Valentines Day in Dubai
As with all international holidays and celebrations, Dubai embraces the spirit of Valentines Day with a spirit worthy of the saint. Everywhere you look, malls are decorated with the synonymous red hearts and roses, while the airwaves are jam packed full of cheesy lines and breathless voices advertising restaurants, flower shops, jewellery shops and hotels.
We are lucky enough to be surrounded with a multitude of fantastic restaurants and bars, all offering variations of different valentines dinners and drinks packages. If you’re looking for something a little different, I have previously written a post about alternative Valentines Days in Dubai and whilst my restaurant choices may have varied, the alternative activities largely remain the same.
However with Valentines Day falling on a Sunday this year, the first day of our working week, we are a little more limited on what we can do. Magazines are full of the usual list of high price hotels and restaurants all seeking to outdo each other in the wow stakes, so I’ve had some thought about other alternative activities you can do within the city to create special memories with your loved one without breaking the bank:
- Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) and a picnic on the beach
Whether you and your partner are pros or beginners, this could be a great fun activity to do together. Whilst you can hire stand up paddle boards at various beaches in Dubai now, my recommendation would be to try Surf House, head out straight from work to get the last rays of sunshine and take a picnic to enjoy on the beach as the sun sets afterwards. Just don’t forget a waterproof camera (you don’t want to miss the chance for more Burj Al Arab backdrop pictures!) and some warm towels and a change of clothes to ensure you don’t get chilly after. You can always pick up a nice warming coffee from The Surf House after too.
2. Adventure HQ airpark and a drink in the Ice Bar
Recreate that walking on air feeling when you’re together and take your love to new heights (sorry the ads got the better of me there!) There are a few places in Dubai with high wire circuits, it may be a bit far to head out to the airpark at Wadi Adventure in Al Ain, but Adventure HQ has a fun little circuit, or the latest branch in Dalma Mall, Abu Dhabi, has a full adventure centre with plenty of activities you could take part in with your loved one, and which are certain to give you an active evening full of giggles. If you choose to visit the Times Square Mall outlet, you could combine it with a drink in the Chill Out ice bar after to celebrate. The bar provides all the warm clothing, but note that alcohol is not served here – and it really is so cold, you’ll only want to call in for a very quick drink anyway!
3. Trampoline fun and healthy eats
There is no better way to relieve stress, exercise, fall about in giggles and generally revert back to being a child than by trampolining. We have a few places now offering trampolining in Dubai, but my preference would be Bounce where you can get involved in games of Dodgeball, shoot hoops, try to run up walls, bounce from trampolines onto crash mats or just make like Tigger and happily bounce from trampoline to trampoline. Finish this off with a stop in at Lime Tree Cafe opposite for some nice fresh healthy food, or for a slice of their legendary carrot cake, and you’ve got a perfect evening planned.
4. Ice skating and dinner watching the fountains
We can’t create a winter wonderland, and it may not be quite as romantic as the frozen lake lit by moonlight that our romcom fantasies dream of, but at the end of the day it’s all about the company, rather than the location anyway. Iceskating can be a lot of fun (particularly for those who aren’t practiced in it) even if it does take place in the hustle and bustle of Dubai Mall ice rink! You can always add a little more romance afterwards by taking dinner on the terrace of one of the cafes overlooking the Dubai Fountains.
5. Hiring a Byky and cycling Jumeirah Beach or Dubai Marina
With the abundance of newly developed promenades in Dubai, there are some lovely walkways and both Marina Walk and the promenade along Jumeirah beach have regular Byky stations to hire bikes. If you time it right, you could have a cycle along the water, stopping to watch the sunset. If you’re near Jumeirah Beach, you might want to stop at WannaBanana for a healthy sweet treat too, or a coffee and nibble at Park House. If you’re looking for something stronger however, you might choose to call into one of the hotels for a sundowner, just don’t have too many if you’re planning to cycle back!
6. A drive in the dunes
Head out of the city to Al Qudra, take a walk around the lakes, drive out beyond through the dunes, go wherever takes your fancy, just make sure you let the air out of your tyres and have experience driving on the sand!
Have a lovely day, no matter what you do, and try to keep focussed on what matters – spending quality time with the person you love – rather than being swept along in Dubai’s excesses!