The best places to celebrate the Hindu festival of spring in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
Known as the festival of colours, Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the arrival of spring, the end of winter, unshakable faith and purity of heart. On the first day of the festival, a bonfire is lit to symbolically burn away all the bad and give way to a vibrant new future. On the second day, friends and family meet to throw powder dye into the air, covering all in attendance with vibrant colours.
Namak at Dusit Thani Abu Dhabi:
Celebrate the Festival of Colour with a special Holi dinner at Namak, Dusit Thani’s Indian restaurant that fits the occasion with its colourful design. Enjoy a family-style four-course menu with a special welcome drink. Available from Friday 25 March to Monday 29 March. AED 159 per person (inclusive of soft beverages and water).
GO: Call (0)2 698 8137 for reservations and more information.
The Yellow Chilli by Sanjeev Kapoor – Dalma Mall:
Customers can enjoy a four-course set menu for AED 79 per person. Packed with North-West Indian vegetarian and meaty options, the Holi menu features signature dishes including Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s famous Lalla Mussa Dal (slow-cooked lentils), Afghani fish tikka (Mughal-inspired marinated fish), and Rogan Josh (a rich and velvety meat curry). Available from Saturday 27 March until Monday 29 March. AED 79 per person.
Call 800 75892 for reservations and more information.
Bol Gappa, Karama:
Hricha Saraf, the food enthusiast and partner at the fun Bollywood restaurant in Karama, has hand-crafted a traditional Holi platter of special festival dishes from different parts of India. Enjoy the colourful hues of Holi as you tuck into Daal, Bati, Gatte Ki Sabzi, Sev Tamatar, Kher Sanri Ki Sabzi, Papad Mangodi, Methi Papad Palak, Raita, Ghee Rori, Gajar Halwa, Dal Kachori along with the quintessential Holi drink, Thandai. Available until 31 March. AED 48 per person.
GO: Call (0)4 335 5144 for reservations and more information.
Farzi Café at City Walk and Mall of The Emirates:
Available across the two days of Holi Farzi has introduced a DIY style Knickerbocker glory ice cream to the menu. Assemble your own nostalgic dessert with layers of ice cream, wafers and an array of knickerbocker glory topping, from gummies, hard candies, dried and fresh fruits to nuts and sprinkles. A complimentary kheer dessert of Indian rice pudding sweetened with creamy milk and layered with fruit will also be available for those dining during the two days of Holi. Available Sunday 28 and Monday 29 March.
Flavours of India at Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Dubai JBR:
Guests will be treated to a mix of traditional and contemporary Indian dishes, desserts, and drinks, tastefully prepared by the culinary team at Flavours of India. There will also be a vibrant display of colours complemented by ambient music to mark the festivity. Friday 26 March, from 1pm to 4pm. AED 79 per person.
Indya by Vineet at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa, Dubai:
Embark on a vibrant, colourful and playful dining experience to celebrate Holi. Indya by Vineet offers a two-day special a la carte menu, bursting with unique traditional flavours created by celebrated Chef Vineet Bhatia. Celebrate new beginnings, love and unity by sharing various regional and coastal tastes and aromas native to India. Sunday 28 and Monday 29 March, from 6pm to 11pm.
GO: Call (0)4 316 5550 for reservations and more information.
Little Italy Ristorante, Karama:
The rainbow cheesecake is a sweet escape to celebrate the festival of colours with your family and friends. While you are at Little Italy Ristorante, indulge in the wide range of Italian delicacies, including Funghi Alla Trapanese, Ravioli Crocante, Crema De Zuca, Zuppa Di Broccoli, and Lasagne Alla Napoletana. The tempting pizza varieties include OM, Ultimate, Freestate, Zen, Garden, Bombay and Nawabi.
GO: Call (0)4 385 2445 for reservations and more information.
Masala Bazaar at Park Regis Kris Kin Dubai:
The culinary team at Masala Bazaar has created a special Holi dinner, inspired by traditional Indian flavours and dishes, featuring a street food selection for both vegetarian and non-vegetarian guests. A welcome drink of thandai kesariya, the customary Holi drink, starts the celebration. The feast continues with a range of mouth-watering delicacies to be enjoyed, including Punchranga pulao, medu vedai ki chaat, channa kachori chaa, Paneer diwani hand, Dhal maharani, Aloo gobi and many more. To end on a sweet note is Gujiya, a special sweet made in India during Holi. Available Sunday 28 and Monday 29 March, from 7pm to 11pm. AED AED 59 per person (food only) add AED 29 (free-flowing soft beverages) and AED 49 (two house beverages).
GO: Call (0)4 377 1163 for reservations and more information.
Sikka Café at City Walk, La Mer and Al Khawaneej:
The traditional dining experience, which will become a permanent feature on Sikka Café’s menu, includes set portions of starters, mains and desserts, all served in individual bowls on one sharing plate. The exciting line up of starters includes chana chat, aloo samosa, pakoda and kachumbar salad. Mains comprise of vegetable jalfrezi, biryani rice, dal tadka, and butter chicken. All served with rice and freshly cooked chapatis. Finish on a sweet note with the popular Indian dessert gulab jamuns. Available from Sunday 28 March, AED 165 for two people.