The United Arab Emirates adheres to all the necessary norms and precautions while preparing for a 10-day long festival of Navratri. The community groups and Indian expats have maintained that all the celebrations will be ‘strictly at home.’
Usually, this time of the year brings a lot of celebrations and gatherings and a large population in the UAE loves to enjoy dandiya, a traditional dance performance originated in the Indian state of Gujarat. But given the current circumstances, there are ‘absolutely no festivities at the Hindu temple at Bur Dubai.
Gopal Kokani, general manager of the Bur Dubai Hindu Temple, said: "We are strictly adhering to the guidelines issued by the Community Development Authority. We have 30 minutes of prayer every morning and 30 minutes in the evening." The temple is known to host large gatherings each year during Navratri.
He added that the norms are being abided by June 1 of this year and everyone in the country who comes to the temple has adjusted according to it. He also said that social distancing measures are taken very seriously and there is a steady flow of crowd which is allowed inside the temple after regular sanitation procedures. Konkani noted that Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday are their slowest days when around 150 people visit in the morning while close to 300 visit during the evening.
As per regulations of the UAE authorities, the general secretary of the temple also asserted that there will be no physical ceremony this year which is usually organised by the Bengali community at Sindhi Community centre.
On October 23, there will be a virtual celebration where the Indian People Forum (IPF) will celebrate 'e-Navratri Mahotsav'. An official note to the press by the IPF said a virtual decoration competition is open to all the residents in UAE and the details for which are available on their facebook handle.
Indian expats have maintained that the celebrations will be at home this year. One of them Anand Sadanand, a Dubai expatriate and businessman, said that they used to celebrate Navratri in their homes earlier also and this year will be no different.