Valentine's Day celebrations in the UAE need not only be about spending money - here are some romantic ways to enjoy time with your partner without breaking the bank. All of these are family-friendly as well, so you can take your little ones along if needed without worrying about the cost or the venue. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: As with all things in this country, Valentine’s Day celebrations can get pretty extravagant and incredible. Imagine your name popping up on the LED façade of the tallest building in the world, or maybe your celebration of love involves an ultra-luxury hotel stay with gold trimmings all the way.

Or... you could have a fun day out with your partner without sacrificing your wallet in the process. Here are some fun and romantic, yet budget-friendly, ways to spend Valentine’s Day while in the UAE.

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A night under the stars

When in the region, camping in the desert is one of the most authentic experiences you could have and it is a romantic escape from the day-to-day hustle. Given that February is still winter, and the desert is always cooler than the city, you can plan to spend a cosy night or two camping under the clear desert sky. Make sure you plan everything out, from the route and the essentials to alternative plans, in case something doesn’t work out.

If you're planning to finally go camping, you have just a few weeks left of this amazing weather so get on it...

Love Lake and a barbecue night

With the last weeks of winter left, if you haven’t been already been, now is the time to get that grilling equipment out. Make it a fun date night complete with BBQ and camping fun at Al Qudra, and keep the night’s theme going by heading to the heart-shaped Love Lakes. Make sure you map out your route and pack essentials in advance to have a fun time.

Love Lake
It couldn't get any more literal than the 'Love Lakes' in Dubai... Get your grilling gear, grab the kids and celebrate the love of your life surrounded by nature

Scenic walk at Dubai Creek Harbour

The Dubai Creek Harbour always had great views and perfect photo ops with its unique arches and benches. Now, a new free Viewing Point has opened at the destination. The futuristic-looking deck is an extension of the Address Dubai Creek hotel, and offers incredible views of the city and can be the venue for a perfect date night.

Viewpoint Dubai Creek Harbour
Celebrating love today is also about the perfect Instagram photo and the Viewing Point in Dubai Creek Harbour is trending right now.

Get close to the Dubai Fountains

Watching the musical fountains at the foot of the Burj Khalifa is magical. But, for Valentine’s Day take it up a notch with a boat ride session with your partner through the beautiful fountains. Or, take your partner to the new Boardwalk that takes you as close as possible, and away from the crowds, to the mesmerising fountain show for just Dh20 per person.

Dubai Mall Fountains
Get up close and personal with the iconic Dubai Fountains with either their Boardwalk option or by renting a boat to go through the canal.

A walk and nibbles at Bluewaters Island, JBR

The Bluewaters Island offers lovebirds the perfect spot for an evening stroll that includes beautiful views of the buildings along Dubai Marina and JBR - and, not to mention, the world's largest observation wheel as the backdrop of all the photos of the night. Take the walk along its beautifully lit bridge to end up on the beach. Even with the Dh20 parking fee, this date night is one worth it given the views and the vibe. Parking is free (for three hours) if you get it validated after spending Dh100 at one of the outlets there.

Ain Dubai fireworks
Enjoy close-up views of the impressive Ain Dubai at Bluewaters Islands. Grab a snack from one of the many vendors at the destination to complete a romantic stroll on the bridge.

Nature escape at Jubail Mangrove Park

UAE is well-known for its lush mangroves and the Jubail Mangrove Park can be an apt choice for a fun-filled day out appreciating nature. Starting from Dh5 per person, the park offers various activities for adults and children. The most popular attraction is the boardwalk, which can be enjoyed in different ways and route lengths.

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Jubail Mangrove Park
The most popular attraction is the boardwalk, which can be enjoyed in different ways and route lengths, starting at Dh5 per person.

A stroll through Souk Madinat

Souk Madinat marries the old and the new in the best way possible. You could spend an hour or two exploring the entire souk which features souvenir shops, dining outlets, a digital art theatre, and so much more. The best part of this destination is the many photo-worthy spots it has – many feature the iconic Burj Al Arab as your background. You could also hop on an abra.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Another iconic destination, walking through the many souk-inspired floors and paths here is a fun activity with the chance to enjoy some shopping and food on the go as well.

Escaping rain at the Rain Room

This Sharjah destination is beautiful and baffling, and promises a fun time with your better half. Enjoy continuous rain even as the responsive environment in the installation detects your presence and ensure you don’t get wet. Each session is 15-20 minutes and makes for a fun date experience at just Dh25 per person.

Rain Room in Sharjah
There is something very romantic about rain and the Rain Room in Sharjah is a fun venue for a date where you can enjoy the rain without actually getting wet thanks to the technology on display at the exhibit.

A drive and a karak at UAE’s highest peak

The drive up the UAE’s highest mountain, Jebel Jais, is perfect for a nice day trip. Beautiful views, crisp weather, and a romantic drive – the perfect Valentine's Day plan we think. At one of the viewing decks, park and hang out with a flask of karak to warm up as you enjoy the sunrise or the sunset.

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Drive up the highest peak in the UAE - Jebel Jais - and if you dare add some adventure to your romantic trip.

Water-pedalling and kayaking in Hatta

For Dh120, you and your partner can have some alone time while enjoying the beautiful Hatta dam surrounded by the impressive Hajar mountains. You could also kayak at the same rate for two people. If you are spending Valentine’s Day as a family or as a group, enjoy the dam in a donut boat (for four adults and two children) or a tour boat, which can accommodate 11 adults plus the driver.

The serenity you'll enjoy while kayaking through the Hatta Dam is the perfect way to enjoy each other's company and the amazing views