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02 December 2023

Survival guide to single's Valentine’s Day in UAE

Workers hang Valentine's Day decorations outside a store in Dubai. LOAY ABU HAYKEL)

By Bindu Suresh Rai

All rise for the Ya-Ya sisterhood (or brotherhood).

Bonding with your single pals has never been more warranted, with Valentine’s Day being the perfect setting to show how much you really love your friends.

Paint the town red by hitting some of the snazzier bars in town, like Maihiki at Jumeirah Beach Hotel or Okku at The Monarch.

But if heading out is not your thing, then why not have a party at home with a nice bottle of grape, buttered popcorn, “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” or a similar

chick-flick in the DVD player and your closest friends for company.

Boys, we vote for “The Godfather” trilogy for you.

Love the one you’re with

Who says that February 14th is all about celebrating the emotion of love with just your partner.

Your parents, siblings or even your schoolteacher ­– people who have touched your life with their love – are just as important.

Surprise them with a box of their favourite candy or a bouquet of flowers; better yet, enjoy the day with them if you can.

Girls, I’m sure your mums would simply love breakfast in bed, or even a pampering session at the salon between just the two of you.

Pamper yourself at the spa

If the blues have hit you hard, then celebrate your singlehood by directing some tender loving care towards yourself.

Head to one of the local spas and let your body at least enjoy some serious pampering under the hands of trained therapists.

Group-buying website, Cobone, has a great deal going – for just Dh198, enjoy a full body massage, Moroccan bath, full body scrub, Dead Sea mud facial mask and hot oil hair treatment from Dead Sea Spa at the Dubai Metropolitan Hotel.

The offer is valid for men and women. Now go on, pamper yourself.

Retail therapy rocks

If you can tolerate the dewy looks and the assault of the big red hearts hanging above your head like the Sword of Damocles at the neighbourhood mall, then head to your favourite store and treat yourself to a pair of killer stilettos or that gorgeous new handbag that you’ve set your eyes on for the past few weeks.

Boys can treat themselves to their favourite gadget!

Donate your time and your blood

Let this Valentine’s Day be about spreading the love to those who could use a little loving cheer in their lives.

Take a page out of Patch Adams’ book and head to the local paediatric hospital to spread a bit of joy amongst the kids there.

The Thalassemia ward for children at Latifa Hospital is a great place to start, and while there, extend your care by donating blood, which is then used to aid young kids suffering from this genetic blood disorder.

If you can’t make it to the hospital, why not spend the day with an elderly neighbour or even your grandma; while you are busy cheering them up you’ll be too preoccupied to pine after the elusive Mr Right.

Bond with an old buddy

We’ve all had them, the friend we had hoped to keep in touch with after school or college but somehow they got lost in the busy schedules.

Here’s a great day to renew old contacts and mend old ties.

Pick up the phone to ring them, or even pop open your laptop to send out that long overdue e-mail.

And don’t fret if you have no means of contacting them; maybe a trip to websites like Facebook, Classmates.com or even Reunion.com just may assist you in finding your old bud.

Get away for the weekend

February 14 falls on a Tuesday this year, so why not make a long weekend out of this and get away from all the commercialisation of the holiday.

Grab some pals and head out on a camping expedition to Mussandam or Hatta.

And if that doesn’t tickle your fancy then why not take a small adventure by yourself to close by destinations like Jordan, Sri Lanka or India – there’s no time like the present to head out and start exploring the world.