Been there, done that when it comes to dates? Well if you haven’t dined in an aquarium – now you can. A regular on this list for its simply fantastic setting, you can’t fail to be wowed at this spot in Atlantis The Palm. Don’t be surprised to see a diver holding up a marriage proposal behind the glass.
Open Sun-Thu 6.30pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12.30pm-2.30pm; 6.30pm-10pm. Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.atlantis.com/dubai (04 426 2626).
Chef Izu is at the helm of this romantic restaurant at Emirates Golf Club. Named after his wife (what’s more romantic than that?) the charming spot serves a tasty European menu. It’s more low-key than some on this list, but is a top choice for a special occasion. Don’t miss the tarte tatin for a showstopping dessert.
Open Sun-Wed 12pm-3pm and 7pm-10.30pm; Thu 12pm-3pm and 7pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 8.30am-3pm and 7pm-11pm. Emirates Golf Club, Dubai, www.carine.ae (0 4 417 9885).
Slurp up oysters and twirl seafood spaghetti with your loved one (just don’t splash them with the sauce) at this longstanding restaurant. Housed at the end of a jetty out to sea with prime views of Burj Al Arab, it doesn’t get much more wow-worthy than this.
Open Sun-Thu noon-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-4pm, 6.30pm-11pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, www.jumeirah.com (800 666353).
If you’re looking for a dark and moody Japanese restaurant with stunning views, Akira Back is the one for you. Indoors the interiors are chic and grown-up with floor-to-ceiling windows, while the terrace outside is spacious. Both areas allow for amazing views across to Dubai Marina, too. Plus the food is excellent, don’t miss the sushi.
Open daily 7pm-midnight. W Dubai - The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.akirabackdubai.com (04 245 5800).
Set on 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building, At.mosphere is a super-special place to celebrate a romantic occasion. Have a fancy mixed drink at the bar first and admire the stunning views from up high, before digging into some tasty European food. A bucket-list date night.
Open 7am-2am. Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai (04 888 3828).
Il Borro Tuscan Bistro
Not only is this Italian eatery popular with tourists and families, it’s also very romantic. Pull up a seat on the outdoor terrace next to the serene turtle lagoon and admire the scenery, or take a table indoors and enjoy the buzzing vibe. Order up a dish of spaghetti and make like Lady and the Tramp.
Open daily noon-3.30pm and 7pm-1am. Jumeirah Al Naseem Hotel, www.ilborrotuscanbistro.ae (04 275 2555).
La Petite Maison
France is known for its romance, and there’s no French spot more suited to dates than this. Anniversary meals, birthday dinners, celebratory lunches – there’s no occasion that doesn’t fit well with a petite platter of escargots.
Open daily noon-3.30pm, 7pm-1am. DIFC, www.lpmlondon.co.uk/dubai (04 439 0505).
This romantic Thai restaurant has a beautiful terrace set on the waterways of Madinat Jumeirah, plus you need to get a boat to get to it for that extra special touch. Food is delicious, but go easy on the spice, you don’t want to be sweating on your dinner date.
Open Sun-Thu 6pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 12.30pm-3.30pm; 6.30pm-11pm. Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, www.jumeirah.com (04 432 3232).
From its twinkling fairy lights and moodily colourful lighting to its keen service, RÜYA is the picture-perfect spot for a chilled romantic night out. Thanks to its array of pides, mezzes, seafood and kebabs, this Turkish spot truly shines with its starters and smaller dishes – a romantic setting is all about sharing, after all.
Open Sat-Wed 6pm-1am, Thu 6pm-2am, Fri 7pm-2am. Licensed. Grosvenor House, Al Emreef Street, Dubai Marina (04 399 9123).
Not only is the Thai food here superb, the setting is a top choice for a special occasion. The terrace is set out into the water and you’ll be right next to the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain Show. If you’re looking to impress you can’t do much better than this.
Open Sat-Thu 6pm-11.30pm, Fri 12.30pm-4pm, 6pm-11.30pm. Palace Downtown Dubai, www.addresshotels.com (04 888 3444).