7 places to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the UAE

In honour of the Lunar New Year, celebrate with family and friends with these Chinese New Year-themed activities

Head to Al Maryah Island to watch fireworks or bring the kids to Motiongate Dubai to enjoy  family-friendly activities including a meet-and-greet with Po in Kung Fu Panda Land, here are some Chinese New Year-themed activities to enjoy in the UAE:

Year of the Dog festivities with Po from Kung Fu Panda

Motiongate Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at Motiongate Dubai, where the dragon warrior Po, from Kung Fu Panda, will lead the festivities for the Year of the Dog. Experience a colourful, action-packed programme of activities including a traditional dragon and lion dance performance taking place three times daily from 4pm to 9pm at Studio Central, a meet-and-greet with Po in Kung Fu Panda Land, a Chinese calligraphy workshop, and a special Chinese New Year menu with dishes from Dh99 at Mr Ping’s Noodle Shop.

Thursday, February 15  to Saturday, February 17, from11am to 10pm, from Dh165 for GCC residents, Motiongate Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai, www.motiongatedubai.com

China Art cultural programme

Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai

Dubai Mall hosts China Art, a cultural programme celebrating Chinese New Year through region-specific art forms such as music, dance, art, crafts and cultural demonstrations. The Star Atrium features a giant Chinese pagoda, hosting activities including bottle-painting, face-painting, Chinese tea and calligraphy workshops, as well as live musicians performing Chinese melodies. A dedicated children's arts-and-crafts area is on the second floor near Dubai Aquarium, with activities such as fan-making, doll-making and Chinese origami. Outdoors at the Dubai Fountain Promenade, there will be complimentary Tai Chi lessons daily at 11am.

Thursday, February 15 to Sunday, February 25, from 10am to midnight, Star Atrium and various locations, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, 800 38224 6255, www.thedubaimall.com

Acrobatic performances and children’s arts and crafts

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island

Mark Chinese New Year with festivities at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Enjoy performances by the Shenyang and Hebei acrobatic troupes, who will entertain with circus shows and martial arts, bicycle balancing and hoops acts. There will be a children's craft area, featuring mask-painting, lantern-making and traditional arts and crafts and kung-fu sessions. Plus, see the Chinese New Year parade, with the dragon dance, drummers and flag bearers.

Thursday, February 15 to Sunday, February 25, from 11am to 8pm, from Dh195 on weekdays; from Dh235 on weekends, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi,www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com

Family-friendly entertainment across Meeras locations in Dubai

City Walk, The Beach, Boxpark, The Outlet Village, Al Seef and La Mer

Meeras properties in Dubai will host free Chinese New Year festivities, with all venues sporting themed décor, plus dance performances, face-changing shows and roaming entertainment acts such as the Qipao dance, Hans & Tans show, Kung Fu Tea Master, a lion dance and a drum dance on Thursday, February 15 to Saturday, February 17, from 4.30pm to 8.30pm. Additionally, there will be a First Spring Festival Parade at City Walkon Friday, February 16, from 4pm, with more than 1,500 participants representing 20 Chinese provinces through traditional music and dance.

Thursday, February 15 to Saturday, February 17, and Thursday, February 22 to Saturday, February 24, free entry, City Walk; The Beach; Boxpark; The Outlet Village; Al Seef; La Mer, Dubai, www.citywalk.ae

Read more for Chinese New Year:

Ten to try: the best Chinese eateries in Abu Dhabi and Dubai 

Celebrate Chinese New Year with light show at the Burj Khalifa

120,000 Chinese tourists to visit UAE in next two weeks

Chinese New Year 2018: what it is and how to celebrate it


Performances, celebrations and fireworks

Al Maryah Island waterfront promenade and The Galleria, Abu Dhabi

There will be themed decorations throughout Al Maryah Island waterfront promenade and The Galleria, as well as a Tree of Fortune located in the Great Room of The Galleria, where visitors can make a Chinese New Year wish. Fireworks take place Friday at 9pm at the waterfront promenade. There will be lion dancers, a performance by a Chinese opera singer, Chinese folk- and fan-dancing, and an array of cuisines to try. Children can enjoy making origami, paper lanterns, kite-designing and face-painting, plus there will be arts and crafts showcasing Chinese calligraphy, paper-marbling and the customary Chinese New Year Red Packet. There will be cooking stations and demonstrations, food vendors, tea-making and more.

Waterfront promenade events take place Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16, from 3pm to 10pm; The Galleria events take place Thursday, February 15 to Saturday, February 17, 3pm to 9pm, Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi, www.facebook.com/thegalleriauae

Delicious dishes and a lion performance

Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai

Al Forsan restaurant at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa are hosting their own celebrationson Friday, February 16. Two traditional performances will take place, starting with a Chinese lion dance at 6.30pm in the hotel lobby, then a second live performance at 9pm in the hotel garden. Al Forsan will host a Chinese New Year dinner buffet featuring authentic dishes from different parts of China, with a selection of 10 main courses, four live-cooking stations including Chinese wok and dim sum.

Friday, February 16, 7pm to 11pm, from Dh320, Al Forsan restaurant, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, 04 809 6194, www.babalshams.com/chinese-new-year

Chinese New Year Temple Fair

Riverland Dubai, Dubai Parks & Resorts, Dubai

Riverland Dubai hosts a Chinese New Year celebration until Saturday, February 24, with cultural activities, entertainment and decorations. There will be a Chinese market, roaming acts and the tradition of pasting couplets, which represent wishes for a better new year. Decorations include lanterns, a red-packet tree with red wishing cards, and a five-metre-long dragon along the river. The market will feature clay figurines, sugar paintings, coconut carvings and a variety of Chinese food-and-beverage options, plus roaming acts, puppet shows, folk theatre, Sichuan opera, and a fireworks display nightly at 8pm from Thursday, February 15 to Saturday, February 17.

The Chinese New Year Temple Fair runs daily until Saturday, February 24, noon to 9pm, with family entertainment from 3pm to 9pm, and free parking after 6.30pm, free entry, Riverland Dubai, Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai, www.riverlanddubai.com