Chinese New Year 2020: where to celebrate in Dubai

Restaurant deals, fireworks and performances to celebrate the Year of the Rat

Chinese New Year 2020: where to celebrate in Dubai

This year is more than just the start of a new decade, it’s the start of the Chinese Zodiac calendar’s 12-year cycle of animals – and you best believe Dubai is celebrating in a big way.

Falling on Monday January 25, Chinese New Year 2020 is the Year of the Rat – all because the smart little beast finished first in the great Zodiac race.

The Rat is a sign of wealth and surplus, so what better way to mark the occasion than with a wealth of foodie deals and surplus of amazing events to check out?

The Spring Festival is looking to be in full bloom, so scroll through the list below and see how you’ll be commemorating Chinese New Year in Dubai.

Oh, and 新年快乐/ Xīn Nián Kuài Lè/ Happy New Year (once again)!

What better way to celebrate CNY than tucking into one of China’s most iconic dishes, Peking duck, at a reduced price. Asian street food restaurant? Asian5 is offering the famed dish for Dhs79 at its three locations including Downtown Dubai, BurJuman and Dubai Airport. The Beijing-native dish features sliced Peking duck with a crispy skin, providing that satisfying crunch and tender, juicy meat. Wrap the duck in a homemade steamed pancake with zingy spring onions and fresh cucumbers and complete with a dip in the sweet bean sauce. Yum.
Dhs79. Thu Jan 23-Thu Jan 30. Various locations including Al Murooj Complex, Downtown Dubai; BurJuman; Dubai Airport,

Asia Republic
If you’re after favourites such as siew mai, gyoza, pho laksa, stir fried noodles and, of course, dim sum, Atlantis, The Palm’s Asian restaurant Asia Republic will be whipping up a special New Year set menu.
From Dhs160. Fri Jan 24-Sun Jan 30, 12.30pm-10pm (Sat-Thu), noon-11pm (Fri). Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road (04 426 2626).

In need of a gift to give friends and family for CNY? Bateel has you covered with its special collection of premium dates. Paying tribute to the Chinese symbol of good luck, each box is highlighted in rich red with sparkling gold tones, filled with a selection from over 20 varieties of organic gourmet plain and filled dates. The Chinese New Year collection will be available in small and medium gift box sizes at Bateel boutiques in Mall of the Emirates, The Dubai Mall, Nakheel Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall.
Prices vary. Until Tue Feb 4. Various locations including Mall of the Emirates; The Dubai Mall; Nakheel Mall; Abu Dhabi Mall,

Fancy a bit of caviar to ring in Chinese New Year 2020? The Mandarin Oriental Jumeira’s very own dedicated caviar restaurant is welcoming Chinese New Year with signature dishes and mixed drinks. Choose from delicacies such as the favourite tsarine potato with Russian oscietra caviar, Angus beef tartare, shiso and yuzu with Beluga caviar.
Prices vary. Open Sun-Wed 2pm-11pm, Thu-Fri 2pm-2am, Sat noon-11pm. Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Jumeirah Beach Road (04 340 8882).

If it’s a party you’re looking for, Buddha-Bar’s venue will be going all out to celebrate Chinese New Year. For its ‘World Session 4’ party, it will be flying in DJ Till Von Sein from Germany for one-night only to bring his pumping tunes, while an aerialist performer will kick off the gig.
Free entry, Fri Jan 24, 7pm-2am. Grosvenor House Dubai, Dubai Marina (04 317 6000).

Huge Lion Dance competition
To celebrate the Year of the Rat, a massive event by Meraas' Hala China will be featuring a huge list of acts and performances over the course of the month from all over China. To kick it all off before the New Year, which falls on Saturday January 25, Hala China will have a traditional Lion Dance competition that’s sure to impress, starring pros from China. Taking place on Saturday January 18 from 10am until 5pm at Dubai Parks and Resorts, the competition will see more than 30 teams from China compete for the title of the Best Lion Dance 2020, Dubai. Find out more here.
Free entry. Sat Jan 18, 10am-5pm. Dubai Parks and Resorts, Sheikh Zayed Road (800 2629464).

