Dubai to host biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside China

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Now in its third year, the event is expecting more than 50,000 visitors.

Showcasing Dubai and the wider UAE to the Chinese diaspora, a joint initiative between Dubai Holding and Meraas, Hala China, launched a wide range of cultural events on Friday to mark the advent of the Chinese New Year that begins on January 25.

The celebrations started from Al Mustaqbal Street at City Walk that donned colours of the red dragon nation for the month-long festivities across the city. Now in its third year, the event is expecting more than 50,000 visitors, with a schedule of traditional Chinese performances, festivals, parades, dances, competitions and more.

Hundreds of Chinese expatriates, Emiratis and people of different nationalities lined up the City Walk streets to witness a spectacular grand parade, featuring enormous dragons, acrobatic performers and traditional dancers. Over 40 groups, including schools, Chinese expatriates, resident Chinese business chambers, as well as a marching band from the Dubai Police took part along with performers from China at the parade. Visitors of City Walk witnessed a symphony orchestra, dragon and lion dances, acrobatics and Kung Fu, among other displays. Over 4,000 participants took part in what is said to be the biggest Chinese New Year parade in Dubai.

Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, member of the Board of Directors of Hala China, said the celebrations are the biggest celebration of Chinese New Year outside China.

He said: “With these festivities, we mark a new era in the UAE-China relations. China has remained one of the UAE’s biggest and most important trading partners and this year, our bilateral trade is expected to reach more that Dh250 billion which is a clear sign of our productive relationship. As many as 680 new business licences were issued to Chinese companies in 2019. With over 200,000 Chinese expats residing in the UAE, we are proud that Hala China activities have quickly become a highlight of Dubai’ calender.

“Over the next few weeks, Dubai will entertain its residents and visitors with a rich variety of authentic Chinese performances and experiences. Apart from the parade with enormous dragons, there will be a first-ever lion dance competition (a traditional dance performed during Chinese New Year and other Chinese cultural festivals) and Chinese art and craft exhibition.”

Li Xuhang, Consul-General of China in Dubai, said: “We’re lucky to witness the best time ever in the history of bilateral relations between the UAE and China. The celebration during China Spring Festival will definitely provide special opportunities for everyone who is ready to learn about Chinese culture and history, thus bringing greater cultural awareness and social integration to the residents of the two countries.”

In December 2019, Hala China wrapped up its second edition of Dubai Fashion Days, which saw over 12 designers from China and the Middle East put together a five-day fashion extravaganza under the able guidance of show director, Jerry Zhang China’s ‘father of fashion’.