Bars, restaurants and experiences you’ll fall head over heels with
Sunsets, strolls along sandy beaches or desert dunes and starlit dinners – there is no shortage of romantic things to do in Dubai.
Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner for two, a special occasion experience for an anniversary or a date night hotspot to look longingly into each other’s eyes at, there are plenty of romantic things to do and places to go in Dubai.
So many in fact, it can be hard to find the best.
Let Time Out do the heavy lifting of romantic exploration and check out our pick of romantic things to do with your loved one.
And don’t forget to check out all the amazing things to do in Dubai in 2022 at the same time.
We don’t just hand out Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards for no reason, so for this Emirates Towers spot to pick up the title of the city’s most romantic restaurant you know it is going to be swoonworthy. Every inch the image of an elegant encampment, with flickering candles, low, ornate tables and long, cushioned banquettes, this place is the embodiment of Arabian romance. This being a romantic dinner you really should order up some of the sharing signature plates. The only thing to spoil the atmosphere would be a lover’s tiff over who gets the final piece of succulent lamb in the couscous. Jumeirah Emirates Towers, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.ninive.ae (04 326 6105).
Beach Bar and Grill
There’s no shortage of beachside dining in Dubai and any table overlooking the Arabian Gulf or the sandy shores scores extra points for romance. We have many favourites, but the lure of something new means we’re currently looking at the new-look Beach Bar and Grill in the ever-delightful One&Only Royal Mirage. It’s the perfect place to unwind with views of the Arabian Gulf and a whole heap of charming holiday vibes. Inspired by the relaxed al fresco lifestyle of Argentina, Beach Bar & Grill has a refreshed, smart-casual set-up, while its prime location on the Dubai beachfront makes it the ideal spot for date night, anniversary dinner, leisurely lunch or sunset drinks.
Beach Bar and Grill, One and Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh, www.oneandonlyresorts.com (04 399 9999).
Afternoon Tea on QE2
For generations this fine ship was a global icon of romanticism and globetrotting luxury. Now it has a permanent home in a Dubai port, but you can find more of the same finery. Cutesy little finger sandwiches and delectable little cakes are a delight, and we could fill three magazines with musings on how much we adore freshly baked scones with dollops of jam and clotted cream. It is more of a sedate and comfortable romance than the passion of youth and we’re more than fine with that.
Lido Restaurant, QE2, Mina Rashid, www.qe2.com (600 500 400).
Dune dining at Al Maha
Intimacy, starlight and a sense of wonder are all wonderful starting points for a romantic meal for two. You’ll find all the above at the private dining experience offered by the Al Maha Desert Resort. Persian carpets will be laid down, flame torches surround the table dressed in starched white linen and dunes surround as far as the eye can see to make what might just be one of the most spectacular dining experiences in the city.
Al Maha Desert Resort, Dubai Desert Conservation Area, Al Ain Road, www.marriott.com (04 832 9900).
The low-rise charm of the Madinat Jumeirah complex is unlikely to ever be bettered by all the skyscrapers the city has to offer and this gorgeous Thai restaurant has long been one of the highlights. We’re fans of arriving at the waterside dining spots by private abra ride and soaking up the views of palm trees wrapped in fairy lights. It is a stunning way to start a romantic meal for two and a superior proposal spot if you’re looking to add some “wow” to your “will you”. The fragrant food is just as much a treat for the senses and falls on the right side of spicy and intriguing.
Pai Thai, Jumeirah Al Qasr, Umm Suqeim, www.jumeirah.com (800 666 353).
If music be the food of love then go straight to the intimate jazz lounge inspired by 28-time Grammy winning icon Quincy Jones. Q himself curates the music programme and Thursday to Saturday you will find some of the city’s finest musical performers crooning and jamming soulful melodies to an appreciative crowd desperately trying to be cool by association. Slow-dancing is advised, but merely sinking into the plush leather couches and soaking up the atmosphere in the Versace-designed lounge and listening to the jazzy tunes floating through the cigar smoke is a good look.
