Gloriously warm and dry weather makes February one of the best months to holiday in Dubai. And while the inviting weather is reason enough to visit this fascinating destination, there is much, much more to enjoy, from romantic dinners at a location that recalls the Arabian Nights-esque charms of Old Dubai to mountain biking at the untamed wilds of Hatta to bargains at the swanky stores of City Walk. Planning a visit? Add these to your ‘stuff to do in Dubai in February’ list.
Romance That Special Someone
Celebrate your ardor at Al Seef, a district along the Dubai Creek that artfully blends the old and the new. Al Seef encompasses a section that harks back to Old Dubai, down to wind towers and narrow streets, and ultra-modern area that pays homage to Dubai’s present. Swap sweet nothings over complimentary mocktails at Sol Sky Bar, Skafos or Saba’a on February 14, or win the heart of that special someone – and a coffee and dessert for two – in a ‘Count Hearts Not Coffee Cups’ competition at Kava and Chai, a retail chain that specializes in Middle Eastern-inspired coffee and tea. The competition is held between February 7 and February 17.
If you are looking for something more filling, Gordon Ramsay’s signature four-course dinner awaits at Hell’s Kitchen in Caesars Palace at Bluewaters. For the ultimate in intimacy, however, head to Neptune, also located at Bluewaters, where you can tuck into a four-course dinner either at a private beach or a sumptuous cabana by a pool, with entertainment provided by a live saxophonist. If you and that special someone are adrenaline junkies, head for the Laguna Water Park at La Mer, where you can scratch that thrill-seeking itch and enjoy an all-you-can-eat-and-drink Valentine’s offer.
If you lovebirds prefer to spend time exploring nature’s charms, make a beeline for Green Planet. This massive botanical museum is home to over 3000 plant and animal species, and counts wallabies, the doe-eyed male slow loris, sloths and Motoro rays among its attractions. Enjoy a VIP tour with an expert biologist and get up close and personal with several animals at live feeding sessions.
Want a keepsake to remind you of the special day? You will find what you need in Al Seef’s gold, spice and textile souks and The Outlet Village’s swanky stores, which are home to brands such as Godiva, the Belgian confectioner, Aigner, the luxury leather goods brand, Gallery One, a popular gallery store, and Forever Rose, a renowned purveyor of luxury gifting items.
Indulge Your Thrill-Seeking Side
Dubai is, of course, famous for its slick, ultra-modern cityscapes. However, it has a wild, untamed side, and if you want to explore it, head to Hatta. Tucked in the Hajar mountain range on the border with Oman, Hatta is roughly a two-hour drive away from Dubai, making it perfect for a mini-daycation or a weekend escape.
Watch competitors duke it out in the Hero World Series mountain biking race, which is held on February, or hire a bike at the Hatta Wadi Hub and take on the trails as you savor the stunning landscapes. Enjoy Hatta’s breathtaking dawns and dusks as you tackle winding trails on horseback, or hike through the Hatta Mountain conservation area, home of the difficult-to-find Arabian sand cat and the endangered Arabian Tahr. Prefer something more offbeat? Head for the Hatta Wadi Hub, where offerings include zorbing, ax throwing, free fall jumping, adventure rope courses, human sling shooting, wall climbing, and much more.
Thrills of a watery kind await you at The Beach in JBR, where activities include jet skiing, kayaking and paddle boarding. For hard core adrenaline junkies, there’s flyboarding, shred sledding and recreational boating in the innovative Sea Breacher craft.
Keep those juices flowing at the Laguna Water Park. Take an exhilarating 360-degree ride at The Loop, share a stomach-flipping ride with friends at Manta, or race ’em at the Mad Racer mat slide. There’s more – peer into the abyss as you plunge into a splashdown lane at the Free Fall, test your mettle as you zip through the pitch darkness of The Constrictor tube slide, or shred waves at the WaveOz 180 FlowRider wave machine, of which there are only three on the planet. More fun awaits at Kite Beach; bungee jumping at Dom Tak Entertainment, jet skiing at My Jetski, kitesurfing and stand up paddling at Kitesurfing School Dubai, and much more.
Prefer virtual thrills? Hub Zero Dubai at City Walk is where you want to be. The vast facility features gaming areas themed around some of the best known franchises on the planet, including Resident Evil from Capcom, Gears of War from Microsoft, and Battlefield from Electronic Arts. Join a LAN party at a gaming area with over 70 stations, drive back zombie hordes at the immersive House of the Dead, or duke it out with other players in Hack Attack.
Have Fun with the Kids
Dubai is a vast playground for adults, and that goes twice for kids. If your kids are aged between two and 10, make a beeline for Mattel Play! Town, a recreational facility with activities revolving around a play-based pedagogical approach known as eduplay. Featuring beloved characters from the Mattel franchise – Angelina Ballerina, Fireman Sam, Bob, Thomas and friends, and Barney – Mattel Play! Town helps kids develop skills such as teamwork, discipline and more.
For a different experience, take your kids to the aforementioned Green Planet, where they can view everything from colorful Cuban Amazon Parrots to big-eyed Sugar Gliders. Here, they can learn to be junior biologists, play zookeeper for a day, and even help feed some animals.
Green Planet too sedate for your kids’ liking? Up the energy levels with a visit to Hub Zero Dubai, where a custom karts and a cushioned Plants Vs. Zombies play area with slides and foam cannons await. Find more kid-friendly fun at Kite Beach – water slides and splash pads at the appropriately named Splash ‘n Party, mammoth trampolines at Wire World Adventure Parks, skating at XDubai Skatepark, an open jump area at Dom Tak Entertainment, and much more. Another child-friendly location that should be on your list is Splash Pad, located on The Beach. Attractions include a massive tipper bucket, climbing frames and water squirters.
Shop and Dine
Modeled after the medieval hill town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, Italy, The Outlet Village is a bargain hunters’ paradise. Some of the brands that call this mall home include Calvin Klein, DKNY, Adidas, Michael Kors and Tumi. Once you are done shopping, grab a cuppa at Starbucks, dig into a scrumptious pizza at Project Pie, enjoy Chinese delicacies at PF Chang’s, or cool off with Japanese ice cream at M’oishi.
The sleek City Walk is another shopping destination that should be on your list. Famous for its upscale shopping options, the mall hosts over 240 local and global brands that include Armani Exchange, Polo Ralph Lauren and Swarovski. Peckish? Enjoy Victorian-style dishes at The Victorian Café, Peruvian fare at Lima Dubai, or Turkish pizza at Babaji.
The offbeat Boxpark, which is made from colorful shipping containers, is where you want to be if you would prefer something more edgy. Brands with stores here include Nike, Urbanist and Adidas Originals. If you get hungry, pop into Gossip the Café for something that’s both filling and Insta-worthy, or head to Glom for genuine organic gelato.
If you prefer your meals served with a healthy dose of heart-warming nostalgia, head for Last Exit. This destination is styled after a retro Los Angeles-style food truck park, down to vintage car posters. On offer are ’50s-style American burgers, fire-grilled Mexican delicacies, professionally brewed coffees, and much more.
This list only scratches the surface of what is available in Dubai in February. The fascinating alchemy of tradition, modernity and futurism means there’s plenty to enjoy in this fascinating city. Dubai will render you speechless and turn you into a storyteller. If you haven’t already, start planning your trip today.