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Romantic things to do in Dubai

Dubai for couples

For the visitor, there’s far more to Dubai than designer boutiques and five-star hotels - although of course, if all you’re looking for is a luxurious dose of sun, sand and shopping, this city takes some beating. If you want to step beyond the tourist clichés, however, you’ll find that Dubai has much more to offer than you might think

  1. Enjoy a sprawling view of Dubai
  2. Make the most of Dubai’s shopping opportunities with your partner at the Gold Souk
  3. See Dubai by dhow
  4. Enjoy a visit to the incredible Burj al Arab
  5. Book a romantic stay at the One&Only Royal Mirage hotel

Dubai is bursting with romantic attractions. From soaring views to shopping ‘til you drop, there’s plenty to do here with your loved one. Take a look at our selection of Dubai holidays for more inspiration.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Enjoy a sprawling view of Dubai

Dubai is the world’s tallest city and getting your head in the clouds is all part of the experience. The “At the Top” tour to the stunning observation deck of the Burj Khalifa is unmissable, while the best bars for a bird’s-eye view include Neos, Bar 44, Vault and Up on the Tenth. Marvelling at the spectacular views, particularly at sunset, is certainly one of the most romantic things to do in Dubai.

Best for: Enjoying fantastic views

Don’t forget: Have a cocktail at Après, which offers fine views over Ski Dubai next door.

2. Make the most of Dubai’s shopping opportunities with your partner at the Gold Souk

Deira’s famous Gold Souk is usually the first stop for visitors to the district, with over three hundred shops lined up along its wooden-roofed main arcade, their windows packed with a staggering quantity of jewellery - it’s been estimated that there are usually around ten tonnes of gold here at any one time. The souk’s main attraction is price: the gold available here is among the cheapest in the world, and massive competition keeps prices keen. Though the gold industry in Dubai is carefully regulated, with the daily gold price fixed in all shops citywide, you should always bargain. A request for “best price” or “small discount” should yield an immediate discount of around 20-25 percent, although it always pays to shop around. The jewellery on offer ranges from restrained European-style pieces to ornate Arabian creations - the traditional Emirati bracelets, fashioned from solid gold and hung in long lines in shop windows, are particularly appealing. It’s the place to buy some jewellery for your loved one and one of the best couply things to do in Dubai.

Best for: Shopping with your partner

Don’t forget: Another great place to shop is the Khan Murjan Souk which is full of jewellery and Arabian scents.

3. See Dubai by dhow

The Dhow Wharfage offers a fascinating glimpse into the maritime traditions of old Dubai, home to dozens of beautiful wooden dhows which berth here to load and unload cargo. The dhows themselves range in size from the fairly modest vessels employed for short hops up and down the coast to the large ocean-going craft used to transport goods around the Gulf and over to Iran, and even as far afield as Somalia, Pakistan and India. Virtually all of them fly the UAE flag, although they’re generally manned by foreign crews who live on board. Various kiosks around Marina walk offer a mix of expensive boat charters alongside much cheaper dhow cruises for those who want to take to the water. Seeing the city by water is one of the most rewarding things to do for couples in Dubai.

Best for: Putting your feet up while you soak in the attractions

Don’t forget: Enjoy a meal or drink at the long stretch of waterfront cafés and restaurants at the Marina Walk.

4. Enjoy a visit to the incredible Burj al Arab

Non-guests are only allowed into the Burj al Arab with a prior reservation at one of the hotel’s bars, cafés or restaurants. Big spenders might enjoy the hotel’s two fine-dining restaurants: Al Mahara seafood restaurant and Al Muntaha, at the very top of the building. The cheapest and in many ways most enjoyable option, however, is to try one of the Burj’s sumptuous afternoon teas (or just come for a drink) at either the Sahn Eddar lounge or the Skyview Bar, at the top of the hotel.

Best for: Enjoying a drink at the iconic symbol of Dubai

Don’t forget: Note that alcohol doesn’t come cheap, although most pubs run some kind of happy hour

5. Book a romantic stay at the One&Only Royal Mirage hotel

The most romantic hotel in town, the One&only Royal Mirage, is a dreamy resort and the perfect One Thousand and One Nights fantasy with a superb sequence of quasi-Moroccan-style buildings scattered amid extensive, palm-filled grounds. The whole complex is actually three hotels in one: The Palace, the Arabian Court and the Residence & Spa, each a little bit more sumptuous (and expensive) than the last. Rooms feature Arabian decor, reproduction antique wooden furniture and colourful rugs, while facilities include a 1km stretch of private beach, four pools, the delectable Oriental hammam-style spa and some of the best restaurants and bars in town - all at sometimes surprisingly affordable rates.

Best for: Seeing Istanbul by the water

Don’t forget: Eauzone is regularly voted Dubai’s most romantic restaurant with seating amid floodlit waters.

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