Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Abu Dhabi

The fireworks, parties and set meals to see in the lunar new year

Where to celebrate Chinese New Year in Abu Dhabi

Now January is pretty much behind us, we're looking forward to getting back to our favourite Abu Dhabi pastimes of eating and partying.

Chinese New Year falls on February 5 and the capital is celebrating in typically extravagant fashion.

There’s going to be fireworks, dragon dancers, brunches and of course, lots of delicious Far-Eastern food.

So check out our list of where you should be celebrating come he big day. Whether you’re simply looking for the perfect spot to watch the fireworks from or a decadent eight-course banquet, you’ll find it all in the capital.

Al Maryah Island
For the fifth year in a row, Chinese New Year fireworks will take over Al Maryah Island as the waterfront promenade turns into an explosion of colour once again. Between Thursday January 31 and Saturday February 2, you can head to The Galleria to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, with a range of activities, performances, workshops, events and more. And it will all culminate with an enormous fireworks display lighting up the Abu Dhabi skyline.
Free. Jan 31-Feb 2. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island.

Cho Gao
The Asian eatery at the Crowne Plaza is pulling out all the stops to welcome in the new year. There’s a huge buffet featuring all the restaurant’s most popular noodle and rice dishes, Chinese-style meats and much more. Packages start from less than Dhs150.
Dhs149 (soft drinks), Dhs199 (house beverages).Feb 5, 7pm-11pm. Crowne Plaza Abu Dhabi, Al Markaziyah (02 616 6149).

Cho Gao Marina Walk
There’s a whole month of celebrations going on at stylish Asian hangout Cho Gao Marina Walk. The set menu is available throughout the whole of February, and it features scrumptious dishes such as assorted dim sum, seafood noodles and Peking duck pancakes. There will also be a special Chinese New Year-themed Friday Marina Brunch on February 8.
Dhs99 (set menu). From Dhs423 (brunch). Sat-Wed 6pm-1am; Thu-Fri 6pm-2am. Feb 8, 12.30pm-4pm (brunch). InterContinental Abu Dhabi, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud Street (02 666 6888).

This colourful Peruvian restaurant is one of the coolest places in the capital to hold any kind of celebration. Although it doesn’t provide much in the way of Chinese food, it is getting into the spirit of things and treating all its guests to a fortune cookie when they visit the funky eatery on February 4 and 5. We’ve got our fingers crossed that it’s good news all round.
Free. Feb 4-5, 12.30pm-5.30pm, 7pm-midnight (Mon), 7pm-12.30pm (Tue). The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 306 7000).

What could be better than seeing in the Chinese New Year beside the beautiful white sands of Zaya Nurai Island? We’re sure there can’t be many things. From February 2 to 7, cool beach restaurant Frangipani is serving a set menu of authentic Chinese cuisine. There’ll also be special packages especially for vegetarians. It’s a spectacular setting for a memorable meal.
Dhs240 (vegetarian menu and soft drinks), Dhs280 (soft drinks), Dhs300 (vegetarian menu with grape), Dhs350 (with grape). Feb 2-7, 6pm-9.30pm. Zaya Nurai Island (02 506 6274).


This classy restaurant at Emirates Palace is really on another level of fancy. The Chinese New Year menu looks absolutely fantastic, with highlights including Peking duck with crispy bean curd and mango, roasted jasmine chicken with sticky rice, and wok-fried lobster with chives and lily bulb. It finishes on a high too, with the sweet flavours of the beautifully presented ‘Wealth Pot’ dessert. Guests are also invited to write down their New Year’s wishes and tie them to the traditional Chinese wishing tree. The full menu is available until February 24.
Dhs498. Until Feb 24, 6pm-midnight. Emirates Palace, West Corniche (02 690 7999).

Li Jiang
You just know you’re in for a special kind of Chinese New Year celebration at this classy Asian eatery. It is serving up a four-course menu of pan-Asian dishes, with each plate freshly prepared in the open kitchen, and specifically designed to be shared with your friends and loved ones. Bookings must include a minimum of two guests per table, so bring your bestie along.
Dhs220 (food only). Feb 3-9, 7pm-11pm. The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Khor Al Maqta (02 818 8282).

Shang Palace

It really shouldn’t be any surprise that this authentic Chinese restaurant is hosting a New Year’s celebration to rival all others. There’ll be an incredible eight courses to the Cantonese dinner, so make sure you arrive hungry. It’s available from February 4 to 19, and there are also traditional lion dance performances taking place from 11.10am on February 5. You won’t want to miss this awe-inspiring display, plus you’ll even have a chance to play the historic Chinese game of mahjong in between your many courses.
Dhs388. Feb 4-19, 7pm-11pm. Feb 5, noon-3.30pm (lunch), 11.10am onwards (lion dance performances). Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Bain Al Jessrain (02 509 8888).

There are many brilliant things about dining at Stratos, but this cool revolving restaurant also has the added advantage of giving you the perfect view of the Chinese New Year fireworks. Take in the 360-degree vistas and feast on Chinese-inspired dishes as the night sky fills with colour. DJ Lola Nova will be on the decks playing all the top tunes as you enjoy free-flowing beverages.
Dhs325. Feb 5, 8pm-11pm. Le Royal Méridien, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Street (02 692 4247).

Trader Vic’s
The fun Tiki-style restaurant has created a three-course Chinese menu full of tempting dishes. Starters include the four-season Chinese tidbits (coco prawns, kung pao chicken wings, wontons and duck rolls), while for your mains you can choose from the very impressive-sounding golden dragon lobster or the Mandarin blossom duck. You can finish it all off with the very sweet and creamy mango and coconut mousse, a great way to end your celebrations.
Prices vary. Feb 5, 6pm-11.30pm. Beach Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiyah (02 697 9011).

Yas Island

This celebration goes all the way to Thursday February 20.
Ferrari World is hosting special performances from acts brought in from China. Hao Yun will perform a range of acrobatic stunts and shows across the three weeks, while Chinese circus act Qingdian will also put on a show. There’s also going to be the Khalil Kung Fu academy.
Meanwhile at Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, the Plaza will be lit up with festive decorations, with Chinese arts and crafts available to the little ones, where they can make their own lanterns, dragons, umbrellas and more.
Finally, Yas Waterworld has got a Chinese beach buffet, noodle making demonstrations and a range of Chinese souvenirs to take away.
Feb 1-20. Yas Island, www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com, www.wbworld.com, www.yaswaterworld.com.

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