(Left to right) Liu Zhengjie, Chinese deputy consul-general; Mohammed Saeed Al Marzouki, acting CEO Hala China; Li Xuhang, Chinese consul-general; Sumaya Al Ali, VP for Government Partnerships at Expo City Dubai at the press conference in Dubai on Thursday. Image Credit: Angel Teseroro/Gulf News

Dubai: The Chinese New Year grand parade will return to Dubai on January 14, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Chinese Consulate in Dubai announced on Thursday.

Chinese consul-general Li Xuhang said the grand parade that will take place at Expo City Dubai is touted as the biggest celebration outside of China. “It will be a grand display of Chinese culture – combining traditions and modernity,” he noted.

More than 2,500 people are expected to participate in the parade that will feature not only the traditional lion and dragon dance, marching bands, performers and acrobats in bright costumes, but will also showcase “modern energy vehicles and Chinese high-tech products”.

The parade, organised by the Chinese Embassy, Chinese Consulate, Hala China and supported by China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with Expo City Dubai as strategic partner, will start at 4pm and culminate in a grand performance at Al Wasl dome. There will be 60 parade formats and 20 floats that will march along a two-kilometre route inside Expo City Dubai.

Chinese carnival for all

Aside from the parade, Li said there will also be Spring Festival booths featuring different Chinese cuisines, as well as cultural exhibitions, street dance and fun games “to present a Chinese carnival for all”.

Mohammed Saeed Al Marzouki, acting CEO of Hala China, added: “We have been carefully curating the program for the event; trying to find the perfect balance of tradition and contemporary Chinese culture in the varieties of music, dance, food, and other cultural factors – catering to all age groups.

“The grand parade will showcase China’s culture in its best light, and advance cultural exchange between China and other nations/nationalities, at the international stage of Expo City Dubai,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Chinese consul-general said the ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ grand parade is also an announcement and invitation to Chinese tourists to “come back to Dubai and celebrate Chinese New Year here”.

The Chinese New Year actually falls this year on January 22 but the grand parade will take place in Dubai on Saturday, January 14, which is the start of the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year that is celebrated for 18 days in China.

Tourism boom

Li noted: “As a regional economic hub, Dubai is one of the most popular destinations for Chinese companies. It is safe to say that the strong momentum of China’s economic recovery will soon be felt by the world, which will be followed by a boom in Chinese people traveling abroad, and Dubai, as a famous tourist destination, will soon see the spectacular return of Chinese tourists.”

Sumaya Al Ali, VP for Government Partnerships at Expo City Dubai, said: “We are honoured that Expo City Dubai has been selected to host the prestigious “Happy Chinese New Year” grand parade. Expo City Dubai builds on the success of the World Expo, in which China played a significant part. Events such as this celebrate our relationship and encourage us to look to the future with hope and optimism as we seek to enhance our cultural, diplomatic and business ties.”