It’s the Year of the Dog, and here’s where you can ring it in without leaving the city…

Whether your interest in Chinese culture extends to the ancient Qing dynasty or simple admiration for dim sum, the annual Chinese New Year celebration is not to be missed.

Here are 16 ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in Dubai.

Things to do

Light show at Burj Khalifa

From February 16 to 24, visitors to Downtown Dubai will be able to witness a new light and sound show on the Burj Khalifa that pays tribute to the thousands of Chinese residents in the UAE, and the 120,000 tourists who are expected to visit over the Lunar New Year period. The show will have a unique dragon theme, and will be in keeping with traditional Chinese cultural symbols and traditions.

Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, Feb 16 to 24. More info on website

The Star Atrium, Dubai Mall

The Star Atrium at Dubai Mall will be transformed with a giant Chinese pagoda – an iconic symbol of traditional Chinese architecture, to host a full line up of activities: workshops showcasing bottle painting, face painting and calligraphy. Visitors can also learn the ancient art of Chinese Tea and watch a gravity-defying Tea Ceremony by Kung Fu artists.

Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, Feb 15 to 25. More info on website 

Culture Parade at City Walk

City Walk will be showcasing a Cultural parade to celebrate Chinese New Year, which will feature over 1,500 participants, representing 20 Chinese provinces through their traditional music and dance performances. Catch the action at City Walk on 16 February at 4pm.

City Walk, 4pm onwards, Fri Feb 16, free. More info on website

Fireworks at Riverland

Riverland Dubai will be presenting ‘Riverside Celebration’ at the Chinese New Year Temple Fair from 10 to 24 February. The event will host a range of Chinese cultural activities, including a traditional market with roaming entertainment and daily fireworks shows. The French Village zone within Riverland will also be lit up with Chinese lanterns and feature a red wishing tree.

Riverland, Dubai Parks & Resorts, Feb 10 to 24. More info on website

A record breaking show at Dubai Festival City

Dubai Festival City Mall will be bringing the two-time Guinness World Record Breaking show ‘Imagine – A Show Like No Other’ back to Dubai specially for Chinese New Year. The show will celebrate the Year of the Dog with a unique display of fire, laser and light.

Dubai Festival City Mall, Feb 15 to 24. More info on website


Bab Al Shams

On Friday February 16, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa celebrates ‘The Year of the Dog’ with two sets of traditional live performances to mark the Year of the Dog. An authentic Chinese lion dance performance will commence at 6.30pm at the hotel lobby, with a second performance at 9pm in the hotel garden. A Chinese New Year dinner buffet will also be available at Al Forsan restaurant.

Bab Al Shams, Dubai, dinner buffet 7pm to 11pm, Fri Feb 16, Dhs320 soft, Dhs500 house, Dhs160 kids. Tel: (04) 809 6194. More info on website

Hong Loong, Sofitel The Palm

Hong Loong will mark the New Year on Thursday February 15 with a four-course set menu for Dhs350 per person inclusive of a bottle of wine for two. Guests can choose from an array of Dim Sum to start, followed by choices includingHong Kong style roast duck, Crispy marinated chicken in a spicy plum sauce, or Wok fried noodles for main course. To finish, tuck into a traditional sweet dumpling Tang yuan or fruit platter.

Hong Loong, Sofitel The Palm, The Palm Jumeirah, Thurs Feb 15, Dhs350 adults including a bottle of wine for two, Dhs100 kids. Tel: (04) 455 5656. More info on website

Zeng He’s, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam

From the 15th to the 21st of February, ring in the Year of the dog at Zheng He’s Asian eatery in Jumeirah Mina A’Salam. As homage to the rich culture in Asia, a set menu will be accompanied by themed dances and live calligraphy across the week-long celebrations at the waterfront spot.

Zeng He’s, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, Feb 15 to 21, Dhs388 per person. Tel: (04) 432 3232. More info on website

Thiptara, Palace Downtown

Welcome the Year of the Dog with Chinese inspired cuisine at Thiptara, the Palace Downtown’s signature Thai restaurant. As well as a four course set menu, you’ll be able to take in the views of the specially themed Burj Khalifa Chinese New Year light show. Plus, all guests receive a gift of themed gold coins.

