Hala China celebrate Chinese New Year with range of authentic experiences across Dubai’s leading destinations
- The Consulate General of The People’s Republic of China in Dubai and Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with Hala China to host ‘Happy Chinese New Year’, the biggest celebration of Chinese New Year outside China
- Packed schedule of traditional Chinese performances, festivals, parades, dances and competitions to reflect burgeoning Chinese culture in Dubai
- Key Meraas & Dubai Holding destinations to don the colours of the red dragon nation for the month-long festivities
Hala China, a joint initiative by Meraas and Dubai Holding, will bring a variety of Chinese experiences to Dubai for a month of celebrations to usher in the new Chinese year that begins on 5 February this year.
Some of Dubai’s most vibrant destinations, including Al Seef, Bluewaters, Boxpark, City Walk, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Jumeirah Beach Residents , La Mer, Madinat Jumeirah, The Beach, Global Village and The Outlet Village will be decorated for the occasion from 28 January to 23 February to host a packed schedule of activities as the city continues to embrace Chinese culture.
Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Hala China, said: “Hosting the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations outside China in Dubai this year allows us to further contribute to realising the pioneering tourism vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and to diversifying the emirate’s economic landscape.
“Given the range of Chinese-inspired events and activities we are set to witness across some of Dubai’s most innovative destinations, we are confident that the Chinese diaspora and tourists will enjoy the month-long festivities. The celebrations will demonstrate why the city’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and inclusive culture make it an ideal home for Chinese expatriates.”
He added: “Hala China’s Chinese New Year celebrations extend beyond just two nations and will appeal to anyone interested in learning about new cultures.”
It is estimated that more than 270,000 Chinese expats live in the UAE. From January to November 2018, the number of transit tourists visiting Dubai from China reached nearly 800,000, representing a year-on-year increase of 12 per cent. The inaugural Chinese New Year celebrations at City Walk in February 2018 attracted more than 22,000 Chinese and other visitors. This year, that number is expected to rise even further, with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China confirming its active participation in the initiative.
For the fourth year in a row, China has been Dubai’s largest trading partner. 2019 sees the UAE and China enter their 35th year of diplomatic relations. The visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vice President Wang Qishan to the UAE in 2018 further reinforced the bilateral ties.
Her Excellency Tan Li, Acting Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, said: “The extensive list of Chinese cultural activities that Hala China will host in Dubai over the next month is a shining example of the mutual respect and progressive vision China and the UAE share, and their proactive contribution to each other’s cultural awareness and social integration.
“For the people of China, Chinese New Year is a time of great hope for the future and reflection on the past. The fact that Dubai is embracing our cultural heritage in such a generous, open and welcoming way speaks of the strengthening social ties between China and the UAE.”
Her Excellency added: “Dubai is a regional hub for economy, trade, finance, tourism and logistics, and is an important partner of the Belt and Road initiative. The efforts of Hala China in bringing the people of our two countries together through initiatives such as the Chinese New Year festivities highlight the positive role our two cultures play in the world today.”
The Eastern powerhouse of more than 1.4 billion people historically observes Chinese New Year in accordance with the 12 signs of the zodiac, which assigns an animal and its most well-defined attributes to each year. The zodiac system has existed in the Chinese culture for more than 4,000 years, since the Qin dynasty. And this year, Hala China is bringing the storied festivities to Dubai in a way that has never been seen before.
A Royal Opening
Distinguished members of the UAE royal family, UAE government ministers and leading diplomats from the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai will attend a glamorous Gala Event at the Bvlgari Resort Dubai to launch the Chinese New Year festivities. The dignitaries in attendance will break bread over a lavish Chinese menu, complete with a tea ceremony and exquisite food carvings, created by a leading Chinese food culture exhibition group. The expected presence of a roster of VIP celebrities from the UAE and China at the official opening of the Dubai-hosted Chinese New Year celebrations testifies to the importance of the Hala China initiative in advancing bilateral synergies.
Chinese Buffet Bonanza
One of the highlights of the festivities will be the multi-faceted Food Festival. To start with, the Exchange Programme – taking place on 27 January at The Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management between 8am and 11am – will have the students of the academy learn how to cook authentic Chinese and Arabic food from a well-known Dubai-based chef. The exchange will bring the best of both cuisines to life on the plate.
On 29 January, Hala China is set to run an exciting TV cooking competition that will see 10 Top master Chefs from China and 10 revered UAE-based chefs go head-to-head at Nikki Beach in front of a live audience, with Dubai’s restaurateurs and foodie influencers judging the outcome of the cook-off. The chefs, split into five teams of two, will have just 20 minutes to whip up an appetizer, a soup, a main course with meat, a vegetarian main course and a dessert.
Dragons on the Prowl
From 28 January to 1 February, surprise performances inspired by Chinese traditions will unfold in the lively public spaces of Al Seef, Bluewaters, Boxpark, City Walk, Dubai Parks and Resorts, JBR, La Mer, Madinat Jumeirah, The Beach, Global Village and The Outlet Village. Among the performances will be demonstrations of the Chinese martial art Kung Fu, fashion shows presenting traditional Chinese garments Qipao and Hanfu, classic Chinese dances such as the Snow Lion, and children’s street dance.
On 1 February, Dubai’s vibrant streets will set the stage for the spectacular Grand Parade, starring enormous dragons, acrobatic performers and much more. Al Mustaqbal Street at City Walk has been designated to host the parade of over 40,000 participants that is certain to generate a roar of approval from the audience.
From 1 to 9 February, Dubai Parks and Resorts, strategically located halfway between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, will host a sprawling Chinese Market featuring merchant exhibitions, Chinese craftsmanship displays, opera performances and Chinese art stalls.
From 7 February through to the end of the festival on 23 February, up to 30 stands will assemble along the streets of Al Seef for the Food Market that is set to offer visitors the chance to sample all things deliciously Chinese, from spring rolls to dumplings and wontons, as well as favourites from the region.
Hala China, an initiative by Meraas and Dubai Holding, focuses on exploring opportunities that facilitate economic development through tourism, trade and investment. The initiative features a year-long calendar of events, including food festivals, fashion shows, sporting competitions, as well as music and cultural festivals.