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Dubai expats to celebrate Chinese New Year in full swing

Sarwat Nasir/Dubai
Filed on January 24, 2020 | Last updated on January 24, 2020 at 04.57 pm
dubai, expat, celebrate, chinese new year, expats, china, coronavirus

(AP)

Several CNY-inspired festivities are taking place across in Dubai.

Dubai expats celebrating Chinese New Year will be partaking in festivities taking place in the emirate, but are "sending prayers" for people in China as the Coronavirus horror spreads across the country.

The Sars-like virus has killed 26 people so far, 830 confirmed cases, 1,072 suspected cases and has spread outside of China.

While major Chinese New Year (CNY) celebrations have been cancelled across China, expats in Dubai will be celebrating in full swing on January 25.

A Malaysian expat in Dubai, Kin Fun Soo, said: "It is disheartening to hear about the outbreak, especially during the Chinese New Year period where families are meant to spend time together and be safe and sound - I'm praying for China.

"On CNY day, I plan to be at Dubai Festival City for the Chinese New Year fireworks that I missed last year. At some point, this weekend also I plan to visit Alserkal Avenue for Quoz Art Fest. I'm definitely going to have some authentic Chinese cuisine in Dubai."

Several CNY-inspired festivities are taking place across in Dubai, some which include traditional activities and performances in Mall of the Emirates, Chinese social media influencers entertaining guests at Dubai Parks and Resorts, a Chinese Lantern Festival at the Palazzo Versace Dubai, fireworks and a vibrant China pavilion at Global Village.

Soo said CNY is about spring cleaning for most people, but to her it's also about "decluttering the mind and body".

She's been attending wellness and decluttering sessions as part of her CNY celebrations. Other traditions involved with this holiday is spending time with family and friends.

"To me, in the modern society, a physical reunion may sometimes be difficult to do every year (I have one sibling in Malaysia and one in Singapore), but nowadays social media can easily bring families together," she said.

"There is not much of superstition per se from my end - usually I try to wear red on first day of CNY for 'good luck'. Some people will choose an 'auspicious' day to start work according to their Chinese zodiac, but I do not practice this."

A Chinese expat in Dubai for nine years, Mei Wang, will be celebrating in the UAE this year. She said she has faith in her government to defeat the outbreak.

"My father and I will celebrate CNY in UAE this year," she said. "We will visit some friends and attend some celebrations in the Jumeirah Lake Towers community. We may go to the mountainous areas for picnics with our homemade food."

Some of the traditional Chinese food enjoyed during this special holiday, according to Wang, are Jiaozi (dumplings), Niangao (rice cakes) and Tangyuan (rice balls).

Another Chinese expat in Dubai, Eric Zhang, said: "I am praying for my brothers and sisters in China. Chinese New Year is so special to us and it's very sad to see such events taking place during this time."

Zhang will also be celebrating CNY in Dubai this year. He'll be with his wife and kids, as well as relatives who'll be coming over from Abu Dhabi.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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