Pan Asian restaurant LAH LAH is gearing up for a home-style Chinese New Year celebration, offering a limited-edition two course menu by head chef Rosnani Hassan. For two weeks, celebrators can start off with a basket of Chinese steamed chicken, prawn and vegetable dumplings or Hainanese chicken salad. For mains, feast on a steamed whole fish with ginger and leek, Kung Pao chicken with cashew nut, dried chili and Szechuan pepper, longevity noodles with Chinese mushroom, hanna cabbage and sprouts, clams in black bean sauce and Chinese wok fried vegetable with bok choy, green vegetables, shimeji mushroom and jujube. Hungry for more? There’s also a three-course menu available.
Dhs119 (two-course), Dhs139 (three-course). Sat Jan 25-Sat Feb 8. Open Sat-Wed 11am-midnight, Thu-Fri 11am-2am. Zabeel House by Jumeirah, The Greens (04 519 1111).

Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort’s signature Asian restaurant, Mekong is offering a basket of happiness to cele-brate Chinese New Year the best way possible, and it’s featuring a variety of Chinese specialties for celebrators to delight in. The family-style sharing meal will include starters such as the special prawn, chicken and vegetables dumplings, to main courses like roasted duck and fried kalian. For dessert, finish with a sweet treat of exotic Asian fruits – all to guarantee a memorable CNY.
Dhs666 per couple (soft drinks), Dhs999 (rice grape. Fri Jan 24-Sat Jan 25, 6pm-11.30pm. Palm Jumeirah, (04 567 8304).

Chinese festive market at Palazzo Versace Dubai
Festive markets are all the rage in Dubai, and this Chinese New Year one is putting out all the stops. The market at Palazzo Versace Dubai will feature traditional Chinese delicacies, live cook-ing stations, a live DJ, along with plenty of activities to keep the little ones entertained including face painting and calligraphy. What kind of food, you ask? Shrimp dim sum, chicken and mushroom bags, fried beef dumpling, Suchun spring rolls and whole lot more at the live cooking stations. This one is not to be missed.
Free entry. Sat Feb 8, 5pm-10pm. Como Garden, Palazzo Versace Dubai, Jaddaf Waterfront (04 556 8888).

Dusit Thani Dubai
Looking to celebrate CNY 2020 with a menu that screams ‘Year of Prosperity’? Lucy Wong’s Kitchen at 24th St. World Street Food Restaurant is whipping up just the feast. Whether you’re dining with friends and family or bringing someone special, here’s what to expect: Prosperity salmon "Yu Sheng”, double boiled seafood soup with Chinese herbs, crispy five spices duck, steamed seabass fillet “Hong Kong Style”, bok choi with braised shitake mushroom, wok fried rice cake with XO sauce and deep fried "Nian Gao" with chocolate sauce.
Dhs169 (up to ten people), à la carte available. Until Sat Feb 1, open daily noon-3pm; 7pm-11.30pm. Lucy Wong’s Kitchen, Dusit Thani Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 317 4515).

Atlantis The Palm’s Cantonese restaurant will be going all out to mark the Spring Festival, but it isn’t just celebrating for one day. Diners can expect two weeks of specialty Chinese dishes with its set menu, including golden treasure pockets with abalone and wild mushrooms, steamed Chilean sea bass dragon’s well broth, diver scallops with taro mousseline and brown butter black bean sauce, and salt crust fortune baked chicken. Foodies will also get a free Chinese New Year mixed drink with mandarin and chilli. Hakkasan will also continue its wishing tree tradition, inviting guests to write their wishes on red ribbons that will be hung around the dining areas.
Dhs498, à la carte available. Fri Jan 24-Sat Feb 8. Open daily 6pm-11pm. Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road (04 426 2626).

Dig into Chinese dishes and food from around the world at Kaleidoscope for Chinese New Year 2020, offering a buffet spread for lunch. Expect buffets and live cooking stations offering everything from fresh seafood, to sushi, pasta, roasts and everything in between.
Sun-Thu: Dhs200 (adults), Dhs100 (kids aged 4-11). Fri-Sat: Dhs240 (adults), Dhs120 (kids aged 4-11), free (kids below three). Fri Jan 24-Sun Jan 30. Open daily 12.30pm-3.30pm (week-days), 12.30pm-4.30pm (weekends). Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road (04 426 2626).

Palazzo Versace Dubai staycation
Why not make a staycation out of all the Chinese New Year celebrations? Make Palazzo Versace Dubai your home this Chinese New Year and celebrate with a range of cul-tural festivities and authentic delicacies. From Dhs1,800, book your stay and get special discounts on dining, spa and shopping, including free breakfast and dinner for two at Giardino, 20 percent dis-counts on food and beverage outlets along with spa treatments, and tickets for two to Laguna Wa-terpark or in any one of the theme and water parks at Dubai Parks and Resorts. Not a bad celebratory getaway.
From Dhs1,800. Thu Jan 23-Fri Feb 7. Palazzo Versace Dubai, Jaddaf Waterfront (04 556 8888).

