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11 December 2023

Whisk away the one you love this Valentine's

Couples can take a cooking class at the Ton Khao cooking school in Thailand. (SUPPLIED)

By Primrose Skelton

With the most romantic day of the year fast approaching now is the perfect time to spoil the special person in your life – with a holiday.

In these turbulent economic times a break – whether just a night in the UAE, or a week in the exotic Maldives – is the perfect recipe for romance.

Luckily, some of the world's most beautiful locations are offering special Valentine's deals at reasonable rates so you don't have to break the bank. Emirates Holidays has deals to Rome, Paris and Venice. A long weekend in Kuala Lumpur, a beach holiday in the Seychelles and an adventurous getaway in South Africa.

Dnata Holidays is offering 50 per cent off destinations across Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Middle East, while Anantara Resorts and Spas and the Luxor Hilton have romantic packages for couples.

South Africa

Emirates Holidays is offering a three-night trip to Johannesburg, which includes two nights on a full board basis at the stunning Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge and one-night bed and breakfast at the Intercontinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers. Included in this package are four game drives and national park entrance fees as well as an economy class return airfare from Dubai and domestic air travel in Africa. Prices start from Dh14,670 per person. Call Emirates Holidays on 800 5252.


Enjoy a world of underwater wonders and sparkling bathwater-warm lagoons in the beautiful Maldives.

Prepare to be wowed by the W Retreat and Spa, pictured, where you might spot manta rays, sea turtles and starfish from the splendour of your private sundeck. This Indian Ocean idyll is offering 50 per cent off a four-night Dnata Holidays stay.

Offer starts from Dh10,700 per person and includes: Return economy class flights to Male on Qatar Airways, four nights at the W Retreat and Spa in a Beach Oasis including breakfast, return airport transfers, taxes and service charges.

Valid until 19 April 2009. To book visit www.dnataholidays.com or call 800 8118.

Fujairah, UAE

Celebrate Valentine's Day with a moonlit dinner at the Le Méridien Al Aqah Beach Resort.

It costs Dh999 per couple per night from February 12 to February 18, including a candle-lit dinner on the resort's private beach.

Call: 09 244 9000


Paris, 'The City of Love', is the ultimate Valentine's destination. Stay at the Rochester Champs Elysées for four nights, with breakfast, for the price of three. It costs Dh5,350 per person including flights from Dubai. Call Emirates Holidays on 800 5252.


Nestled on a quiet stretch of sand and the glittering waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Anantara's Koh Samui Resort and Spa offers an experience that combines island magic and Thai charm. Couples can take part in a cooking class at the Ton Khao cooking school and after all the hard work enjoy a massage. The price is Dh772 per couple and does not include accommodation or flights. Room rates start from Dh679 during February.

Call: +66 7742 83009


The world's most idyllic settings provide the backdrop for romance at the Hilton Luxor Resort & Spa.

Located within minutes of the Valley of the Kings and the Colossi of Memnon, left, the hotel has been transformed to emerge as a new romantic retreat.

The couples' package costs Dh4,738, and is based on two sharing. It includes three nights in a standard room with breakfast, one dinner and flowers and chocolates on arrival. For details, call +20 95 2374933.