The best things to do in Dubai International Airport this February 14
As Hugh Grant so memorably put it in Love Actually, “Whenever I get gloomy about the world, I think about the Arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport”. Nowhere on the planet is love more evident than in airports, so what luck if you happen to be spending this Valentine’s Day in Dubai International. Embrace the chance to lavish the special person in your life with champagne, chocolates, perfume, and all the food you can eat. Whether it be your significant other, a friend, or even yourself, it’s time to show some appreciation. Because, if you look for it, we’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.
Dubai Duty Free First things first, don’t even bother acknowledging the holiday if you aren’t going to fork out for a present. Your loved one might say they aren’t bothered about such frivolities, but to overlook these gestures would quickly nip romance firmly in the bud. Luckily for you, Dubai Duty Free has you more than covered. With 38,000sq m of retail space selling make-up, perfume, skincare products, tobacco and bubbly, if you really are making an occasion of it. Go forth and lavish. Open 24/7. All Terminals and Concourses, www.dubaidutyfree.com.
Dubai International Hotel
Personally, we think there’s nothing more romantic than a solid eight hours of sleep before a long flight. With luxurious rooms, a hotel spa and atmospheric restaurants, along with room service and an attentive wake-up call, Dubai International Hotel ticks all the boxes in terms of pleasure and practicality. This month (from February 10-17) guests receive a bottle of Conte Fosco Cuvée Brut and Special Valentine Cake with every suite booking. The hotel’s Cho Goa restaurant will also be getting in on the Valentine’s action, and is offering a sushi and sashimi platter with a glass of wine for Dhs110 (until Feb 20). For those who like to stay fit in transit, the G-Force hotel health club will be holding a month-long offer including access to the gym, relaxation pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sauna and hot showers for Dhs99 (available at Terminal 3, Concourses B and C only). Last but not least, the Timeless Spa is offering a Travellers Recovery Package for Dhs500, including an organic body scrub and a de-stress back massage (available at Terminal 3, Concourses B & C). Prices vary. Terminal 3, www.dubaiintlhotels.com.
Butlers Chocolate Café You know what they say is better than chocolate? Nothing whatsoever. And nothing spells romance like stuffing them in by the fistful until you’re fit to burst. Butlers Chocolate Café is a haven for the sweet-toothed. Expect delicious, delectable chocolates in any number of sumptuous flavours, washed down with the house speciality hot chocolate akin to liquid gold. Our mouths are watering at the very idea. Prices vary. Open 24/7. Concourse D, Terminal 1, www.butlerschocolates.com.
Le Clos Is there anything more romantic than a message in a bottle? Yes, actually – a message ON a bottle, of preferably fancy champagne. Le Clos offers a complimentary engraving service where you can have your own personalised message etched directly onto the glass. This Valentine’s, Le Clos will feature a range of champagne from Dhs100, including brands such as Pol Roger, Dom Perignon, Agrapart and Delamotte. You can also get two bottles of Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut for Dhs240. Best of all, you can do everything online in advance, then collect in store or on departure. We’re swooning at the sheer thought of it. From Dhs100. Open 24/7. Seven locations across Terminals 1 & 3, www.leclos.net (04 220 3533).
Le Pain Quotidien The best gift you can ever give? Carbs, obviously. Le Pain Quotidien has them by the loaf-load. The bakery prides itself on the rich aroma, earthy flavour and hearty crust – it sounds almost like a Mills and Boon. There are also fresh soups and salads to get stuck into and more hot drinks than you can shake a French stick at. Bon appetite. Prices vary. Open 24/7. Concourse A, Terminal 3, and Terminal 1 Arrivals, www.lepainquotidien.ae.
Marhaba Nothing says love like an open buffet. Ramp up the airport experience with access to the Marhaba lounge, for ultimate comfort, unlimited beverages and a spread your mum would be proud of. Marhaba makes you feel like you’re already on holiday, with shower facilities, wi-fi, a VIP room and a kids’ area. Best of all, priority buggy cars will pick you up and transport you directly to the gate. It’s basically one down from a horse drawn carriage. You can also arrange a meet and greet service. Prices vary. Lounges located in Terminal 3, Concourse A, Concourse B, Concourse C; Terminal 1, Concourse D; Terminal 2, www.marhabaservices.com.
We knew our beloved Irish pub would have plenty to offer us in the season of love and romance. A romantic three-course dinner date (with a set menu) is on offer for the bargain price of Dhs120 per person, or you can indulge in a bottle of champers at the special rate of Dhs375. If you’re celebrating early doors then you can get a bubbly breakfast with a glass of champagne for Dhs89. Valentine’s set menu: Dhs120. Feb 14-15. Champagne: Dhs375. Feb 1-18. Bubbly breakfast: Dhs89. Feb 1-28. Concourse C, Terminal 3 (04 216 4172).
The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck Head here for the chef’s signature cuisine in a fast and casual setting before you jet off with your other half. The restaurant features the chef’s interpretation of global comfort fare, using the best locally sourced ingredients. Whether you’re after a leisurely breakfast or lunch or a quick bite, The Kitchen has something for everyone – though you’ll have to bring the romance to the table yourself. Prices vary. Open 24/7. Concourse D, Terminal 1 (04 236 7180).
The Noodle House Is there any way you’d rather gaze into your partner’s eyes than through the fragrant haze rising from a bowl of steaming noodles? There’s nothing to give you the look of love like the flush from a piping hot ramen, and if that doesn’t ramp up the romance, then the food itself is enough to give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. The Noodle House menu offers fast, fresh, Asian food, perfect for the tasty trio; you, your love, and a pile of Nasi Goreng. Prices vary. Open 24/7. Concourse D, Terminal 1, www.thenoodlehouse.com.
Spa Facilities The spa day is a staple among Valentine’s gestures. But you don’t need to be at a remote health farm or a swanky hotel to indulge in a bit of R&R. Be Relax spa offers chair massages, beauty services, aromatherapy, reflexology and manicures. Clink smoothies at the spa’s juice bar, or enjoy the (soon-to-be opened) shower experience in Concourse A. Prices vary. Terminal 1, Concourse D; Terminal 3, Concourse A, B & C, www.berelax.com (04 250 0524).
Zen Gardens Is there anything more poetic than a turn around the grounds with the one who owns your heart? DXB has its very own Zen Gardens where you can take a stroll and watch the fish in the ponds. The gardens are a little slice of nature that make you feel a million miles away before you even step on the plane. Located near Gate B7, Terminal 3, www.dubaiairports.ae.