Wish you could have a second stab at those failed New Year resolutions? Well, Chinese New Year gives you just that opportunity when it falls on February 5. But before you commit to a diet, gorge on all the Chinese feasts around town to mark what is also known as the Spring Festival. So wear your scarlet best (red is the colour of good fortune in Chinese culture) and hit up one of these many celebrations replete with fireworks, dragon dances and dim sums.
The Lounge at Address Boulevard
Enjoy the best of two cultures that value a good cup of tea — British and Chinese — with the Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea. Guests will be served four indulgent layers of sweets and savouries such as edible plastic-wrapped candy, mini burrata and salmon and bresaola sandwiches in a chest of drawers, accompanied by herbal teas and coffees. Dh189 for two people; from February 5-9. Call 04 888 3444.
DoubleTree by Hilton Resort & Spa Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah
There’s a festive dinner at Sanchaya Terrace on February 5 that includes a set menu starting at Dh180 per person. Call 07 203 0104.
Mazina, Address Dubai Marina
A traditional Chinese meal awaits guests at the restaurant on February 5. Tuck into dumplings, Peking duck and other specialities as part of a Chinese dinner buffet from February 5-8. Dh179 per person; from 7pm-11pm. Call 04 888 3444.
The shopping and retail destination will host performances, a Chinese-themed walkabout and life-like LED lion installations from February 7-9. Street performers will showcase the ancient Chinese art of ‘Bian Lian’ or face changing. From 6pm-10pm on Thursdays and 4pm-10pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Entry is free.
On 1 February, the Grand Parade will overrun City Walk’s Al Mustaqbal Street with enormous dragons, acrobatic performers and much more.
From February 7-23 up to 30 food stands will be set up at Al Seef’s Food Market, including Chinese stalls that will serve guest everything from spring rolls to dumplings and wontons.
Riverland, Dubai Parks and Resorts
The skies about Riverland will be ablaze with fireworks on February 4 at 8pm. Enjoy roaming parades and traditional activities, including Couplet Pasting; Tea Art Cha Dao, a ceremony that showcases the harmony of tea, water, utensils, preparation, environment and conversation; and a daily festive market showcasing traditional Chinese arts and crafts.
Hong Loong, Sofitel The Palm
Guests will be welcomed with a traditional lion dance on February 4 and 5 at 6pm before they head inside to dine on a four-course set menu comprising Shanghainese-style smoked fish, Hong Kong-style roast duck, fried dough twists and more. February 4-10, from 6.30pm-11.30pm. Dh388 per person, call 04 455 5656.
Zheng He’s, Jumeirah Mina A’Salam
The celebrations are manifold at this award-winning Chinese restaurant. Today, the restaurant teams up with neighbouring eatery Hanaaya for brunch — you can sample traditional dishes such as Beijing duck and dim sums. A Chinese tea ceremony and calligraphy demonstrations will provide the entertainment. From Dh475 per person, 12.30pm–4pm.
On February 4, the restaurant is hosting a dinner and lion dance performance. The four-course menu will feature deep-fried shrimp money bag, steamed cod fillet and chilled mango sago cream with pomelo — 6.30pm-11.30pm; from Dh388 per person. Call 04 432 3232.
Matagi, Emerald Palace KempinskI
The Pan-Asian restaurant located in the Palm Jumeirah will serve a festive three-course sharing menu featuring a variety of dishes considered to bring prosperity in Chinese culture. There’ll be starters such as salmon Yusheng, mains like crispy tofu and Udon noodles and a selection of desserts. From February 5-12, Dh350 per person, 6pm-12am; call 04 248 8850.
Al Forsan, Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa The restaurant’s dinner buffet until February 13 will see you take your pick of authentic dishes and cuisines from different parts of China, including Cantonese and Szechuan regions — crispy duck with hoisin sauce and sumptuous fried banana are examples. Dh195 per person; from 7pm to 11pm. Call 04 809 6194.