Love is in the air at Expo 2020 Dubai this month, with unmissable Valentine's Day deals and date-night ideas to put the spark into relationships – and onto taste buds, too – with a once-in-a-lifetime setting for the year's most romantic day.
From baking workshops to dinner in the sky, customised 'selfie' cocktails and a nine-course Thai menu to really spice things up, Expo 2020 Dubai invites visitors to share their love across the world.
Valentine's Day kicks off the Expo 2020 Dubai Food Festival with fantastic foodie offers up until March. The Food Festival will also feature Expo Restaurant Week from 14-27 February, BBQ Festival from 18 February-6 March and Dine Around the World from 21 February-13 March.
The specially crafted "Love is in the Air" cocktail – available on February 14 only – is crammed full of vibrant berries, making it a fun, flirty concoction with which to toast to your relationship.
AED 65, UK Pavilion, Opportunity District
2020 Club by Emaar
The bright, airy 2020 Club by Emaar will be serving afternoon tea for two, as well as a romantic four-course dinner for a lingering night out. Both the indoor area and breezy terrace boast stunning views directly onto Al Wasl Plaza on one side and the impressive Saudi Arabia Pavilion on the other. Dinner guests will start with marinated watermelon amuse bouche, followed by pea and brie soup, a choice of confit salmon or mushroom crêpe for mains and vanilla strawberry custard for dessert.
AED 599 per couple for Valentine's Day four-course set menu with a bottle of grape; AED 320 per couple for afternoon tea, Al Wasl Plaza
Adrift Burger Bar
This month, Adrift is turning the heat up with the launch of the H.O.T – their spiciest burger yet – available until March 31. Served with crispy fried jalapenos, chipotle mayo and pepper jack cheese, this is comfort food at its best. There's even a side of extra hot sauce if you want to spice up things even further.
AED 65, Mobility District
Alkebulan African Dining Hall
Alkebulan's special Valentine's menu, available from 1-14 February, celebrates with sumptuous dishes such as the sembe taco of slow-roasted round steak, Saharan herb-crusted lamb chops and a seductive Nyangbo ground chocolate dessert with tonka caramel and smoked vanilla sable.
AED 150 per person, Jubilee Park
Baron's exclusive set menu for two on February 14 features scallops with charcoal and miso butter, kale salad and king mushrooms for starters, and a choice of monkfish or wagyu for mains, followed by a light and airy mille-feuille, with two glasses of bubbles, included.
AED 300 for two, Al Wasl Plaza
Celebrate Valentine's Day South Asian style, as Bombay Brasserie lays on a three-course meal with a vibrant blend of classic and contemporary cuisine, plus unlimited house beverages. The intimate candlelit setting sets the tone for an unforgettable culinary journey, with a complimentary box of chocolates to round off the evening on a sweet note.
AED 220 per person for three-course menu and house beverages, India Pavilion, Al Forsan Park
Bread Ahead's Valentine's Workshop is a special baking class teaching novices and master-bakers alike how to bake perfect red velvet cupcakes with a luscious berry centre, as well as heart-shaped shortbreads.
February 12, 1300 GST; February 13, 1700 GST; February 16, 1300 GST; AED 300 per couple, Mobility District
Canvas by Coffee + Culture
The speciality café is perfect for a Valentine's Day pit stop, with buy one get one free on coffees and a complimentary dessert with all main courses. The Valentine's rose latte, made with rose water and garnished with rose petals, guarantees a pleasant caffeine buzz to perk you up for the rest of the day.
Buy one get one free for couples, Opportunity District
At De2Have, Denmark, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea come together for gastronomical magic prepared with fresh, seasonal produce. On Valentine's Day, it's offering a special three-course menu with a heart-printed graffiti cocktail included. Begin with salmon served with dill and cucumbers, followed by veal with celery topped with a hazelnut glaze and finish with a rich brownie adorned with red berries.
AED 250 per person, Denmark Pavilion, Mobility District
Chocolate and Valentine's Day go hand-in-hand, which is why Evok, in the Colombia Pavilion, will be selling special boxes of chocolate bonbons in 13 different flavours with a blend of herbs, spices and fruits to commemorate the occasion, available from 11-15 February.
AED 30, plus buy three get one free, Colombia Pavilion, Opportunity District
Vegan stuffed cookie brand Floozie is sharing the love with their creation of the month: a chocolate fudge cherry pie biscuit with a sweet, tangy cherry pie filling, topped with a dark chocolate button and sprinkled with dried cherries and gold. Too tempting to reserve for Valentine's Day only, the cookie will be available for the whole of February.
AED 16, Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, Sustainability District
Guests can pre-order cocktails with their favourite couples photo for the special price of AED 99. The photo can be taken at the bar, or romantics can surprise their other half with an pre-made cocktail by sending in a photo in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
AED 99, Denmark Pavilion, Mobility District
Jubilee Gastronomy & Mixology
One of the most sensational spots at the Expo 2020 Dubai site, Jubilee offers a beautifully styled interior or the rooftop terrace, with unbeatable views across Al Wasl Plaza, as a venue from which to enjoy a sumptuous five-course meal and expertly mixed cocktails. Oysters with apple foam set the tone for the evening, followed by green asparagus, octopus with parsnip, monkfish with a saffron emulsion and tenderloin with kimchee. A dessert of textures of white chocolate with a red glaze adds the final romantic touch.
