Hayley Kadrou10 Feb 2019 AT 03:07 PM

How to stop your Valentine's Day from being a total disaster

Don't cook your go-to pasta dish – and step away from the costume jewellery
Hayley Kadrou10 Feb 2019 AT 03:07 PM
How to stop your Valentine's Day from being a total disaster

DON’T cook your go-to pasta dish
DO… Pick a meal with a twist

There are thousands of places to go out to eat on Valentine’s Day, and you can easily get lost down a rabbit hole of set menus and tables with a view. Mix things up with an immersive dining concept this year. Book in at Namu, and experience Valentine’s Day with a twist. What does that entail, you ask? Couples will be presented with a blindfold upon arrival, and the control will be given to the lady to choose mixed beverages for her partner to try between six (six!) delicious courses. Let’s not forget the stunning canal views from the 31st floor to make her swoon, too.
Where: V Hotel, Al Habtoor City
When: February 14
Price: AED690 per couple, including sparkling
Contact: dining@hiltonalhabtoorcity.com

DO… Cruise as you dine
Why dine out at a regular land-based restaurant when you can take to the glistening waters instead? Tuck into a luxury five course dinner – with mains including favourites such as Boston lobster, aged filet mignon and black cod – at Divaz Floating Restaurant this year. The stars reflecting off the waters alongside live music will be super romantic.
Where: JA Palm Tree Court, Sheikh Zayed Road
When: February 14
Price: From AED1,100 per couple
Contact: jaresortshotels.com

DO… Book a couple’s cooking class
If she’s a real foodie, then skip the meal for a quirky cooking class you can both enjoy. Things will heat up in the kitchen as you work alongside a talented chef to learn how to perfect four different dishes such as beef bourguignon and chocolate lava cake. Everything’s provided, so all you need to do is turn up ready to show off your culinary skills.
Where: Scafa, JLT
When: February 9
Price: AED745
Contact: skilldeer.com

DON’T buy costume jewellery
Do… Get help from the experts

Admit it, when it comes to picking out the earrings that will make her eyes light up your knowledge is, well, lacking. But no one is asking you to do it alone. This year, prove once and for all that the best things really do come in small packages and head down to PANDORA to seek advice on getting a gift that’s just right.

As well as the stunning new Valentine’s collection, the experts in store are on hand to help you pick out a present she’ll love, and they’ll ever wrap it up in pretty paper ready to be earn you extra brownie points come February 14.
When: The Valentine’s collection is available now
Where: Stores across UAE
Price: From AED225
Contact: pandora.net/en-ae

Do… Get a personalised present
Fancy making it extra, extra special? Then opt for a personalised jewellery gift that will her have showing off on her WhatsApp group chat. Take Dubai-based brand La Marquise and its bespoke jewellery making service. Book in with a design consultant and discuss ideas, inspiration and, of course, your budget.
Where: Jewellery & Gemplex Building, JLT
Price: Upon request
Contact: lamarquisejewellery.com

Do… Dazzle her at dinner
It’s pricey, but this will earn you a place in her good books for the entirety of 2019. Head to underwater restaurant Ossiano and enjoy seven courses of seafood before being gifted a gorgeous 18kt white gold Tiffany & Co heart bracelet. But it doesn’t stop there, as a diver will swim through the aquarium to deliver a loving message to your other half as the meal wraps up.
Where: Atlantis, The Palm
When: February 14, from 6.30pm
Price: AED15,000 per couple
Contact: atlantisthepalm.com

DON’T stay in with a rom-com
Do… take her to the theatre

When most of your Thursday evenings consist of a night in with a movie, letting her pick a sloppy rom-com to watch come Valentine’s Day won’t cut it. Exhibit your cultural credentials and take her to the theatre for the big day instead. And you’re in luck, because just in time for the annual occasion, PIAF! Le Spectacle has arrived at Dubai Opera. The musical celebrates the life of French singer Edith Piaf, and we promise you’ll enjoy the evening of singing and dancing fun just as much as she does. It’s that, or stay in a watch Dirty Dancing for the millionth time…
Where:  Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard
When: February 14-15
Price: From AED200
Contact: dubaiopera.com

Do… Go to a luxe screening
If she really is a movie buff, then you can still enjoy some screen time together and look like you’ve made an effort. Take Roxy Cinemas, for example. The clever clogs over there are putting on a one-off screening of rom-com royalty Notting Hill, and the couples’ combo deal consists
of two starters, a sharing platter, two desserts and mocktails throughout the evening. A feast for eyes and stomachs.
Where: Roxy Cinemas, various locations
When: February 13-14
Price: AED300 for two people
Contact: theroxycinemas.com

Do… Listen to live music
A romantic atmosphere doesn’t boil down to just rose petals and candlelight. Sometimes, it’s a soulful voice that will send cupid’s arrow soaring, and there are plenty of spots in Dubai for incredible live music. While The Green Room and Q’s Bar will do the trick for jazz, Qwerty’s is the place to be for mellow covers by guitarist Josh McCartney alongside a meal deal that’s hard to beat.
Where: Qwerty’s Media One, Media City
When: February 14, 6-9pm
Price: AED299 for three course each and a bottle of grape
Contact: mediaonehotel.com

DON’T buy petrol station flowers and chocolate
Do… Get her a flower subscription

Showing up to her house with a squashed bouquet you picked up at the petrol station is a one way ticket to Singleville. Instead, give her the gift that keeps on giving with a flower subscription service. Our recommendation? Dubai-based company Colours and Flowers. You can opt for a small, medium or large bouquet to be deliver every one, two or four weeks. Fully committed? Go for a six month subscription. Want to play it safe? There are one and three month packages, too. Keep the spirit of Valentine’s alive with roses, switch things up with a mixed bunch or go for a surprise selection each time. Trust us, a monthly reminder of what a great guy you are delivered to her door can only work in your favour.
Price: From AED250
Contact: coloursandflowers.ae

Do… Add to her plant collection
As well as botanic-inspired venues popping up all over our city (The London Project, Flair No.5, Mama Zonia...) the leafy greens trend is taking over our home interiors too, from cushion covers to, erm, actual plants.

If a rare bonsai tree is more her bag that a beautiful bouquet, head to sites like Alissar Flowers to give her home a new lease of leafy life.
Price: Bonsai plants from AED165
Contact: alissarflowers.com

Do… Splash out on a chocolate hamper
A box of Malteasers might be delicious, but they hardly shout Husband of the Year. January and its healthy-eating ethos will be a distant memory by now, so treat your better half to a luxury chocolate hamper to gorge on. Caho has a gorgeous selection of Valentine’s hampers (vegan and white chocolate ranges, too) that look as spectacular as they taste.
Price: From AED175
Contact: cahochocolate.com