Time Out Dubai has a complete guide to the best things to do on Valentine's Day weekend in Dubai, including date night ideas, concerts and more
Learn to dance together Few activities offer such an opportunity for intimate expression of love and joy as dancing. Dancing shouldn't be just about your wedding day; do it as often as you can and get help from the pros to teach you some moves. Ballroom, tango and salsa in particular are good for couples and lessons can be customised at the Arthur Murray dance studio. Dhs100 (intro lesson). Lesson timings on request. Reef Tower, JLT, www.arthurmurraydubai.com (04 448 645804 448 6458)
Yellow Boat cruise There is something uplifting about the sea and the sunset at the best of times, so we’re sure the new romance tours from Yellow Boats will be lovely. To set the mood, there will be a rose for ladies and complimentary mixed drinks for passengers. If you’re planning a proposal with an impact, then the private tours take in the Burj Al Arab, Dubai Marina, royal palaces and more. Dhs1,200. Daily, timings on request (sunset cruises available), Dubai Marina Walk, opposite Spinneys, Dubai Marina, www.theyellowboats.com (800 892).
Up, up and away Would you like to ride in a beautiful balloon? Us too. Despite the early start (Dubai hotel pick-ups are pre-dawn) we can assure you the world really is a better place when seen from a hot air balloon over the desert. Dhs995. Timings and pick-up locations on request, www.ballooning.ae (04 285 494904 285 4949).
On the off chance that you have budgeted exactly Dhs399,000 for Valentine’s Day, Anantara The Palm Dubai has an experience with helicopter rides, vintage bubbly, spa treatments, couture dresses, bespoke suits, make-up artists, canapés, serenading, mixed drinks, gourmet food, more spa treatments and a chauffer-driven limousine trip to the airport, where you will be whisked away for a few more days of the same in the Maldives lined up for you. Just to be clear – the Dhs399,000 was not a typing error. Cheaper options are available. Dhs399,000. Call for timings and details.
Spend an evening watching exactly how romance should be done as the Courtyard Playhouse kicks off its Vintage Film Nights. The Al Quoz culture hub will screen Roman Holiday and An Affair to Remember, while dishing out free popcorn. Perfection? Something like it. Dhs100. Sun Feb 14, from 7pm.
Full marks go to Iris for an original Valentine’s Day idea. Each guest will be given a canvas and paints, while an instructor offers friendly advice. Two house drinks are included, and you can take your finished work home. With mesmerising views and good live music, this is a brilliant idea for a romantic and arty evening. Dhs369. Sun Feb 14, 7.30pm-10.30pm.
A safe date option for nearly 20 years, Laughter Factory is a Time Out favourite. Laughter is a great way to spend an evening together, but maybe avoid the front row, where you could become the focus of a comic’s attention. Comics already booked for the February line-up include Canada's comedian of the year Simon B. Cotter and Andrew Bird. Call for prices.
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, the old saying told us. But we reckon it needs to be updated, because we're pretty sure that is how to best impress a woman, too. Take a culinary trip to your lover’s heart with a “Love Story” cooking lesson at Chef’s Palette in Fairmont The Palm. Learn how to make a tempting dessert and enjoy a six-course set menu.
RedFestDXB returns to Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on February 11 and 12.
Now in its third year, the weekend-long festival at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre is one of the most popular events on the music calendar and claimed the Time Out Nightlife Award for Best Festival (2015). And this year, organisers are 'guaranteeing' to be 'even bigger and better than ever before'.
'The line-up we have organized is very exciting and once again we have surpassed ourselves in attracting some of the biggest, best and most exciting current artists,' Done Events said in a statement. 'Our phenomenal bill .... is guaranteed to bring back the fans from our previous festivals as well as attracting a lot of new fans.'
Previous years have seen the likes of Iggy Azelea, Kid Ink, The Script, Jesse J, Kiesza, Bastille, Rixton, Cris Cab, Ella Eyre, Tinie Tempah and John Newman all take to the stage in front of a sell-out crowd.
Top of the bill this time around is Rita Ora, returning to the scene of her first Dubai show two years ago. Growing in popularity since 2013, she is now permanently set in the minds of millions thanks to plenty of work outside of music, such as fashion design, modelling and TV presenting for The Voice and, currently, X Factor in the UK.
