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Chinese New Year

Kung Hei Fat Choy – Happy Chinese New Year

As a child growing up in Hong Kong this was one of my favourite times of the year. We had just finished our Christmas celebrations and it was time for more celebrations, which as expats we were very much included in. Chinese New Year falls on a different date each year because it is based on a combination of lunar and solar movements and it is usually a week long holiday. For farmers this signifies the end of the winter and so it is sometimes known as the spring festival. This year Chinese New Year will fall on the 23rd January and it will be the Year of the Dragon.

Chinese New Year, as with our own New Year, signifies ‘out with the old and in with the new‘ and is filled with much superstition. Before the New Year, houses are cleaned thoroughly to get rid of anything associated with last year. The flower markets explode with colour with families buying the traditional blossom to bring more good luck. Most families at this time of year visit the temple again believing this will bring good luck.

Cities in the Far East shut down completely for Chinese New Year with many shops closing for the first couple of days, a lot of workers get double pay for the month Chinese New Year falls in and children get new outfits to wear. Similar to the Christmas season, families spend a frantic few days visiting family members and exchanging gifts but the most anticipated gifts are the traditional Lai-See packets. These are little red packets filled with crisp new money notes and are given to children, people who work for you, your favourite doorman, laundryman etc.

With a growing Chinese community, Dubai will also be welcoming the Year of the Dragon. The world famous Burj Al Arab will be illuminating its sail with a red dragon, hosting lion dances, musical performances, calligraphy illustrations and having Chinese-themed feasts.

See below for restaurants offering special Chinese New Year deals to welcome in the Year of The Dragon.

Dusit Thani Hotel
Date: 15th – 31st January
Location: Dusit Delicatessen & Californian

Noodle House, Dubai
Date:  15th January to 11th February

Emirates Towers
Date: 18th – 28th January
Location: Noodle House Restaurant

Intercontinental Hotel, Festival City
Date:  20th – 23rd January
Location:  Anise Restaurant

Royal China – DIFC
Date: 20th January – 30th January

Asiana Hotel
Date:  22nd – 29th January
Location:  Jade Restaurant

Atlantis The Palm
Date:  22nd to 28th January
Location:  Saffron Restaurant

Chi Zen Restaurant
Date:  22nd January to 4th February
Location:  Dubai Festival City & Mall of the Emirates

Ibn Battuta Gate Hotel
Date: 22nd January
Location: Shanghai Chic Restaurant

Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Date: 22nd & 23rd January
Location: Latitudes Restaurant

Le Meridien Hotel
Date:  22nd and 23rd January
Location:  Long Yin Restaurant

Madinat Jumeirah
Date: 22nd & 23rd January
Location: Zheng He’s Restaurant

Radisson Blu – Deira Creek
Date:  22nd to 25th January
Location:  China Club Restaurant

The Address Downtown
Date: 23rd January
Location: Hukama Restaurant

Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa
Date:  23rd January to 5th February
Location:  Silk Route Chinese & Thai Restaurant

Grand Hyatt Hotel
Date: 23rd – 29th January
Location: Peppercrab Restaurant

Ramada Hotel
Date: 23rd January – 30th January
Location: Dynasty Restaurant

Shangri-La Hotel
Date: 23rd January – 10th February
Location: Shang Palace Restaurant

Shangri-La Hotel
Date:  23rd January
Location:  Hoi An Restaurant

Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort
Date:  23rd January
Location:  The Peacock Restaurant

For Chinese New Year Decorations visit
Dragonmart on the Hatta Road

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