to Yas Island
- From Abu Dhabi International Airport, you can rent a car. All car rental offices operate 24/7
- Connect to the Wi-Fi at Abu Dhabi International Airport and book an Uber or Careem via their apps.
- Taxis to Yas Island
- You can take a taxi to Yas Island from Abu Dhabi International Airport (10 minutes), Abu Dhabi (25 minutes), and Dubai (45 minutes). To get a taxi, you can flag them down at the roadside, call the TransAD hotline 600 535353 to book, or use the Abu Dhabi Taxi app available for both iOS and Android platforms. Taxis are plentiful and fares are reasonable.
- From Abu Dhabi:
- Board the 102 Bus Route to Yas Island at the Abu Dhabi Bus Station next to Al Wahda Mall.
- From Dubai:
- Travel to the Dubai Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to ride to the Abu Dhabi Bus Station, then board the 102 Bus Route to Yas Island.