At the other end of her career is Eva Simons, who can lay claim to one of the biggest hits of the year to date. Policeman is certainly a breakthrough moment for the Dutch songstress who had previously tasted success as the lead vocal on AfroJack's Take Over Control five years ago. Her unique style and huge hairstyle has also helped her become one of most recognisable stars of 2015.
Joining the pair are Adam Lambert, the San Diego singer who shot to fame in the 2009 series of American Idol, Egyptian Natalie Saba, and The Vamps.
There's also Steve Aoki then joined the list. The talented producer will bring a plethora of chart-topping tracks with him including Delirium and Rage the Night Away. The 37-year-old returns to the city having performed a live set back in February at Eden Beach Club, where the American DJ played an energetic two-hour set featuring his biggest hits to a sell-out crowd. The gig, which won a Time Out Nightlife Award for Best International DJ set, was a memorable evening for many Dubai fans – Aoki who is known for his fun-filled party antics took part in cake-throwing - something which he is renowned for – and led audience in crowd surfing.
There's also LMFAO's RedFoo, BBC radio DJ MistaJam, and girl group Fifth Harmony, one the biggest success stories from The X Factor USA following their stint on the show in 2012. The five-piece - Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, Camila Cabello and Lauren Jauregui - recently released the album Reflection.
In December, Trey Songz was added to the roster. On the circuit now for more than a decade, the Virginia native hit the big time in 2012 with his number one album Chapter V. He was most recently in the region when he performed at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after-parties.
In January, Australian singer Grace - best know for her song You Don't Own Me - joined the line-up.
Swedish popsters Abba are responsible for some of the greatest lyrics on love ever recorded. Celebrate them, the music and loves new and old on the Wafi Rooftop Gardens over Valentine's weekend. Dhs225 (includes picnic basket). Thu Feb 11-Fri Feb 12, doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm.
You have not been crooned until you've been sung to by legendary singer Charles Aznavour. Imagine Frank Sinatra, but with a French accent and it is easy to see how he has clocked up more than 180 million album sales.
Picnic hamper and outdoor eats is a romantic date winner all around the world (we know, we checked with the rest of Time Out), so we’re delighted with this option from the good folks at Vida Downtown. The event name looks like it was cooked up by an algorithm of our favourite things, but is essentially a picnic under the stars in poolside cabanas. Dhs499 per couple. Sun Feb 14, 7pm-11pm.
A little over 25 years ago the movie Ghost was released and became an instant romantic classic. It also made pottery making a legitimate activity for couples. The craze may have worn off, but you can rekindle the fire with pottery classes together at the Dubai International Art Centre. Dhs1,250. Sat, Wed & Thu.
Beyonce and Jay-Z, Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, Elton John and Kiki Dee. Some of the greatest love songs of all time have been male/female duets, and you can recreate the finest with a karaoke session on the open mic stage at intimate karaoke bar Harry Ghatto’s. The standard is high at this authentic joint, but if you both have an exhibitionist streak give it a go. Free. Sun Feb 14, Noon-3am.
Horse riding lessons are a date idea with a difference and requires no previous experience. It might not be the most fragrant of dates, but horseback riding seems naturally romantic, especially in the beautiful sands. Dhs450 (private lesson), Dhs300 (two-hour desert hack for trained riders).
Remembering to get flowers is one of the biggest challenges of Valentine's Day. If you forgot to buy some, then cover up your crime by announcing a trip to Dubai Miracle Garden, where you can stroll among around 100 million blooming flowers. For extra charm and, we have to admit, a social media update so fantastic it could crash the internet, you can pose underneath one of the gigantic heart displays in the garden. Awww, aren’t the two of you lovely together? Dhs30. Sun Feb 14, 9am-11pm.
Go for something different this Valentine’s Day and enjoy a morning in the desert with your loved one. Try out the latest desert sports before enjoying a light breakfast at the Arabian Adventures campsite.
The half-day package includes a morning dune drive in the DDCR, the opportunity to spot Arabian wildlife, and sand-boarding if the weather-permits. Additionally guests can get on desert fat bikes and indulge in a picnic breakfast.
February 10-15. Dhs570 per couple. Book at www.arabian-adventures.com