Look: Dubai residents gear up for Halloween with OTT-inspired costumes, spooky home decor

Halloween may be a one-day affair, but certain residents who take the day to heart, put in a lot of effort


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 29 Oct 2023, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 15 Nov 2023, 4:27 PM

Residents of Dubai are finding inspiration from OTT platforms this Halloween — to wear custom-made 'striking' costumes resembling popular TV characters — even ordering them from their home countries.

Netflix’s popular shows are inspiring expats who are trying to make a splash by wearing costumes from popular content that has been trending on number one on the streaming platform.

Karen Tila is one such Halloween enthusiast who had her five-year-old son dressed as Monkey D Luffy.

Karen said, “My son dressed up as this famous anime character on Netflix and I’ve had his costume made especially from the Philippines because I couldn't find it anywhere in the UAE.”

“On Saturday, I went to Galleria in Al Maryah Island with my son and cousin for a public event at the broadwalk outside the mall. The place looked so colourful and bright. My son saw witches, monsters, ghosts, vampires, fairies, spiderman and more. The event was for kids but as an adult, I also enjoyed seeing a lot of people in character with their costumes.”

She highlighted the place sported different kinds of booths offering face painting, games, and food stalls, all aligned with the spooky season theme.

“There were different kinds of events on the stage and several competitions were also held. Children were particularly excited as they won attractive prizes.”

Veteran 'Halloween lady'

Halloween may be a one-day affair, but certain residents — who take the day to heart — put in a lot of effort to turn their homes into spooky attractions, bringing the spirit of celebrations to life for trick-or-treaters.

Residents of Damac Hills 2 have been working through October to get their 'houses of horror' up and screaming.

They have even created a Halloween-themed WhatsApp group specific to their cluster.

Christine Quartier La Tente who recently moved from Springs to her new home at Damac Hills, said, “One of the residents has a monster car featuring a skull on its hood, and it’ll release smoke to enhance the eerie atmosphere."

“We are going to parade with this car, with kids and adults who are in costume, following the vehicle. Then everyone will scatter.”

Personally, for Christine, who has already acquired a name in Dubai as the 'Halloween lady', these celebrations are nothing short of a serious work project, which she pursues dedicatedly every year.

“Since I have recently shifted, I am still unboxing. But as always, I try and use a lot of recycled materials to amp up the whole experience. In my new carport, I’ll have a witch with a cauldron this year. There will be an animation beside her. I have set up an Oogie boogie in the graveyard. I have remade my pumpkin kings."

"I hung my last year’s moon with a special animation on it. I have tapestries that will glow in the dark. The smoke machines will be in motion again,” added the French expat, who has been working round the clock to get ready.

And not only is Christine preparing, but even her husband has ordered 20kg of candies for giveaways.

“We are once again, very excited,” said the mother of a 12-year-old.

Gearing up for D-day

Another Dubai resident, Natalia Miranda, has been celebrating Halloween for the past six-years and is now showcasing her equal passion.

“I am crazy about Halloween. I ship all my decoration materials and costumes from the US. I have done up the haunted house with fake spirits, meme parodies, bugs and pop culture, all pop ups are in place. Our haunted house is ready,” said the American expat.

“As a family we also watch Halloween/horror movies throughout the month of October, to gear up for the D-Day. The idea is to get into the mood right from the beginning of the month.”

She explains her seven-year-old son will be dressing up as a scary creeper, while she’ll be wearing a skeleton costume. “Even my husband has bought a skeleton T-shirt. I really like the way Dubai welcomes these fun celebrations, ones that bring in a lot of happy moments for families and help us bond as communities,” she added.

First Halloween in a villa

For Bernadette, this is her first year in a villa community after having lived in an apartment for years.

“I am thrilled as I have more space now to decorate the place to my heart’s content. I bought my decorations quite early this month out of shear excitement. I have done up the place with spiderwebs, so my house is a perfect spook-spot now,” said the resident of the Waterfall community at Al Ghadeer.

She continued, “I have twins who are three-years-old and to be honest, it’s quite difficult to find the same Halloween costume for a girl and a boy. My daughter will be dressing up as a witch and my son as the Pumpkin King. But they both will be wearing the same colour scheme. We are now looking forward to the main day.”


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