The Year Of The Monkey has arrived, and this week Dubai’s Chinese restaurants will be awash with red and adorned with lanterns. If you can’t travel to China for the celebrations, let these venues take your taste buds on a trip to Asia instead.

Our pick of the top five Chinese New Year meals in Dubai…

1. Shang Palace

Chinese New Year in Dubai - Shang Palace

Week-long festivities are happening at the Shangri-La with a whopping ten-course New Year menu at the Shang Palace (Dhs418 with a glass of bubbles). The dishes are an eclectic mix of traditional and modern takes on Chinese cuisine. The steamed sea bass with caviar is a textural delight, and the abalone soup is one of the best things we’ve ever slurped.  There’ll also be a yum cha menu serving dim sum and noodles.

Until Saturday February 13

Shangri-La Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, 12.30pm to 3pm, 7pm to midnight. Dhs418 New Year menu, Dhs276 yum cha menu. Tel: (04) 4052703. Taxi: Shangri-La.

2. Peppercrab


Dubai’s top fine-dining Singaporean restaurant celebrates Chinese New Year with a selection of speciality a la carte dishes (as in you just order what you want). The feast begins with the traditional prosperity salad, a ceremonious ritual in which families and friends gather around the table to toss a salad into the air using chopsticks.

Until Saturday February 13

Grand Hyatt Dubai, Oud Metha Road, Dubai, 7pm to 11.30pm. Tel: (04) 3172221. Taxi: Grand Hyatt.

3. Zheng He’s


Contemporary Chinese restaurant Zheng He’s will be ringing in the New Year with all the CNY traditional festivities you’d expect as part of a Dhs350 menu, including red packets (typically stuffed with money) and lanterns. Seafood enthusiasts can also look forward to the stir-fried Scottish scallops with shrimps and macadamia nuts and the steamed cod fish fillet, prepared with the freshest catch from the live tank in the restaurant. Other dishes on the menu include the roasted Chinese spiced chicken and sizzling wagyu steak.

Until Wednesday February 24

Zheng He, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, 12.30pm to 3pm, 6.30pm to 11pm, Dhs350. Tel: (04) 4323232. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah. 

4. Hong Loong

Hong Loong

Hong Loong presents a five-course sharing menu, which includes the Yu Sheng prosperity salad and an assortment of dim sum as well as oven-baked crab shell, and the unusual delicacy of sea conch meat (Dhs338). Traditional Chinese TV shows play in the background, adding to the oriental atmosphere, and if you’re lucky you might catch a lion dance parading through the hotel.

Until Friday February 12

Hong Loong, Sofitel The Palm Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 7pm to 11pm, Dhs338. Tel: (04) 4556677. Taxi: East Crescent.


Hakkasan, Emirates Towers

Hakkasan is celebrating the Year Of The Monkey with a new limited-edition menu (Dhs488). Dishes range from crispy duck and caviar to giant dim sum platters. We love the sound of the monkey-inspired desserts such as The Golden Halo, a banana and peanut cake with a five-spice infused cream topped with gold leaf. Guests are also encouraged to take part in the wishing tree tradition, writing their hopes for the coming year on ribbons, before hanging them around the restaurant.

Until Monday February 22

Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 7pm to 1am, Dhs488. Tel: (04) 3848484. Metro: Emirates Towers.


1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Personality: Monkeys are said to be lively, likable, quick-witted, great problem-solvers and highly sociable.

Compatibility: Monkeys are well matched with those born in the Year Of The Dragon and the Rat.

Lucky numbers: 4 and 9

Unlucky numbers: 2 and 7

Lucky colours: White, blue and gold

Unlucky colours: Red and pink

Lucky flower: Chrysanthemum

Celebrity monkeys: Celine Dion, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Christina Aguilera, Diana Ross, Mick Jagger, Miley Cyrus, Nick Jonas and Selena Gomez

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