The Chinese New Year is an annual event celebrated in China, Asia, and most recently, in Dubai. The Chinese New Year is a festival that marks a new start to the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The New Year festival is associated with several customs in China. It is an important traditional celebration that honors Chinese deities and ancestors. This year, it was celebrated on Friday, February 16th, marking the start of the Year of the Dog, according to the Chinese zodiac. Across Dubai, shopping centers, theme parks and other recreational locations in the city celebrated the Chinese New Year in different ways.
Many residents and tourists alike enjoyed the Chinese New Year in Dubai. The famed Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, located in Downtown Dubai hosts an elaborate light show during the Chinese New Year for the thousands of tourists and visitors, from February 16th until the 24th. City Walk, which is within close proximity to Downtown Dubai, showcased a cultural parade on February 16th, highlighting traditional Chinese music and performances.
Also, Dubai Parks and Resorts’ Riverland celebrates the Chinese New Year with a Temple Fair that hosts activities, entertainment and fireworks, from February 16th until the 24th. Similarly, Burj Al Arab hotel, a Dubai icon, celebrated with fireworks on Friday. Additionally, a unique laser show lasting from February 15th until the 24th is taking place at Dubai Festival City Mall. The two-time Guinness World Record breaking laser show is titled Imagine, and it is celebrating the Year of the Dog.
Burj Al Arab’s fireworks. Photo by: Burj Al Arab
Moreover, cultural workshops took place in JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) during the Chinese New Year. It gave visitors a chance to learn more about China, its culture, and traditions. Visitors and residents interested in learning more about the Chinese culture can experience the impressive live show of the Shaolin Warriors from February 27th until March 3rd at Dubai Opera. The show’s performance includes choreography by Chinese Kung Fu masters, paying homage to the Chinese New Year.
A Chinese artist at Riverland’s Temple Fair. Photo by: Riverland Dubai
Several places across the city are celebrating the Chinese New Year with promotions, discounts, and prizes, aimed especially at Chinese tourists. “The celebrations in Dubai for the Year of the Dog are overwhelming. Everything is decorated and it is spectacular!” said Cheng Lo, a Chinese tourist. It is estimated that 120 thousand Chinese tourists visited Dubai during the period of the Chinese New Year. Chinese expats also feel more at home in the UAE, now more than ever, “I appreciate the efforts that the UAE has put in order to make Chinese expats and tourists to feel at home,” said Zhen Qin, a Chinese who lives and works in the UAE.
Locals also share similar sentiments; Emirati national Maryam Al Mansoori shared her thoughts regarding the celebrations, “sharing festive moments of other cultures can be so educating and fun at the same time,” she said.”We get to experience another country’s New Year and tradition.”
The vibrant city of Dubai has proved time and time again that it’s a global city that celebrates the different cultures, backgrounds, and festivities of other countries. This serves to make expats and tourists of other countries feel accepted and celebrated – and so, Dubai becomes their home away from home. It also serves to educate the residents and local people of the UAE, as they get to experience other cultural traditions. Thus, it is no wonder that more than 7.8 million expats call Dubai their home.