Dubai is a world of opulent romance and enchanting experiences in the heart of the desert. In a city where a futuristic skyline meets world-class hospitality and a unique culture, love and luxury easily go hand in hand.
As editor of Cosmo , it's literally my job to highlight the best places and experiences, in this case with an intimate touch. And finally, romance *is* at the heart of this landmark publication. So my boyfriend and I had to personally check out everything Dubai has to offer couples. You know, for the love of journalism!
And now I'm here to tell you about: from dining under the desert stars to tasting something really tasty (in With Tutti senses, chocolate and exploring the exciting souks, the city offers a symphony of experiences for every couple. Here are my personal recommendations for places to eat, explore and have fun during your romantic getaway to Dubai!
Mirzam Chocolate Factory
Here we are I started one day from Dubai and visited this place in the heart of Al Quoz, a neighborhood that is located between the old and the new Dubai At first I thought the factory would be like this (well, what we think factories are like): cold, industrial, sterile. But I was surprised to see that the first scent that hit me was deeply familiar and nostalgic: chocolate decadent.
Inside, I was amazed by the look of the Mirzam Chocolate Factory: a beautiful cafe with comfortable seating and an impressive mix of chocolate delights . in such dynamic packaging. Founder Kathy Johnston was there to explain everything to me, including a real tour of the facilities. My friend and I take each other through the entire process of making chocolate in the factory, from harvesting and filtering the cocoa beans to how they are roasted, conched, tempered, and mixed with various ingredients to create a variety of unique chocolates Flavors.
At the end of the tour, we were treated to a hot chocolate explosion and yes, it was as delicious as it sounds! There were three different varieties: sea salt, chai ginger and an Indian spice blend, which we tasted before carefully comparing notes (read: comically arguing) over which was better. (JFYI, I liked ginger chai because it competed with sea salt.) At the end of the tour, my friend and I bought all different kinds of chocolate and candy that we could fit in our bags, but what was left to make enjoy with the orange slices covered in 62% dark chocolate that my boyfriend bought. He immediately felt that he should give me something whenever I was stressed or not in a good mood (God bless him). To say we were immediately transported back to Mirzam and all its magic would be an understatement.
Guided Old Town Tour
As New Yorkers, we love sightseeing. The 1 hour tour of the historic center with guide Diana gave us the opportunity to do so and learn about the local history.
After a tour of the historic center Being a cultural center, we visited the tourist attractions of the neighborhood. While exploring Al Fahidi, we boarded an abra (also known as a water taxi) and learned all about the community's influence throughout the region. Next we explored the souk, a huge market with lots of shops.
We looked at everything from watches (which my boyfriend loved) to beauty items (which I really liked). I liked it.) . We enjoyed learning to distinguish between good and bad turmeric and exploring the different herbs that we were told attack and heal specific parts of the body. When my boyfriend told me how stuffy he sometimes felt at night (the air quality in New York is to blame), he even recommended burning some menthol crystals in the bedroom. (He still uses it!)
The whole experience was so successful that when we returned home, we continued our evening tradition of treating ourselves to "something Sweet". . For much of the next month I made chai lattes with a delicious powder we bought in Dubai and a pinch of saffron that I sprinkled on top to give it a more luxurious feel. Luckily, we bought a huge jar of the powder (and, of course, I'm very stingy with turmeric) so we can continue the tradition even as the days get colder and the year comes to an end.
Located in the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), a place that has quickly become our favorite thanks to the variety of delicious restaurants. There, Cipriani, whose location in SoHo, New York, was where we had one of our first dates, felt wonderfully familiar but also strange in the best way imaginable. The menu was pretty much the same as back home, but the atmosphere of this place was much more elegant and formal, which made me breathe a sigh of relief after insisting that we dress up. (In case you didn't know, I'm a full-fledged Libra.)
Indeed, Cipriani's Dubai location is an experience like no other . especially if, like me, you like people watching (Libra again, friends). The food was, of course, more than divine, with exceptional dishes such as the fillet tartare “à la Cipriani”, bucatini cacio e pepe and, of course, the legendary vanilla meringue cake. There are also the franchise's famously incredible espresso martinis and bellinis, of which my friend and I ordered one (or was it three?) before retreating to the equally important Cuban-inspired socialist lounge in another room of the restaurant .
Everything is better in Texas Dubai, including the restaurants we already knew in New York. This applies not only to Cipriani, but also to Nobu by the Beach on Palm Jumeirah, which we were able to visit during the opening. Not only was the food (and location) absolutely excellent, but we were also given wooden mugs, each signed by the founder of the Nobu Matsuhisa restaurant himself, which we still use.
While we definitely took advantage of the opportunity to dine at places we could only find in Dubai, we 10/10 recommend trying familiar names like these for an intriguing twist on a warm, comforting flavor. Especially if, like us, they have a special romantic meaning for both of us.
Dinner and sunset at Camp Sonara
It's honest, an eco-friendly environment in the heart of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, was one of the most impressive things my friend and I experienced together. Along the same route we took there, our stay at Sonara Camp was very romantic. For one thing, we had never been in anything remotely resembling a desert before, so we oohed and aahed and took *all* the photos.
All Upon arrival, we were greeted by the warmest staff who showed us to a beautiful table where we could order snacks and drinks. And then the activities began. We did everything from sandboarding, to falcon show, to riding a camel, and it all led to some very special bonding moments with my boyfriend – we did it all for the first time together.
As day turned to night, we were taken to a huge dune decorated with beautiful fairy lights and filled with tables and a central stage. We sat down and had a true experience under the stars with four performances of belly dancers, contortionists and fire dancers in a four course meal that I still dream about to this day. Again, if your love languages include food and entertainment (my boyfriend and I always went to comedy shows on our first dates), you'll love Sonara and all it has to offer.