DINING

Table for two

Make it an evening to remember this Valentine’s Day with our top picks of unique and utterly lavish dining experiences in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

While the origins of Valentine’s Day and its patron saint remain shrouded in mystery, February 14 has long been celebrated as a day of romance around the world. And the emirates are no exception. With a penchant for all things luxurious, venues across the UAE pull out all the stops to curate extraordinary experiences in glamorous settings, complemented by five-star hospitality. So if you’re looking to raise the bar further, take your pick from our exclusive selection of stellar Valentine’s Day dinners. From an intimate meal by the beach to a table for two on a rooftop terrace overlooking the skyline, Concierge brings you some of the best ways to celebrate this special day. 

/ Zaya Nurai Island 

Prepare for a magical evening on Zaya Nurai Island, one of the most romantic destinations in the UAE capital. A private island resort off the Abu Dhabi coast, it can be reached via speedboat from Saadiyat Island. What better way to enjoy this special day than escaping to seemingly tropical shores (without the hours of flight time)? Take in the stunning sunset with your loved one while walking barefoot on the sandy beach before settling down for a romantic meal at Frangipani. The three-course menu for the evening features snow crab truffle tartare, grass-fed tenderloin served with truffle mash and a decadent rose curd tart to finish. Complete with sights and sounds of the ocean, this is the ideal dining destination for Valentine’s Day. 02 5066222 

/ Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara

Experience island romance with a gastronomic encounter at Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara. Take your seat at a table for two at one of three incredible venues on Sir Bani Yas Island – by the beach, among Savannah-style grasslands or indoors with views of the sea – and sample a four-course set menu featuring the hotel’s signature dishes. For something a little more private, the hotel offers Dining by Design, a concept that sees you dining in a secluded setting with your loved one. This magical experience includes a bespoke menu curated with your personal favourites, a live cooking station by your table, a candlelit setting with a bonfire and a dedicated butler. It doesn’t get more luxurious than this. 02 8015400 

/ Platinum Heritage

Dine on modern European cuisine with an Emirati twist in a magical landscape surrounded by endless sand dunes. Nestled in the heart of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, a candlelit cabana awaits you and your other half. The setting evokes life among the dunes almost 50 years ago, and yet there are several luxurious touches to elevate your desert safari experience. Your private Platinum Safari with Platinum Heritage begins with a wildlife drive to spot native flora and fauna, a falcon show and a camel ride across the sands. You’re then ushered to your private cabana, where a personal chef will serve a lavish six-course meal featuring roast duck, vegetable moussaka, grilled salmon and more, under a thick blanket of stars. 04 4409827 

/ InterContinental Dubai Marina

This buzzing urban hotel is no ordinary choice for a romantic evening for two. Tucked away on the 39th floor of InterContinental Dubai Marina is the hotel’s secret rooftop dining venue, exclusively available for private, romantic dinners. Spectacular views of Dubai’s skyline and an expansive terrace adorned with flowers and lamps set the scene for a truly remarkable experience. A six-course menu will be prepared for the evening, paired with Champagne. Expect the likes of king crab salad, beef tartare, lemon risotto, veal cheeks and turbot fillet. But the magic doesn’t end after the meal. Sure to add a lot more sparkle to your evening, the lady will be presented with a piece of jewellery to take home as a souvenir. 04 4466777 

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