(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The Chinese market is one of the important for Dubai and its tourism sector, the reason Burj Al Arab has planned to celebrate the Chinese New Year for the second consecutive year in 2013.
To launch the celebrations, the hotel will project a massive red calligraphic serpent artwork on the sail-shaped exterior to welcome the Year of the Snake.
"We focus on the Chinese New Year in order to provide our Chinese guests a home away from home," Burj Al Arab general manager Heinrich Morio told Khaleej Times in an interview.
"We started doing that last year for the first time. It was very positive experience... from our Chinese guests and from all of our guests in general because the Chinese New Year is not just known to Chinese, it's known to all cultures," he explained.
He said that this year there is good demand again as the hotel is busy this time of the year. "We have nice contingent of Chinese guests, but other guests as well," Morio added. Without giving the occupancy level, he said: "We are running a very busy hotel."
Talking about the outlook for hotel industry in Dubai, Morio said: "All indicators are very positive. Our business on the books is much stronger than last year and we are very positive about 2013."
Last year was also very good and much better than the year before, he said, adding: "It was the best year in Dubai since 2008."
Five out of the world's top ten tallest hotels are located in Dubai and Burj Al Arab is ranked the fourth tallest in the world. But Morio claimed that he is in charge of the tallest all-suites hotels in the world. Burj Al Arab is also considered a seven-star hotel, but Morio said: "We are not actively promoting the hotel as a seven-star, but say it's the world's most luxurious hotel based on its location, magnificent architecture, incredible interior design and generous use of space."
The hotel's 202 luxury suites range from 170 to 780sqm, said Morio, who has been associated with the hotel for the last five years. Designed to resemble a billowing sail and stands at a height of 321 metres, Burj Al Arab is also one of the most photographed structures in the world.
The hotel will celebrate the Chinese New Year from February 10 for one week and a peak in Chinese visitors is expected. In the last three years, the ease of securing UAE visas has helped attract a record number of Chinese tourists and businesspeople to the UAE and many have made Burj Al Arab their prime destination, according to Morio.
To the accompaniment of the Chinese zither music, Chinese delicacies hand-selected by Chef Foong will be served from live cooking stations, while children's Chinese craft activities will entertain young guests.
The celebrations will continue for one week in Junsui with traditional dishes including Chinese-style cupcakes called fa gao and a new year cake called nian gao, served alongside dim sum and Peking duck.