Oliver Ephgrave

Jan 22nd 2020

DXB is gearing up to usher-in the Year of the Golden Rat, symbolising success and vitality. Fittingly, the world’s largest international airport is celebrating the DXB way, with an action-packed agenda for all passengers to enjoy.

Live shows

Passengers travelling through Terminal 3 can join 200 million people around the world in watching live footage of the legendary Chinese New Year Gala. The annual celebration has become one of the most important TV events in China, with jaw-dropping performances of Chinese opera, lion dances and acrobatics. DXB’s live streaming will be broadcasted on the big screen in the picnic area near Gate B26 from 4pm to 8.30pm on 24 January via Chinese Central Television Middle East (CCTV ME). The same area will see a flurry of activity throughout the night. From 11pm, a skilled calligrapher will fuse Middle Eastern and Asian traditions by inscribing the names of passengers in Arabic on a special Chinese New Year postcard. Entertainment will carry on till the early hours of the morning with a Chinese-themed acrobatic displays from La Perle – courtesy of Dubai Shopping Festival – as well as a show-stopping set from award-winning Chinese songstress, Joey Jia (pictured).  La Perle and Jia will also perform for passengers at Terminal 1 in the evening of 25 January.

Prizes galore

There are some fantastic giveaways throughout DXB, especially on Chinese New Year itself (25 January). If you’re flying that morning, make a beeline for The Noodle House in Terminal 1 or Asian Street Kitchen in Terminal 3. Both outlets are handing out free cookies and a 20% discount voucher to the first 100 customers. Until 15 February, beverages specialist Le Clos in Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 is giving away special gifts inside a Chinese red envelope, with the grand prize of a voucher worth AED8,888. Meanwhile, DXB’s stylish new Plaza Premium Lounge is embracing the Chinese notion of ‘lucky eight’ by giving away the same number of free passes. Stay tuned to DXB’s social channels for more details about the competition.

Fantastic food

Dozens of restaurants and cafes throughout DXB are ready to serve up a feast from the East. If you’re passing through Terminal 1, D-Gates, head to Camden Food Co for chicken in plum sauce with steamed rice, or try the Chinese New Year set menu at YO! Sushi. Over in Terminal 3’s B-Gates, The Wok at The Daily DXB (has put on a range of Chinese-inspired delights including youtiao, shrimp moneybags, spring onion pancakes, red bean buns and vegetable spring rolls (pictured). Next door at Tranzeet you’ll find the tempting Chinese chili beef bao with coriander, peanuts and pickled onions, while Treehouse in A and B-Gates is plating up hoisin duck wraps with Chinese cabbage slaw, pickled cucumbers and chili mayo. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Chinese egg custard tarts at FIX in A and B-Gates, or the marzipan Chinese New Year muffin at Costa, across all terminals.

Great gifting

Get transported to the streets of Shanghai with a walk around the retail outlets in DXB; you’ll find Chinese lanterns, cherry blossom and ornaments hanging from every corner. Dubai Duty Free is brimming with themed products, including a special Chinese New Year kit from L’Occitane with lip balm, shimmering lotion and shea hand cream, all wrapped in a limited-edition pack that’s perfect for travel. For something a bit more indulgent, pick up the Lindt Assorted Neapolitans in Chinese New Year packaging. Music fans will love the playful Switch bright red painted airpods in a case adorned with a Chinese lucky cat. They’ll also approve of the limited-edition Chinese New Year T-shirt at Hard Rock Cafe in Terminal 3, B-Gates. The same concourse is home to the new Marks & Spencer pop-up, which is impressively adorned with Chinese decorations and selling boxes of themed chocolates during the festival.

Warm welcome

While travellers of all nationalities can enjoy DXB’s Chinese New Year festivities, there are also services to cater for the thousands of Chinese passengers anticipated to arrive at the airport during the festival. For starters there’s a special Mandarin edition of the airport’s very own magazine Time Out DXB, a complete guide to the latest lifestyle experiences in DXB and Dubai. The magazine is free inside the airport and available to read online as a flipbook. Customers that connect to the super-fast airport Wi-fi can listen to free Chinese music with a dedicated playlist powered by Anghami. What’s more, China-based online payment platform Alipay has teamed up with Dubai Duty Free to offer instant savings on purchases above RMB1200, until 29 February. Customers can also enter into a lucky draw on daily purchases over RMB2500 thanks to Alipay’s partnership with Dubai Shopping Festival, which runs until 1 Feb.