Flowers wither, chocolates are soon forgotten, and presents — no matter how appropriate — won’t spark the same joy as the years go by. Shared experiences, however, may well be the most romantic Valentine’s Day gift of all.
“Experiences have been shown, through research, to increase in satisfaction as time goes by, whereas a physical gift has the opposite effect of losing its satisfaction,” says British expatriate Anne Jackson, a relationship coach with One Life Coaching.
But if you haven’t been able to book a romantic trip away for next weekend, there are still several ways to show your love with some wonderful experiences right here in the UAE. Take your pick from our curated selection — we’ve covered all relationship types.
The thrill seekers
This Valentine’s Day enjoy non-stop fun with your loved one at Motiongate Dubai. For just Dh 275, you get a park ticket, a Q-Fast pass so for you to skip the queues, a sumptuous three-course meal, an unforgettable meet-and-greet with Shrek and Fiona, a special gift and unlimited access to rides throughout the park. Offer is valid from Feb 14-16. Visit Motiongatedubai.com for more details
The rollercoaster riders
If your relationship is a lot of ups and downs, you’ll enjoy the breathtaking rollercoaster that is La Perle by Dragone at Al Habtoor City. With stunning aerial and aquatic feats, the Middle East’s first permanent resident show combines performance art, imagery and technology in an immersive experience. The La Perle Valentine package runs from February 14-16 and includes two Gold tickets, dinner for two with two glasses of bubbly at a choice of four restaurants — all for Dh1,400. Shows are held at 7pm or 9.30pm. Book at Laperle.com
Take your affair to a new pinnacle with a helicopter tour of the UAE’s most futuristic city. HeliDubai allows you to reflect on how far you’ve come and where you’re headed with an aerial tour of the city’s progress from Old Dubai to the heights of Dubai Marina and beyond. Flights take off from the HeliDubai Jumeirah Heliport and are available for 12, 17, 22 or 40 minutes. Prices begin at Dh646 per head. Can be booked at 800 FLY (359)
Some relationships are a combat sport — and no wonder, since adrenalin reputedly raises attraction levels. Let biochemistry help you along by heading over to the JA Shooting Club for a round of archery, indoor shooting or clay pigeon shooting. So no matter who wins, you can celebrate afterwards with a three-course menu and a glass of bubbly at Shooters Tex Mex Restaurant. It’ll only set you back Dh595 per couple. Call 04 814 5555
Love doing things for your partner but can’t find the time? Or maybe you want to woo someone? Get a professional chef to help you out. Dubai-based Epicure Catering will cook and deliver a three-course meal for two at Dh249 per person this Valentine’s, so you can dine in and chill. The firm offers a variety of menus, with dishes such as porcini mushroom risotto, lamb rack and a dark chocolate tart with caramel sauce. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 04 347 3808
Can’t do without advertising your love on social media? You’ll want to hurry down (via Google Maps) to the Love Lake at Al Qudra, where you can marvel at Dubai’s newest attraction: two manmade lakes in the shape of two interlocking hearts. Take a romantic walk around the water, and stop for a moment in the trees, which spell out the word Love. Further afield you might find Arabian wildlife in their natural habitat. Just please don’t play Two Become One on the ride over.