Chinese expatriates in Dubai welcome the Year of the Snake
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Over the weekend, Chinese people around the world bid farewell to the Year of the Dragon, and ushered in the Year of the Snake. Expatriates living in Dubai joined in with the festivities and kicked off the Chinese New Year with a bang, according to Gulf Today.
A meeting of cultures
The news source reports that the inaugural ceremony was attended by Zhan Jingbao, the Chinese consul general in Dubai. Chinese expatriates and locals alike cheered as Jingbao delivered his speech in Arabic, thanking His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, in addition to congratulating Chinese residents on the New Year.
Entertainment provided during the celebrations included a re-creation of an authentic Chinese dance featuring children dressed in traditional Asian attire, as well as demonstrations of martial arts including Chinese kung fu and Taiji boxing. Ceremonial drumming was also a major part of the festivities, and an 11-day festival has been organized to introduce Arabic individuals to Chinese culture. The event will take place at the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping complexes in the world, and will feature a range of traditional Chinese cultural activities, such as calligraphy displays and folk dancing.
"The Chinese New Year is our biggest day, [and] the celebrations go on for 15 days," Lucy Chuang, founder of the Dubai Chinese Learning Centre, told Gulf News. "Chinese tradition says there'll be some ups and downs at first, but then all will be smooth – like the snake – with a good result at the end of the year."
According to the news source, most of Dubai's Chinese expatriates are concentrated in Deira, although some international residents are choosing to live in newer areas of the city that are undergoing rapid development.
Chinese citizens are not the only ones flocking to Dubai. The Telegraph reports that expatriates from around the world are choosing to live and work in the "International City," and that Dubai's property market is one of the most vibrant in the world.
Although some expatriates choose to stay in short term rental apartments and temporary housing upon arrival, interest in property investment is high among international workers. In addition to the dynamic rental market in Dubai, many expats are purchasing houses, condominiums and apartments for use as income properties. Demand for housing in Dubai is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years, and individuals who want to cash in on the real estate market in Dubai should act quickly.
"Now is a good time to invest in Dubai, and if you choose the right areas you will see good capital growth and strong rental yields from your property," Mark Stott, chief executive officer of international property consultancy Select Property, told the news source.
The news source reports that many expatriates and wealthy residents are choosing to live in upmarket areas of the city, such as Downtown, Palm Islands and Dubai Marina. Interest in these districts could drive demand for serviced apartments and other managed housing solutions, as most expats choose to live and work in Dubai on fixed-term contracts.
Besides the area's lucrative real estate market, the stability and regulatory compliance aspects of renting property in Dubai make it an attractive option for expatriates and landlords alike. Commonly, rental tenants pay an entire year's worth of rent upfront before moving in, or in two six-month installments. Not only does this arrangement make budgeting for accommodations easier for tenants, it also provides landlords with a level of security rarely seen in other rental markets.