This year Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend in the UAE, which gives you loads of opportunity for things to do. We asked Dubai and Abu Dhabi residents where they think we should take our loved ones on Valentine’s day, so that we can provide you with this handy list of recommendations. Now you can plan your weekend armed with some tried and tested ideas. Whether you want to head out for oysters, book a luxurious staycation or even if you’d rather try something less traditional, we’ve got a great list of recommendations to suit all interests.
This luxury 5-star fine dining seafood restaurant was actually recommended by a few different people as the most romantic restaurant in Dubai! It’s a multi-award winning restaurant located on Jumeirah Al Qasr’s private pier with extraordinary views of the Arabian Gulf and the Burj Al Arab from right above the water. The Valentine’s offer is for a four course set menu, wine package, and live entertainment. You can expect fresh oysters, caviar and other seafood as well as some Mediterranean meat and vegetarian options. We have also been told that the 5* restaurant has on previous Valentine’s Days had a live harp player and complimentary gifts for women such as flowers and chocolates. So, if you fancy splashing out this Valentine’s Day for excellent service and food, this restaurant is going to be a hit.
Ride an Abra through the Madinat
An Abra ride through the Madinat is always a fun and romantic way to spend an evening, so for extra points you could tie this in with your trip to Pierchic or perhaps to one of the Madinat hotels for a staycation! We hear that the Abras in Madinat will have rose petals on them for Valentine’s Day too which is a nice touch. Better still, you can even book a Valentine’s Abra Afternoon Tea! Enjoy the amazing views whilst you enjoy a delicious afternoon tea on your own private boat. The tour is for one hour and the package includes a glass of bubbly each.
The Eastern Mangroves in Abu Dhabi is a beautiful location to whisk your loved one away to on Valentine’s day. Particularly with some of the offers they have on throughout the month of February! Choose from an option of a staycation including a romantic room set up, dining experiences and spa massages, or a four course Valentine’s set menu at their Thai restaurant, Pachaylen, or a romantic 2 hour couples spa package! The hotel is even hosting a candlelit poolside evening buffet with live entertainment on February 14th.
For the bolder couples, why not treat your loved one to a skydive? It’s one way to be sure that you’ll make their heart beat faster. A brave choice for more reasons than one! What says ‘I love you’ better than throwing your other half out of a plane? Let us know if you actually do book this for your Valentine as we want to hear the stories and we especially want to hear about the reaction from your partner.
To make a really special impression, you and your loved one could visit “the Maldives of the Middle East” Zaya Nurai Island in Abu Dhabi. This is located just off the Abu Dhabi coast, is reachable by speedboat in 15 minutes from Saadiyat Island and it promises a very exclusive experience. The island has a tropical, exotic paradise feeling so is a sure way to charm your loved one. We would suggest a romantic staycation in one of the beach villas, which feature a private sundeck and pool that opens out to the beachfront. You might even be able to spot some dolphins playing in the distance!
It’s one of Dubai’s most famous iconic buildings and currently the tallest in the world, so what better way to spend Valentine’s day than at the Burj Khalifa. You’ll both feel on top of the world and will enjoy breathtaking views! Their breakfast offering looks particularly delicious, with a special 3 course option. Residents can even get a special offer with their Emirates ID making it an even more appealing way to spend your morning.
A nice laid back but glamorous vibe with fabulous views of the Burj Khalifa and the fountains. Neos is also an excellent spot to watch the sunset and the service is excellent. Make sure you check out their extensive cocktail and mocktail list! Their bar team can make any drink your heart desires. Just make sure you visit the right hotel by heading to the Address Downtown rather than the nearby Address Dubai Mall.
The Love lake is a manmade heart shaped lake in Al Qudra desert, Dubai. It is a cute one to visit and you can take some great pictures there too! Al Qudra also has the famous cycle track where you can rent bikes and choose from different length tracks from 50k up to 100k if you’re both feeling active. You can take a short visit, or turn up with a picnic, but the area is also open 24hours so you could camp there too! We recommend bringing snacks and drinks as there aren’t a lot of options in the area. It’s a great place to visit to get away from the city and be in a peaceful area. Perhaps a bit cheesy, but if you’re going to go and check it out, when will there be a more appropriate day?
If you’re not the smushy romantic type, why don’t you get competitive on Valentine’s Day with the desert warrior challenge? Self-described as “the region’s most adrenaline-fueled and exhilarating obstable course” it’s sure to make your Valentine’s day an exciting one. The military-inspired obstacles require you to run, climb, slide and work as a team to smash through the course. It will take place at the Al Marmoom District in Dubai and there are a variety of different course options for you to participate in depending on how up for it you’re feeling!
If what you love the most is helping others, education for children or perhaps walking – we’ve got you. Betterhomes will also be participating in the Dubai Cares walk for education which coincidentally takes place on Valentine’s day. The walk will be held at Dubai Creek Park and is hosted to send a message to the world about the importance of providing children and youth safe access to school. Registration is from 8am – 9am with the walk taking approximately 45 minutes from 9am. There will be post-walk entertainment and activities and a ticket is only AED 35. Guaranteed to warm your heart.
Some people say the most romantic place in Dubai is the desert! The big skies, sand dunes and stars at night. Pitch a tent, light a fire… there is nowhere else like it. You also have your pick of deserts in the UAE, red dunes or white sand? Bring your own picnic or take a guided desert safari tour. Luxury desert resort Bab Al Shams even offers three different dining experiences where you’ll watch the sunset from your own private tent that is already set up and decorated for you whilst your own butler waits on you. However, for the most romantic experience, we’d suggest preparing your favourite treats and finding your own spot on the sand for a barbecue or picnic. Just make sure you clean up after and look after the environment!
Take in the sunset views and feel extra special at Vida Creek Harbour
Vida Creek Harbour boasts the best sunset view in Dubai. It is the perfect spot for a romantic dinner. The best part is that the place is still not crowded at all and is easily accessible to everyone. The special Valentine’s package on offer over the weekend for those staying over promises a surprise welcome kit to make your evening a memorable one, including adult trivia games, sweet stuff, a bottle of grape and more, as well as a couple’s breakfast in bed! What’s not to love? There is also the option of adding on additional extras such as private cabanas and a discount for the Valentine’s dinner which includes his & hers dessert stations. How sweet.
Dubai Miracle Garden was actually opened on Valentine’s Day in 2013 with the intention of promoting the messages of peace, love and romance, making it a great place to visit. The gardens have walkways through millions of flowers, thousands of hearts, hundreds of flower sculptures and more enormously built themed areas. At every turn you’ll see flowers and hearts and lots of other floral designs. There is also a flower auditorium which will host theatrical events and a flower castle serving popcorn, frozen yoghurt and other treats. Perhaps not the most subtle hint if your style is more low-key, but a visit here will certainly get your message across on Valentine’s Day!
What will you be up to on Friday 14th? Do you have any great suggestions that we’ve missed out? Whatever your plans, we hope you enjoy your weekend and what Dubai and Abu Dhabi have to offer! For more ideas of fun activities to try in February, check out our recent blog post What’s coming up in Dubai in February?