Q’s Bar, Palazzo Versace Dubai, Jaddaf Waterfront, Al Jaddaf, www.palazzoversace.ae (04 556 8865).
It’s hard to know where to look in this stunning rooftop lounge on Palm Jumeirah. At the gorgeous views of the Dubai skyline, or the dozens of glamorous “influencers” ignoring the views and pouting at their selfie cameras. On this one occasion we (almost) can’t blame/ridicule them as this does make for one of the finest shots in the city. As well as the gorgeous views and a broad variety of mixed drinks you can enjoy a dance with one of the best line-ups of dance nights in the city if you want to hit the floor.
Penthouse, FIVE Palm Jumeirah, Palm Jumeirah, www.thepenthouse.co (04 455 9988).
Dinner and a show has been the perfect date idea all around the world for generations. This fact is inescapable, and no manner of gimmickry and reinvention is going to change that. So, Fairmont Dubai’s The Theater is close to guaranteeing date night success by offering all-singing, all-dancing cabaret acts right in front of your dinner table. No two shows are ever the same and can range from swinging jazz and smooth vocals to modern dance and aerial gymnastics. It’s Vegas glamour with a dash of Lebanese showmanship from concept visionary Guy Manoukian.
The Theater, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.thetheaterdubai.com, (04 222 2268).
Ce La Vi
There needs to be some sense of occasion of you’re out for a date night. While taking a loved one up the Burj Khalifa might be saved for a special occasion only, the next best thing is a sky-high view of the tower from over the road. This Singaporean import is on the 54th view so is still eye-watering, but not as show-offy. The famed swing is one of the city’s greatest spots for couple’s photos and there is no shortage of drama.
Ce La Vi, Address Sky View, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, www.celavi.com (04 582 6111).
“Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.” So said, Ernest Hemingway, apparently. It’s an apposite quote to sum up the vibe at this relatively new Cuban-themed bar on the Palm Jumeirah. The bar brings Cuban food, drinks and music to the beachfront locale, served up against a 1950s Havana aesthetic. Panama hats and salsa rhythm at the ready.
Rumba Dubai, Vista Mare, Palm Jumeirah, www.rumba.ae, (04 570 8111).
Romantic Things to do
Dubai Miracle Garden
Flowers and romance go together like chocolate pudding and second helpings (it’s essential). So, with a total number of flowers now estimated at around 150million, a stroll around the Dubai Miracle Garden is a loveable experience for people of any age. It’s as colourful as any area of the city and since opening on a Valentine’s Day it has been the most romantic place to take a walk. Look out for the bright and lovely sunflower field, lake park and an umbrella tunnel that has become a favourite Insta location for soft focus selfies.
Daily. Dubai Miracle Garden, Al Barsha South 3, Dubailand, www.dubaimiraclegarden.com.
A night at the opera
The variety and desirability of shows at the Dubai Opera House continues to impress. Classical music, opera, ballet, dance and more romantic performances are scheduled at regular intervals and they’re among the more grand and sensuous in the city.
Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, Downtown Dubai, www.dubaiopera.com, (04 440 8888).
It’s two intertwining heart-shaped lakes and a stretch of parkland that spells out the word “Love” in a desert idyl – what more encouragement do you need? Just go there (and then try and figure out how you can get an aerial photo to make the most of the memory).
Al Qudra Lakes, Al Qudra, Dubailand.
Dubai Romance couple’s massage
All the pleasure and relaxation of the Anantara Spa in Palm Jumeirah, but with the added satisfaction from the knowledge that your partner is snoring loudly alongside you. The spa is, frankly, gorgeous and the respectful treatment rooms overlook private pools and the smells and treatments are divine.
Anantara Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, www.anantara.com (04 567 8999).
Sing duets together
OK, so this might depend on the sweetness of your singing voices. Take one of the private pods at outrageously popular karaoke specialist Lucky Voice and work on a routine together. When you feel confident in your superstardom head out to the main room to reveal your inner Jay-z and Beyonce.
Grand Millennium Barsha Heights, Hessa Street, www.luckyvoice.com/bars/dubai (800 58259).