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Last-minute Loving


By Rachel McArthur

If you thought this year's Valentine's Day would be a relatively subdued affair for most given the testing times, think again.

According to UAE-based Maktoob Research's third annual Valentine's survey, it has been revealed that men and women in the Arab world have no qualms when it comes to digging into their pockets to express their love for that special someone in their life – economic crisis or not.

Even as a significant number of respondents remained undecided as to whether they would spend on gifts this Valentine's, 27 per cent said they were willing to spend $50 (Dh183) and below on gifts for their loved ones, while 15 per cent were willing to spend between $50 and $100.

Six per cent of respondents said they would spend between $100 and $150 on their sweethearts, while eight per cent were willing to spend in excess of $150. Only a mere four per cent said they did not intend to spend on gifts (for every 20 Santas, there's always a Scrooge, right?).

Although we're a generous nation, a large percentage of us – myself included – tend to leave things until the very last minute.

So if you happened to forget that today is the day of "luurve", why not pick up one of these last minute deals?

Go Shopping If your partner cannot get enough of the UAE's malls, why not treat them to a day of shopping? Lots of stores are offering special Valentine's deals, such as fashion brand The United Colors of Benetton.

Head to the store's Dubai Mall outlet today where the first 20 shoppers who spend at least Dh200 will take home gift vouchers. Call: 04 349 3613

Food Glorious Food They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so for all you ladies out there, why not treat him to a delicious meal?

If you can't cook to save your life though, opt for the next best thing: Some of the country's top hotels are offering various deals from private dining to buffet options.

If you cannot decide on the cuisine, head to the Sheraton Dubai Creek where Vivaldi restaurant will be serving up an Italian set menu; Ashiana will be offering an Indian set menu; and Creekside Japanese has a special Japanese buffet, pictured. Prices start from Dh240. Call: 04 228 1111

Blooming Fabulous Okay, if you've left things to the final second, head to your nearest supermarket to pick up a nice bouquet of roses. Hey, it's better than picking up something from the petrol station, right?

Your local Spinneys should have a good selection. Call: 04 349 6900