Brace yourself for a traffic jam if you plan on venturing into the heart of Bur Dubai this evening with Hindus venturing out in hundreds to celebrate the Indian festival of Janmashtami.
All roads will lead to the Hindu temple post 9pm, with the Sikka Bastakiya neighbourhood preparing for the crowds that will come into the celebrate the birth anniversary of Krishna.
The temple doors will open at 10.30pm, closing shy of midnight, with regular visitors stating that people start lining up an hour earlier, with lines usually snaking onto the main road, popularly known as the Textile market.
Regular visitors are already predicting traffic chaos and congested roads in the lead up to the two-hour long celebrations, with many suggesting opting for public transport to avoid tailbacks in the heavily populated neighbourhood.
Hari Prasad, a community elder stated: “It is a joyous occasion for Hindus living in Dubai and kickstarts the celebrations of the year, leading up to the festivals of Ganpati, Navratari, Dussera and Diwali.
“Every year we see hundreds, if not more, descending on to the streets to celebrate Krishna’s birth, with little children dressing up in costumes to enjoy this joyous occasion.”
However, with the festivities, also comes chaos with neighbouring Meena Bazaar already being a densely populated district and a retail haven in old Bur Dubai.
Several have advised if you are planning to join in the celebrations tonight, park your cars outside the 300-metre radius of the neighbourhood and walk the rest of the way to avoid heavy traffic conditions.
“There is a Dubai Municipality car park near Al Raffa Police Station,” said Govind Bhatia, another regular. “Other options are to park in the paid lots around the neighbourhood.
“The best alternative, of course, is to take a taxi and disembark at Meena Bazaar.”