A Date With A Difference
If there’s one date on the calendar when romance should be guaranteed, it’s 14 February, when new love blooms and older relationships celebrate milestones.

This year, instead of committing to the common “night-out in any fancy restaurant” Valentine’s Day plan, why not try something new?

The UAE offers a variety of activities and destinations perfect for a great date, and we’ve listed fourteen of them here. These ideas cater to all, from those looking for budgetfriendly activities to those who want to make a splash. Enjoy!


Enjoy the rolling vista of an 18-hole golf course as you indulge in a romantic four-course dinner at the Ranches restaurant terrace at Arabian Ranches Golf course in Dubai. Take in the sunset glow with a glass of bubbly in hand along with the smooth saxophone tunes to set the mood, and later head down to the course for a round of golf to enjoy the grand designs up close.

Tel: 04 888 3444


The perfect date warrants the perfect outft and Namshi has come out with a campaign flled with Valentine’s colours For Her and For Him. From sporty kicks to strappy heels and dapper wear to popping makeup, there are more than enough options to dress for your night-out or in.

Visit: namshi.com


Flowers are a given at Valentine’s but this year add a little pizzazz by getting your bouquet delivered in a Rolls Royce. Maison Des Fleurs, a luxury floral boutique known for creating some of the grandest floral arrangements, has launched a special delivery service this year via a chauffeur-driven Phantom Coupe. Customers aiming to make a Valentine's Day message last can create breathtaking, personalised arrangements.

Visit maisondesfleurs.com


If you’re not one for painting the town red, opt for a candlelit dinner for two at home. Go all out with a fve-course meal this year from oysters and lobsters to decadent desserts for sweet endings. We’ve even saved you the trouble of scouring online for ideas, so flip to page 19 for fve sumptuous recipes.


Escape to the Southern Coast of Oman for a romantic getaway at Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara. Situated between a tropical beach and a freshwater lagoon, couples will surely appreciate the secluded Garden View Pool Villas on-site. Spa treatments by candlelight, tandem body massages and beachfront horse rides are just three of the unforgettable experiences waiting for you.

Visit: salalah.anantara.com


Picture this: a luxurious two-night stay in Fairmont Dubai’s Imperial Suite kicking off with a stretch limo pick-up to take you to the hotel. A bouquet of 100 roses and a diamond jewellery set worth Dh15,000 await you in your suite, followed by professional makeup and hair stylists pampering you before indulging in a seven-course gourmet meal on the hotel’s rooftop. You’re serenaded by a live violin as you enjoy your meal and afterwards you’re taken on a helicopter ride over Dubai. A lot more awaits you in the hotel’s Ultimate Valentine’s package. The cost? A steal at just Dh85,000. Ok, maybe next year...

A number of more wallet-friendly options are also available ranging from a one-night stay to a one-and-ahalf-hour dinner at the hotel’s dine-inthe-dark restaurant, Noire.

Call: 04 332 5555


If cuddling on the couch sounds like the ideal way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, grab some popcorn (or better still chocolate coated strawberries) and watch some cute movies – Amelie, Love Actually, 2 Days in New York. If you haven’t signed up for Netflix, now could be the time to do it and start a marathon series binge with your better half.


Sweep your loved one of their feet, literally, with Platinum Heritage’s Valentine’s Day Hot Air Balloon Ride with private breakfast. Watch as the sun rises behind the Hajar Mountains stretch and enjoy viewing Arabian Oryx herds, gazelles and wandering camels across the green oases. Your balloon is also encircled with a falconry show throughout.

Does it sound like a scene straight out of a Disney animation flm? Once you land you will be driven to a desert camp’s private cabana in a vintage ffties Land Rover where you will be served a gourmet breakfast of hand-cut smoked salmon, caviar and a selection of cold meats and cheeses. An on-site chef will have your eggs cooked to your liking, and sparkling date juice is also available. Price per couple Dh3,390.

Book via platinum-heritage.com


Take a break from the conventional celebrations this Valentine’s and head down to an exclusively romantic version of Paint & Grape, hosted by We Love Art at Iris Dubai where you get to tap into your inner artist at an easel with a glass of grape in hand.

As a celebration of Valentine’s, you’ll be recreating one of the most celebrated Pop Art masterpieces, The Kiss, to French Jazz tunes while overlooking Downtown Dubai. Book an easel via denise@weloveart.ae for Dh369 per couple.


Platinum Heritage’s Romance in the Desert package deal features a private chauffeur drive into the desert followed by a fun dune bash in a vintage ffties Land Rover.

Your breath will be taken away by an unspoiled view of the stars away from the light pollution of the cities. Your fnal destination will be a private set-up of a torch-lit dinner camp, where you and your partner get to indulge in a four-course gourmet meal prepared to you onsite by their chef. End your night by learning about the skies as you stargaze with a professional astronomer. Price per couple AED 2,575.

Book via platinum-heritage.com


A dinner cruise will defnitely land this year’s celebrations in the top ten so book a Valentine’s dhow package. The tour agency Nuzhath Ideas offers moonlit rides across the Dubai Creek or pick Abu Dhabi Dhow Cruise for a gander at the city’s shimmering skyline accompanied by romantic radio hits from the DJ. Also available is a wide variety, allyou-can-eat buffet for you to choose from.

Enquire or book via dhowcruiseabudhabi.ae


What better way to ring in the celebrations of love with your partner than to dance the night away. Don’t be shy, sign up for a dance class at Dance Studios Dubai, JLT and take your pick from all kinds of styles, including salsa, jive and merengue.

Call: 04 457 9228


Unwind in an intimate escape with Valentine-themed spa packages at Abu Dhabi’s Ritz Carlton. Take it a step further by indulging in the VIP experience in the sky. This offer includes a Bentley pick-up and drop-off to and from the hotel as well as a 30-minute use of the facilities including Jacuzzi, sauna and steam Room in the Spa Sky Suite. The spa treatment features Remede customised body polish, customised full body massage and a three-course menu. Dh4,200 per couple.

Call 02 818 8888 to make a booking


If spending Valentine’s Day on the Niyama private Islands in the Maldives is not your idea of a perfect date, then we don’t know what is. Here you can go six metres underwater in an aquatic wonderland with tropical shoals and corals, have dinner for two 500 metres out over the Indian Ocean at the fne dining restaurant Edge – or on a deserted sandbank – or even have a private 3D screening of your favourite movie under the stars.

If you want to go on this ultimate treat: Dh989 from Abu Dhabi via Gulf Air/Dh808 from Dubai via flydubai, from which you take around a 40-minute seaplane journey to the island. Rates start from Dhs1,613 per room per night excluding service charges and taxes.

Visit niyama.com
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