The best alternative date nights in Dubai
From dining in the dark to hitting the slopes or an art cafe, we’ve rounded up some awesome alternative date nights to try…
So, you’ve exhausted all the usual restaurants and bars for date night, and you’re looking for something a little different. Why not push the boat out and try something new? From dinner in the dark to getting creative with a painting class, surprise your date with one of these alternative date nights in Dubai.
Here’s our pick of alternative date nights…
Dine in the Dark at Noire
Looking to shake up your normal dinner routine? Dinner in the Dark is unlike anything you’ll have done before. The restaurant is pitch black to the point where the waiter (who’s wearing night vision goggles) must guide you to your seat. The dinner is three-courses with accompanying drinks and you won’t know for sure what you ate until the big reveal at the end.
The menu changes on a weekly basis, but there’s a fine dining style concept, which presentation taken into account even though you won’t know it. Phones are banned, and there’s no chance of a dry conversation as you can try and guess what you’re eating and drinking.
Afterwards, you’ll meet the chef as he shows and explains what you had during the meal. There might be a few surprises! Then you’ll have the chance to give the night vision goggles a go for yourself to see what the restaurant is really like (and how much mess you made at the table).
Noire, Fairmont Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road, Trade Centre Area, Monday to Saturday, 7.30pm sharp, Dhs360. Tel: (04) 311 8316. fairmont.com
Listen to some live jazz at the intimate Q’s Bar & Lounge
Feel like you’ve gone back in time to a New York jazz bar with an evening at Qs Bar & Lounge.
Whilst it’s a little further out of central Dubai, it is definitely worth a visit, with plush leather seating, mahogany tables and cosy booths and intimate tables of two providing the perfect atmosphere for a special date.
The entertainment is curated by music legend Quincy Jones, who has been in the industry for over 60 years, and has worked with well-known celebrity names such as Michael Jackson and Will Smith.
Artists perform five nights a week, and each has been handpicked by Quincy himself. Hollywood jazz and blues singer Brenna Whitaker is currently in residency until August 17, and you’ll be blown away by her soulful serenading as you enjoy specially crafted drinks or share a bite to eat.
Q’s Bar & Lounge, West Wing, Palazzo Versace, Dubai, show timings Tuesday to Friday, 9pm to 10pm, 10.30pm to 11.30pm and 12am to 1am. Tel: (04) 5568865. palazzoversace.ae
Learn to Cook Like the Italians at all’onda
Italian Venetian restaurant all’onda has launched a culinary masterclass which teaches guests the basics of how to cook Italian and Japanese cuisine. Chef Ibraheem Musleh expertly leads the class, making the experience easy and enjoyable for guests of any cooking ability.
Not only do you pick up a few skills to sue at home in the kitchen, but you also get to dine on the tasty creations. The lesson is held at the restaurant’s crudo bar and the group is small, so you have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and pick up additional tips.
There’s plenty of fun to be had, from making and rolling out your own pasta from scratch, to whipping up the cream for your delicious dessert, plus the sense of pride you get when you see your masterpiece come together.
all’onda, Kempinski Emerald Palace, Palm Jumeirah, Saturdays, 1pm to 4pm, Dhs350 per person. Tel: (04) 248 8870. kempinski.com
Get creative at Sketch Studio
Looking to switch up your evening out to a day date? Why not get creative with an afternoon at the cool new Sketch Studio. This amazing spot in Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, is the perfect place to let your artistic talents flow.
You can illustrate paper coffee cups in the cafe, whilst catching up over a coffee, or head into the studio where you can choose from drawing, painting, mosaics or sculpting and unleash your inner Picasso.
No previous experience is required – it’s just a relaxed environment to try your hand at something different and it’s pretty therapeutic, too.
Prices start from Dhs70 depending on your activity and you’re welcome to bring your own materials or purchase ones to use at the studio.
