Thousands participate in Dubai grand parade for upcoming Chinese New Year
Dubbed "Happy Chinese New Year Grand Parade," the two-kilometer parade attracted thousands of spectators.
Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yiming said before the start of the parade that "it is the 'Little New Year' on Saturday according to the Chinese lunar calendar, signaling that Spring Festival or Chinese New Year is approaching."
Chinese New Year will fall on January 22 in 2023, marking the start of the year of the Rabbit.
"This year's grand parade is a showcase of the Chinese people's spirit of diligence, courage, unity, cooperation and perseverance. It also vividly conveyed the confidence and determination of the Chinese and UAE people to create a better life," Zhang added.
The parade had over 60 formations and more than 20 floats celebrating Chinese culture and tradition, according to Li Xuhang, consul general of China in Dubai.
"More than 300,000 overseas Chinese have started businesses and worked hard in this blessed land of the UAE, taking root in the local area, and gathering positive energy to promote China-UAE friendship," the Chinese ambassador noted.
Aside from marching bands, lion and dragon dance performers, red lanterns and other brightly-colored ornaments, the grand parade also features Chinese new energy vehicles.
Manal AlBayat, chief engagement officer of Expo 2020 Dubai, said that "as Expo City Dubai continues to flourish as a clean, green, innovation-driven city of the future and the host of the upcoming COP28, we recognize the role that Chinese innovators have played and will continue to play in sustainable progress."
Salem AlShamsi, a UAE citizen, watched the grand parade with his family. "We were fascinated with the parade. It was a delight seeing Chinese and expatriates of various nationalities joyfully parading together and exhibiting camaraderie among people of different cultural backgrounds and history," he said.
The festive event was organized by the Chinese Embassy in UAE, the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Dubai, and the Hala China Initiative, an initiative aimed at exploring opportunities to attract Chinese visitors.
It was also supported by China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with Expo City Dubai as a strategic partner.