Whatever kind of Chinese dish from the country’s most foodie of provinces, Saffron is most likely to be serving. For Dhs265, celebrators can tuck into an array of 220 dishes from all corners of China, from the steamed dim sum and rice noodles to Peking duck stations. Even better, the restaurant will be putting on themed Chinese dinner music, along with a lion dance performance at 7pm to 8pm from January 24 to 26. And, to kick off all the celebrations, there will be a fireworks display on Friday January 24 from 8pm. We can’t wait.
Dhs265 (adults), Dhs132.50 (kids aged 4-11), free (kids under three). Fri Jan 24-Thu Jan 30. Open 6pm-11pm. Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road (04 426 2626).

Shanghai Me
Head back in time to 1930’s Shanghai and celebrate The Year of the Rat this year during the golden era of China. Shanghai Me in DIFC is marking the occasion with a two-week special sharing menu, inspired by the Chinese tradition of eating seven specific dishes to bring good luck and prosperity for the year ahead. What’s more, celebrators can expect to be treated to a surprise performance whilst they dine. We’re intrigued.
Dhs450. Sat Jan 25-Sat Feb 8. Open daily noon-2am. Gate Village 11, DIFC, (04 564 0505).

The Asian Village at Habtoor Palace
Step into Chinatown right here in Dubai with Habtoor Palace’s fun-filled Asian Village. The two-day event will be celebrating all things Chinese New Year with market stalls and street food stations including Chinese classics such as satay barbecue, spring rolls and dumplings. That’s not all, as there will also be an Asian-themed drinks station with Asian hops along with an intriguing Lychee Lounge. Little ones can get involved in the Chinese arts and crafts section and check out the daily Chinese Lion dance performance.
Free. Thu Jan 23-Sat Jan 25, 5pm-10pm. Habtoor Palace Gardens, Al Habtoor City.

The City Brunch: Chinese New Year edition
For one day only, The City Brunch is journeying East to celebrate The Year of the Rat. Boasting a range of Asian dishes, served from more than 15 different food stations, along with a large supervised play area with activities including face painting, a movie corner and even kids cooking classes, celebrating CNY here is a good shout. Oh, and don’t forget about the brunch’s pastry counter, featuring delicious treats inspired by The Year of the Rat.
Dhs300 (soft drinks), Dhs425 (house beverages), free (kids below 12). Fri Jan 24, 1pm-4.30pm. The Market, Hilton Dubai Al Habtoor City (04 437 3333).

Trader Vic’s JBR
Welcome the Year of The Rat the Polynesian way, as Trader Vic’s JBR is bringing in some traditional dishes and live entertainment for the big weekend. Foodies can look forward to yee sang salad with shredded vegetable, and crispy wonton soaked in hoisin dressing, chicken dumpling, and pumpkin shiitake roll. For a dessert, guests can indulge in nian gao, a special rice cake with coconut caramel sauce and crispy peanut. That’s not all, as on Thursday January 23 from 7pm, there’s a special Lion Dance performance. Oh, and guests will also get a traditional red envelope with surprises inside.
From Dhs45. Thu Jan 23- Sat Jan 25, 4pm-3am. Trader Vic’s JBR, Hilton Dubai Jumeirah (04 318 2530).

This pan-Asian restaurant is putting on a specially-themed Year of the Rat evening brunch for all those cele-brators who enjoy kicking off a new year with a brunch. Its Fridaze evening brunch will be upgraded with dragon dances as well as traditional Chinese performers, along with live cooking stations and pop-up bars. Food-wise, expect angry Zengo rolls, miso-marinated beef striploin and stir-fried prawns and cashews.
Dhs299 (ladies), Dhs399 (gents). Fri Jan 24, 8pm-11pm. Zengo, Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort and Spa, Dubai Marina, (04 316 5550).

Zhen Wei
Bluewaters Dubai’s authentic Chinese restaurant Zhen Wei is leaping into the New Year with a hefty six-course feast. Indulge in a set menu with unlimited soft beverages and mocktails, all with a lively atmosphere with Chinese lanterns and fortune cookies, no less.
Dhs350. Sat Jan 25-Mon Feb 17. Open daily 6pm-10.30pm. Caesars Palace Bluewaters Du-bai, (04 556 6666).

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