Dubai Rings in Chinese Year of Rooster
The Chinese community in Dubai welcomed the Year of the Rooster with hopes of good health, prosperity, wealth and success for family and friends.
The Chinese New Year begins Saturday (28th January, 2017) and will last until 15th February, 2018, on the Chinese lunar calendar.
The celebration typically lasts days and ends on the 15th day of the year for the Lantern Festival (this year on 11th February).
Also known as the Spring Festival, the Chinese New Year is the most important traditional holiday in China.
Expat Chinese workers traditionally travel to their hometowns in China to celebrate New Year with family and friends. But for those who cannot, Dubai has enough options to make them feel at home, especially at Dragon Mart, Dubai’s unofficial China Town.
Dragon Mart welcomed the Chinese New Year with a two-week line-up of entertainment and activities, which started on Thursday with a spectacular fireworks display and an array of live shows.
Some of China’s most well-known and talented performers have been flown in for the festivities, which include everything from Kung Fu to calligraphy and face-changing to fortune telling.
“It’s too cold now in the place where I come from in China. The weather here, however is pleasant, so it’s better here. Although we miss home, I’m glad Dragon Mart held brought Chinese performers here, it’s like we have a piece of home this New Year. This makes us so happy,” said You Fang Yu, a businesswoman who has been in Dubai for 12 years.
“This New Year, I hope to have good health and that business would pick-up again. I am positive we’ll ride the wave of success again this year.”
For Zahra Jiang, good fortune is also on her wish-list this year.
“I wish the new business I plan to open will succeed,” Jiang said. She welcomed the Chinese New Year with family as they watched Chinese programmes on television and shared traditional Chinese food, including dumplings.
Can Cui, an engineer who recently moved to Dubai, said he hopes the Year of the Rooster would bring his family happiness and good health and more business for the company he’s working for.
Ling Ching Sun, who has a shop at Dragon Mart, only wishes good health for her parents back in China. She is confident the rooster will bring luck to everyone.
Dubai is currently home to around 200,000 Chinese nationals, with an estimated 50,000 living at International City, adjacent to Dragon Mart.
Dragon Mart itself, the world’s largest Chinese trading hub outside China, has more than 4,500 shops and restaurants run by nearly 1,800 Chinese traders.
But this number is expected to continuously grow especially since the UAE granted visa-on-arrival status to Chinese tourists in September 2016.
“The visa-on-arrival status is good for us. Dubai is a dream destination for many of our compatriots. That’s because there are many “firsts” here and many advances in technology, especially in construction. The Burj Al Arab and the Palm Jumeirah, for example, are a must see for us,” Yu said.
WHAT: Chinese New Year Celebrations
WHERE: Dragon Mart
WHEN: January 26 to February 8
What to see: 8pm Fireworks on January 26 and 27
· Live shows daily from 4pm:
· Kung Fu by Songshan Shaolin Monk Kung Fu Group
· Lion Dance by China Guangzhou Lion Dance Group
· Ballet on Shoulder acrobatics from participants in China’s Got Talent
· Face-changing shows
· Roaming entertainment