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Where to Propose in Dubai

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Published September 25th 2013
Where to propose in Dubai

Will you marry me?" is probably one of the most important questions you are ever likely to ask or be asked. It's right up there, alongside "Who am I?" and "What is the meaning of life?" Such a momentous question cannot be thrown casually into conversation, say, whilst riding on the top of a bus or pushing a trolley around a supermarket. Such a question needs careful staging. Keeping with the theatrical theme, you will definitely need a few props (an engagement ring is an obvious one, also possibly also some kind of floral tribute). I think a few dress rehearsals in front of the mirror wouldn't go amiss. And allow me share with you some ideas on locations in Dubai which would serve as a magnificent backdrop to what could possibly be the performance of your lifetime.

Burj Khalifa (the Tall Proposal)

The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world and thus a 'top' venue at which to propose. There is an observation deck on the 124th floor with floor to ceiling glass windows offering unparalleled views across Dubai. Whilst it can get quite busy, being a popular tourist attraction in Dubai, the observation deck does take up the whole of the 124th floor and it should be possible to find a secluded spot to pop the question. If you are really not keen to play to an audience, you could book a table at At.mosphere, the highest restaurant in the world situated on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa. It's not cheap, but it is definitely more private, and the food and customer service are naturally of the 'highest' order.

Burj Khalifa Observation Deck at the Top
View from Observation Deck at Burj Khalifa

Tickets for the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa cost DHS 125 for an advance booking, and DHS 400 at the door.

Dubai Fountains (the Wet Proposal)

If you are scared of heights, or are generally a more 'down-to-earth' type of person, the Dubai Fountains offer another stunning setting for your proposal. Situated at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountains are the largest dancing fountains in the world. The fountains 'dance' to a different song every half hour from 6pm until 11pm each evening, so if you lose your bottle during one song, you have 30 minutes to collect yourself. My absolute favourite Dubai Fountains song, and my suggestion for any proposal, would be, ironically, "time to say goodbye" sung by Andrea Bocelli. It never fails to sends shivers down my spine.

Dubai Fountains Downtown Dubai
Dubai Fountains

You can propose right next to the fountains for free, though you may need to jostle fellow bystanders for space to get down on one knee. Better to book a table in one of the various restaurants that overlook the fountains, which are mainly situated in Dubai Mall or Souk Al Bahar. Thiptara, a Thai restaurant located in the Palace Hotel, has arguably the best views of the fountain. (Ask for the table in the corner on the veranda.) The food is mighty fine and the staff are very obliging to boot.

Dubai Creek (the Quaint Proposal)

If superlatives are not your thing, you could propose on an 'abra' sailing on Dubai Creek. Dubai Creek is the heart of 'old' Dubai and simply oozes atmosphere and the charm. Abra's are water taxis which shuttle passengers across the creek for the princely sum of DHS 2. They can get quite busy though, so unfortunately, privacy is an issue again. I would recommend 'pushing the boat out,' and chartering an abra for an hour for about DHS 200, depending on your haggling skills. Ask the Abra-man to head upstream towards Al Maktuom Bridge where the creek widens and there is less river traffic. You could then turn to your beloved, whose face is glowing in the moonlight andů..well, you get the picture.

Dubai Creek Abra
Abras on Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek

A Dubai Creek proposal has the added advantage for being in close proximity to the Gold Souk, in fact you can ask your Abra-man to drop you off practically on the doorstep. The Gold Souk, as the name suggests, is the old Jewellery Quarter of Dubai and where you will find plenty of merchants who can whip up a bespoke engagement ring within an hour.

The Desert (the Sandy Proposal)

My final proposal involves the Dubai that existed long before the glitzy five star hotels and the shiny shopping malls took over. I am talking sand, and lots of it. How about a desert proposal? There are plenty of companies offering safaris involving organised desert camps with camel rides, henna tattoos and belly dancers. (Getting a belly dancer to pop an engagement ring from her navel would be a very original proposal....) Some companies also organise a romantic dinner in the desert for two, far from the madding crowds. Just you, your partner and rolling sandy nothingness as far as the eye can see (ignoring waiting staff stationed a discrete distance away.) The Al Maha Desert Resort offers one such package. You can stay at this luxurious five star eco-resort afterwards too meaning you save on the cab ride home.

So what are you waiting for? Time to get planning! And don't forget to post my wedding invitation early. It takes me ages to choose a hat.
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Is there any issues with unmarried couples staying In hotels together. I know this is illegal but not enforced but is it a good idea to propose in a public place announcing that your breaking the law. Also what about the public displays of affection that usually occurs after an accepted proposal?
by Darre (score: 0|2) 3406 days ago
There is an amazing company in dubai that plan proposals and they helped my husband make ours truly unforgettable. They are called proposalboutique and prepare everything for you if that's what you want. They really know Dubai and can suggest unique places that are so romantic
by Carol (score: 0|2) 3180 days ago
I used a proposal planner in Dubai called the proposal boutique. Caroline helped me with my abra proposal and it was amazing. She sorted everything out including a photographer, restaurants, limousines and ensured we had exclusive use of the abra. I proposed to my girlfriend during the fountains and I have never seen her happier. I would certainly recommend this company to anyone thinking of proposing in Dubai. Worth every dirham!!!
by james (score: 0|2) 3036 days ago

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