Thiptara, Palace Downtown, Fri Feb 16, Dhs488 food only, Dhs888 with wine. Tel: (04) 888 3444 . More info on website

Junsui, Burj Al Arab

Celebrate the lunar New Year at Junsui, the Japanese restaurant Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. Ahead of a themed dinner experience, take in the celebrations as dancers parade through the hotel, with performances at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm. Over dinner, expect to be serenaded by a Yang quin (live harp) show.

Junsui, Burj Al Arab, Fri Feb 16, lunch Dhs520, dinner Dhs580 per person. Tel: (04) 301 7600. More info on website

Lao, Waldorf Astoria

This February, LAO, Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah’s signature Vietnamese restaurant – will be marking the Tet Vietnamese New Year with a specially created menu available from February 9 to 23. Priced at Dhs260 per person for a four-course menu, dishes include crystal prawn dumplings, stir-fried noodle shrimps with Chinese cabbage and oyster sauce and floating sweet rice balls with black sesame seed in ginger syrup.

Lao, Waldorf Astoria, Palm Jumeirah, Feb 9 to 23, Dhs260 per person food only. Tel: (04) 818 2222. More info on website

Yuan, Atlantis The Palm

From the 15th to 24th February, there will be a specially themed A La Carte dinner menu to celebrate Chinese new year at Atlantis restaurant, Yuan. Plus, on the Friday 16th and Friday 23rd February, Yuan’s Yum Cha brunch will have a themed Chinese New Year twist, serving an array of dim sum, Chinese favourites and cocktails. Prices start from Dhs198 for the soft drinks package, and Dhs408 inclusive of alcoholic beverages.

Yuan, Atlantis The Palm, Feb 15 to 24, Yum Cha Brunch Friday 16 and 23, 12.30pm to 3.30pm, Dhs198 soft, Dhs408 house. Tel: (04) 426 1000. More info on website


Hakkasan has introduced a limited edition set menu for the month of February. Available until March 4 and priced at Dhs598 per person, dishes on the menu include Grilled Chilean sea bass with kumquat glaze, Wok-fry lobster with edamame and caviar and the Golden Fortune dessert with ginger caramel, roasted macadamia nuts and lemongrass. Hakkasan will continue their annual Chinese New Year wishing tradition by inviting guests to write their wishes on red ribbons that will be hung around the dining areas.

Hakkasan, Emirates Towers, Feb 1 to Mar 4, Dhs598. Tel: (04) 384 8484. More info on website

Buddha Bar

Buddha Bar at Grosvenor House, Dubai is taking party-goers back to a night in 1920’s Shanghai for their annual New Year’s celebrations. The dinner show will take place on Saturday February 17 and will have a DJ, live singer and burlesque performance. It’s a four course set menu designed to be shared, and all those in twenties outfits will receive a complimentary glass of bubbles.

Buddha Bar, Grosvenor House, Dubai Marina, Sat Feb 17, Dhs590 per person. Tel: (04) 317 6000. More info on website

Long Yin, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre

Long Yin will be offering a Chinese New Year menu this year throughout February until Saturday February 17. The festive set menu is priced at Dhs229 per person, and is valid for lunch or dinner.

Long Yin, Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre, until Sat Feb 17, Dhs229 per person. Tel: (04) 702 2455. More info on website


Even if you weren’t planning on celebrating Chinese New Year, you might want to when you see Asian5’s bargain deal. From Friday February 16, order a special set menu including one Vietnamese fresh roll, two chicken pot sticker dumplings and two chicken siew mai dumplings for just Dhs20. By our calculations that’s Dhs4 a dim sum piece. That’s totally worth celebrating the Year of the Dog,  if you ask us.

Al Murooj Complex, Downtown Dubai, Feb 16 to 24, Dhs20. Tel: (04) 4259955. More info on website

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