It’s the Chinese New Year (or the Spring Festival as it’s also known) on February 16, which means you get to have a barking good start to the Year of the Dog at these Chinese New Year celebrations across the UAE. There’ll be dragons, fireworks and delicious Chinese delicacies – go dressed in your red best (the colour of good fortune according to Chinese culture).

Abu Dhabi

1. Al Maryah Island

Chinese paper cutting artist Yuan Chengxiang will showcase unique pieces until February 26. The 63-year-old artist has spent the last 40 years perfecting this ancient Chinese art form. There’s a firework display at 9pm today before which you can catch lion dancers performing around the lantern-lit promenade and special performances by a Chinese opera singer and fan dancers. You can get crafty at the special arts and crafts section that will showcase Chinese calligraphy, paper marbling and the traditional Chinese New Year Red Packet. A Tree of Fortune (Ang Pao) will be located in The Galleria Mall’s Ground Floor where visitors can make a Chinese New Year wish.

2. Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri

A lion dance at 11am and an elaborate Cai Qing opening ceremony is how the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, is painting the town red for Chinese New Year. In-house Chinese restaurant Shang Palace is serving a special Chinese New Year Family Reunion Dinner until tomorrow. The five-course will include Chinese New Year dumplings, rice cakes and clay pot-cooked yellow range chicken. From Dh590 for two, Dh1,060 for four persons and Dh2,000 for a group of eight. Call 02 509 8555 or email

3. Le Meridien Abu Dhabi

You can enjoy the fireworks at Al Maryah Island from the comfort of the Le Meridien. Entry is Dh50 per person inclusive of one beverage at any of the hotel’s F&B outlets. If you’re craving more than a drink, there’ll be a Chinese buffet at all-day dining restaurant Latest Recipe serving Peking duck and complete with dim sum and noodle stations. Tickets are available on arrival; buffet from Dh149 per person. From 7pm-11pm, call 02 644 6666.


4. Dubai Festival City

The Festival City Mall will conduct a special edition of their Guinness World Record-breaking laser, light, water and fire show, Imagine until February 17. The mall will also host a red-themed fashion exhibition to celebrate the colour that’s considered lucky in Chinese culture. Free entry.

5. Mall of the Emirates

Magical China, a live show featuring acrobats and contortionists, will be performed at the mall until February 25. There will be three live shows a day, lasting for 15 minutes; free entry.

6. City Walk

City Walk and other Meraas destinations such as Al Seef, Boxpark, The Outlet Village and La Mer will host Qipao dance performances and a Han & Tang shows – traditional theatre and dance performances today and tomorrow. City Walk will also host a Kung Fu Tea Master, Lion Dance and Drum Dance. The highlight is the cultural parade featuring over 1,500 participants, representing 20 Chinese provinces that will walk through City Walk at 4pm today.

7. BurJuman

You can enjoy 20-minute performances of the traditional Dragon Dance BurJuman at 7 pm, 8pm and 9pm today and tomorrow.