AED 600, Al Wasl Plaza
Presenting an upscale Indian experience, Kutir – the brainchild of celebrity chef Rohit Ghai – will be serving a stellar set menu paired with bubbles. With starters including salmon with mooli (giant radish) and chicken fry, diners will then enjoy a choice of pan-seared seabass, chicken tikka masala or paneer makhani, with a trio of kulfi promising to hit the sweet spot for dessert.
AED 599 per couple, Opportunity District
Long Chim is laying on the love with its Maa Long Chim Valentine Special – a nine-course menu including chicken satay and sweet and sour prawns, topped off with a sticky coconut cake with caramelised dates, with an option to include special rose bubbles.
From AED 360, Mobility District
Mangrove Philippine Cuisine
In the Philippines, Valentine's Day is a hugely popular celebration, so Mangrove Philippine Cuisine is going all out with a sharing menu for two filled with Filipino favourites, including lumpia de cebu (five spice spring roll beef with vegetables) and pancit canton (stir-fry egg noodles with shrimps)and a red rose for ladies. Available from 12-14 February.
AED 140-150, Philippines Pavilion, Sustainability District
If there are two things Italians are famous for, it's passion and creativity, and M-Eating Italy will not disappoint this Valentine's Day. Its tantalising set menu features a welcome glass of bubbles with a smoked fish bite, followed by a selection of Mediterranean fish. Next up is carnaroli rice with smoked cheese and radicchio, while the main dish is a succulent tenderloin with flan of spinach and potato cream. Diners are advised to save room for dessert: a decadent bread pudding with ice cream.
AED 260, Opportunity District
For a heady dinner in the sky, Mudra's rooftop offers magical 360-degree views and a variety of set menu options. The creative dinner includes an appetiser of tuna tartare with avocado and crostini, followed by spring salad with kale and candied walnuts, mushroom ravioli with celeriac puree, plus strawberry shortcake to wrap up proceedings.
AED 185 with soft drinks, AED 285 for two hours of house drinks and one welcome champagne, AED 395 with two hours of sparkling beverages,
Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion, Sustainability District
Diners can enjoy Valentine's Day the Angolan way with an inventive three-course meal at Muyombo. The fun menu begins with a 'Light Up My Fire' starter of breaded shrimp, followed by a 'For My One and Only' main dish of tuna loin or Angolan flavoured meat trio, and finishing with a 'Happy Marriage' dessert of baobab and mint mousse. Couples will even be treated to a kizomba dance class – an African dance characterised by close partner connection.
AED 295 per couple for welcome cocktail, three-course menu and kizomba lesson
Angola Pavilion, Mobility District
Salties Beach Bar & Grill by Grenada
Salties is serving up Caribbean vibes and fusion cuisine, with a romantic atmosphere that transports diners to white sandy beaches for an island-style tête-à-tête – and offering 20 per cent off the à la carte menu on February 14. Signature dishes include baked shi drum fish fillet and Salties paella with fresh shrimp, calamari, mussels and baby spinach.
Twenty per cent off à la carte menu, Opportunity District
Even the name of the Valentine's menu at Schengen Lounge, managed by celebrated chef Kim Kevin de Dood, will put diners in the mood for romance: 'Les Roses du Luxembourg'. The four-course menu, served from 12-14 February, is a celebration of Luxembourg cuisine, served with a complimentary glass of a traditional beverage.
AED 180, Luxembourg Pavilion, Opportunity District
With bold flavours and locally sourced ingredients, Scarpetta's celebratory set menu is the perfect blend of simplicity and complexity. Couples can share signature pastas, including Scarpetta's famous tomato and basil spaghetti, along with flavourful fish and meat dishes.
AED 600 per couple for dinner or AED 800 for dinner, a welcome drink and bottle of sparkling or grape, Mobility District
While sharing is caring, the Mafi Moo Sprout shake is just too good to split with even your better half, which is why, from 12-14 February, visitors who buy one nutrient-loaded, dairy-free shake – available in strawberry, banana and chocolate flavours – will get a second one free for their sweetheart. Children can shake it up, too, with complimentary Valentine's Day face painting at the booth.
AED 28, Mobility District
The Irish Village
In a laidback atmosphere filled with Irish charm in a great outdoor setting, diners can celebrate their love with a three-course meal and a bottle of Prosecco. Traditional Irish dishes include prawn cocktail on soda bread, while the mains are a choice between spinach tortellini or beef tenderloin with potato gratin, followed by a gooey chocolate brownie.
AED 350 per couple, Jubilee Park
The National by Geoffrey Zakarian
Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian brings to life his vision of a contemporary grand café at The National. His three-course menu on this special day includes a welcome cocktail and a range of signature modern American dishes.
AED 550 per couple, Al Wasl Plaza