Chinese expats in Dubai

As the UAE's 180,000 strong chinese population looks forward to the Beijing Olympics we talk to a small percentage about their life in Dubai Comments

© ITP Images
Liang Xiaoqian, 42

‘My events company, Hafeet Events, specialises in Arabic weddings. We do everything – decorate the houses with lights, arrange the parties and set up a stage with decorations.

I like the culture in the UAE. It’s very similar to traditional Chinese culture – even the style of dress. The way Arabic people treat their guests is akin to Chinese hospitality, it’s very civilised – so it’s easy for us to understand each other. But obviously modern China is now more like Europe.

I have been here for 20 years. I’ve got one boy, who is 12 years old and was born in Dubai. I originally came over to work for the Chinese government here, when my husband got work with a construction company.

I took over my current company in 2000 – when there were just 10 of us. Now there are 40 – Filipino, Indian, British. With the help of my hardworking staff I have managed to develop it so we do all sorts of events, such as the Olympic-themed shows running at Dragon Mart over the games, as well as fashion and art shows. I think most Chinese people live near Dragon Mart and in International City – there aren’t many in Mirdif, where I live.

I’m originally from Beijing. I go back nearly every three months. Not just for business, but to visit. Everybody’s so excited and proud about the Olympics. I think China deserves it. Anyone from China now feels how it’s changed in the past 20 years – every year I go back and it’s different. They’ve improved the traffic, the pollution, the security – they’ve prepared for them in every field. But not only that, there are so many artists and creative people there – it’s a very international city. I eat different food every day – Western, Arabic, anything – but I think I still enjoy Chinese food the best. I really like China Club because of the atmosphere.

Sometimes we go to the Madinat Jumeirah to Zheng He’s. There are some other Chinese places purely for Chinese people – like the one in International City called Chinese Noodle House. They serve very authentic food from Western China there, and normally there aren’t many foreigners, just Chinese. I think there’ll be lots more Chinese fashion designers coming here. I’m holding a Chinese Fashion show in Dragon Mart on August 25, where the designers are opening a shop. Chinese fashion is not at all traditional now, it meets international standards.’

By Becky Lucas
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: James Li on 29 May ' 12 at 03:10

Have read your essay, wonderful sharing and i believe many would be encouraged from this sharing! Is it normal to see Chinese people in Dubai on street? I have benn Dubai airport once but never go out, just for flight connection. Recently I have got one friend who wants to do expand his business to Dubai, if anyone can supply some information?

Posted by: Ram on 07 Dec ' 11 at 11:40

I work for the UAE Exchange the leading money exchange company in the UAE.Our company wants to put a thrust on Chinese expats remitting money to their homeland.We want to offer most competetive rates & other services. Could anybody please help out with a contact list of Chinese in the UAE.Thanks

Posted by: Kamlesh Kuru[ on 29 Nov ' 11 at 13:12

I am looking for accountant . The applicant must be chinese and must be fluency in English communication and have exposure in maintaining accounts in China and in UAE. Interested candidates please send their updated resmume to :

Kamlesh Kurup

Posted by: Manish Ghediya on 21 Jul ' 11 at 06:35

need best information of important of chinese people do business how they do for progress. i like to learn in life some importants in business.

Posted by: Sirius Telecom on 05 Jun ' 11 at 12:53

We are looking for a Secretary for our client in Abu Dhabi with Chinese, Malaysian or Singaporean origins. Kindly contact me on with your updated CV

Posted by: on 06 May ' 11 at 01:38

I am going to do business in Dubai, can any friends give me some advice what should I do and where I should live.\\


Posted by: siow wei on 15 Jan ' 09 at 11:41

I came to Dubai in 2006 after landed a job as a designer. Now i have a handful of friends left since about 20 friends left for good. Mostly for the reasons for incompatible lifestyle and culture. Lucky for me as adaptable young woman, i have friends from Iran, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, UK, German, Italy, Russia and etc.

My boyfriend is Lebanese, we met 2 years ago through working together and we have plan to start a family. There are challenges we have to face as a mixed couple. We believe Dubai will be a mutual place for us but we might consider leaving in the future and raise our family else where as Dubai is getting too expansive.

I love Chinese Food of course, but i have recently adopted mediteranean cuisine in my coooking and produce fusion dishes. Thanks to many options in dubai for variety of cuisine, we are never bored of trying something new. My favourite chinese restaurant is Ming Palace in international city; favourite Lebanese restaurant is Al Halab in Mall of Emrates.

I miss my own cuisine and languages of course, but in order to fit in the arab world better i will consider learning ararbic and hope my future children speak it as mothertongue.

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