Sketch Art Café & Sketch, Mattar bin Lahej Gallery, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah, Dubai, open from 9am to 11pm daily, from Dhs70. Tel: (04) 271 2603. mattargallery.ae
Dine around a luxe hotel at W Dubai – The Palm
Have you ever had the feeling when you can’t pick one meal so you choose three? What about when you can’t pick just one restaurant? W Dubai – The Palm has introduced a new dine around concept that let’s you try three of their brilliant restaurants in one night.
You’ll start your meal in Torno Subito, the Italian restaurant by Michelin starred chef, Massimo Bottura. The appetisers on offer include a traditional Italian dish, pappa al pomodoro, an incredible pizza fritta as well as a few more of the restaurant’s signature dishes.
Next you’ll move up to the fifth floor and enjoy six sharing plates at another Michelin starred chef’s restaurant Akira Back. There’s 14 dishes to choose from, each as equally delicious as the last, and trust us when we say you’ll be stuffed by the time you get to dessert.
The final destination is stunning rooftop bar SoBe. If you have space for something sweet, you’ll be treated to a mouthwatering plate of fresh brownies, with caramel popcorn and cinnamon ice cream. The whole experience makes a great change to the usual ‘dinner and drinks format’ and is a great way to try some of Dubai’s best restaurants’ signature dishes.
PM on the Palm, W Dubai – The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, Sat to Weds, 7pm to 1am, Dhs500 incl 5 drinks per person. Tel: (04) 245 5555. marriott.com
Couples Zip line
As far as dates go, this definitely won’t be one to forget – and it’s a fun way to see Dubai Marina from the sky. XLine Dubai Marina offer a couple’s zip line, where you can shoot through the sky side by side like superheroes.
Dubai Marina is one of the prettiest places to see in Dubai, with its cool skyscrapers, aquamarine waters and jaw-dropping yachts and you’ll certainly see it from a different perspective as you zip along the line at up to 80km/h.
It’s usually Dhs1200 for two people, however during summer, they have slashed the price to Dhs720, so it’s an awesome deal to take advantage of for an experience to impress the daredevils.
Don’t forget to bring a valid ID with you.
XLine Dubai Marina, Dubai. Daily, 9am to 11am, 1pm to 4pm. Dhs650 one person, Dhs1200 for two people. (04) 457 3212. Xdubai.com
Keen to keep cool this summer? Why not book a date night at Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates.
If you’ve never skied before, prepare for some tumbles and a lot of laughs, which is a perfect way to break the ice (pun intended).
Alongside the 400 metre ski slope is a snow park where you can do bobsledding, a tubing run, snow bumpers, a climbing wall and even a giant zorbing ball. There’s also a snow penguin show which will guarantee some collective ‘ahhhhhs’.
Once you’ve worked up a hunger, the Apres bar is waiting for you with a bone-warming hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream and marshmallows like it’s come straight from a cafe in the Alps.
As it’s summer, there are loads of discounts around for UAE Residents at the moment, and Ski Dubai are offering 20 percent off your ticket prices when you book online.
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, Sunday to Wednesday 10am to 11pm, Thursday 10am to 12am, Friday 9am to 12am, Saturday 9am to 11pm. Tel: (800) 386. skidxb.com
If you want to keep it low key, head to Wavehouse for some frills-free fun.
It’s the perfect place to get a little competitive with bowling, arcade games, pool tables and table tennis to try your hand at. They’ve also got a Wave Rider where you can body board, knee board or surf against seven tonnes of water per second that shoot out at you, if you’re so inclined.
The four-lane ten pin bowling alley can be pre-booked, and after your game, head upstairs to the arcade room filled with awesome games, from old-school Pacman to some high-tech VR simulators
It’s definitely a relaxed vibe, with a cool bar area that will give you the chance to get to know each other. When you’re done playing, share a plate of loaded nachos (Dhs60) or their signature rainbow sliders (Dhs65).
Wavehouse, Atlantis The Palm, Sat to Wed 12pm to 1am, Thurs & Fri 12pm to 3am. atlantisthepalm.com/wavehouse