10 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Couples Who Hate Clichés

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A candlelit dinner? On Valentine’s Day? Groundbreaking.

On this truly divisive holiday, we suggest dismissing all the clichés that come with being in love in the middle of February, marking the occasion by doing something you and your other half will actually remember instead. Whether you’re a cinephile, a theater buff, an amateur chef, a music aficionado, or a bona fide foodie, you’re bound to find an idea of interest in our round-up, below.

1

Eat Chocolate

Considering that the history of chocolate begins in Mesoamerica (modern-day countries like Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador), the Maiz x Mirzam #notsharing pop-up is no ordinary Valentine’s Day dinner. Artisanal chocolate factory Mirzam is joining forces with JLT food gem Maiz Tacos to host a delicious six-course dinner through which – you guessed it – chocolate will be the star attraction. Expect to dine on molé made with single-origin dark chocolate, tacos made from scratch, and dessert entailing a traditional Mexican creation.

Find more details here.

Photo: Courtesy of Maiz Tacos
2

Share Your Story

Why reminisce silently on your love story when you can see it re-enacted on stage? Independent performance venue Courtyard Playhouse is famous for its improv’ comedy nights, so naturally, it will host a special edition for Valentine’s Day. Entitled First Kiss, this two-hour session will kick off at 8 p.m. and promises a night of romance, laughter, and love as its best improvisers will entertain with scenes based on audience suggestions.

Find more details here.

courtyard playhouse dubai
Photo: Courtesy of Courtyard Playhouse
3

Join the Conversation

It made history, swept awards season, and forever changed the way Hollywood views foreign films – yet you still haven’t watched Parasite. Seriously? Luckily for you, arthouse cinema Cinema Akil is screening the dark-comedy-meets-thriller-meets-cinematic-perfection, giving you and your date plenty to dissect afterwards over karak chai and chilli cheese toast at Project Chaiwala.

Find more details here.

10 Valentine’s Day Ideas for Couples Who Hate Clichés
4

Listen Up

If you have a whole lot of love reserved for Latin music, there’s no place in Dubai to be on Valentine’s Day than Coca-Cola Arena, where Colombian superstar Maluma will be making a pitstop on his 11:11 World Tour. Not only is he a Grammy Award winner with a whopping 13 #1 hits to his name, but it’s also his first ever performance in the Middle East.

Find more details here.

Photo: Courtesy of CNN
5

Escape the City

Eco-friendly, a zero-waste policy, delicious fusion cuisine, and endless rustic charm enjoyed under the stars in the midst of the beautiful Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, home to hundreds of oryxes and gazelles – everything about celebrating your signifiant other at Sonara Camp sounds appealing. The team here has created a special menu for the occasion, which will be accented with live entertainment and even a 30-minute camel ride if you’re up for it – it’s a surprisingly smooth ride! We also recommend sandboarding and a chat with the resident astronomer while you’re there.

Find more details here.

Photo: Courtesy of Sonara Camp
6

Partner Up

Food is the “great connector” – the greatest, we’d argue – and it somehow tastes even better when you’re the one donning the apron. With this in mind, Top Chef has designed a couples-friendly cooking class entitled Love Is in the Plate, which will entail four courses featuring some of the most decadent ingredients known to man. And regardless of how different your palates are, you’re both bound to like the sound of a ‘Pink Chocolate Cup with Strawberry & Ginger Marmalade’ for dessert, right?

To book a spot, click here.

cooking kitchen dessert top chef dubai
Photo: Courtesy of @topchefcookingstudio
7

Treat Your Senses

Award-winning dining concept Noire at Fairmont Dubai is celebrating Valentine’s Day by inviting guests to experience a gourmet meal in pitch darkness, removing the sense of sight in order to heighten taste, smell, sound, and touch during a 90-minute dining experience that will include three courses with paired beverages. This will be followed by a post-dining reception (yes, in the light) to discuss the featured menu with the chef. For the uninitiated, the servers at Noire use night-vision goggles to assist diners throughout their journey in a fully blackened-out setting, making this a meal like no other.

To book, call (+971) 4 311 8316 or e-mail dbi.fbconcierge@fairmont.com.

Photo: Courtesy of @fairmontdubai
8

Break a Sweat

We’re told by Aventura Parks that couples who sweat together stay together. Enter: the Valentine’s Challenge at the one-of-a-kind adventure park, during which couples can spend a few hours outside their comfort zone and on bridges, zip-lines, 25-meter jumps, and more before having dinner under the stars. Each activity on the program will have a points system that will be calculated on the evening, and the highest scoring couple will win a day at the spa.

Find more details here.

Photo: Courtesy of Aventura Parks
9

Play the Game

Calling all Libras! Feeling indecisive over where to head on Valentine’s Day? This one’s for you. Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates has curated a special one-off dinner entitled Game of Love that will entail four changes of scenery and cover everything from cuddling around a fire to taking in flamenco dancing, dining under the stars, and more during a span of five hours. Bonus? One lucky couple will win a stay at the hotel in one of its luxurious Grand Deluxe rooms.

Find more details here.

Photo: Courtesy of Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates
10

Test Your Chemistry

We’ve already delved into the romantic power of perfume – now put it to the test. Craft fragrance lab Oo La Lab is hosting Chemistry of Oo workshops on February 14th and beyond, inviting couples to learn how to create a personal scent wardrobe and craft their own ritual fragrance that will evoke character, mood, and context. The experts at Oo La Lab will also deconstruct complex fine fragrances into their primary building blocks, so this hands-on workshop promises to be a highly engaging multisensory experience.

Find more details here.

Photo: Courtesy of @oola.lab
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