When I moved to Dubai in 2017 I found myself single and back on tinder. Although the tinder experience was very similar to what I was previously accustomed to, there was one thing I couldn’t quite understand. You see, I would go on dates that would go very well and then just never hear from these girls again. My housemate explained; some girls are “dinner scammers”. “What is a dinner scammer” I hear you ask although I’m sure you’ve figured it out before you finished reading this sentence.
It’s someone who goes on tinder dates with the sole purpose of going to a nice place, having the other person pay for dinner, and then never speaking to them again. After this discovery, I made a simple rule to live by for all my tinder dates – Adventures, not dinners. This way I can have an experience instead of just a meal. If the girl and I realise we don’t like each other, at least we did something fun. And if the girl declines my offer for an adventure, she’s either a dinner scammer or probably not my type. So without any further addition to this paragraph, here are some date ideas:
9 – Escape Rooms
Escape rooms are scattered all over Dubai and a great way to see how your date’s problem solving skills are. They range from horror, to mystery, and fantasy themed escape rooms. Most rooms accommodate a minimum of 2 people. I would recommend meeting for a drink beforehand so you and your date can decide, together, if you still want to be locked in a room for 60 minutes. Here are 2 favourites:
No Way Out, JLT – Features a healthy variety of rooms. They Have a room based on the Harry Potter series, a Da Vinci adventure, and a room inspired by horror film “The Ring” which features an actress dressed as The vengeful ghost of Sadako. Yes, You have a creepy ghost lady locked in the room with you.
Brain Game, ADCB Metro Station – This was the first one I did, and it wasn’t a date but a team-building event. I remember being locked in the room and thinking “this is underwhelming”. We solved a few clues and unlocked a secret passage which led to another room and then my mind just started falling apart at the shear genius of it all. We did another two rooms immediately after that and I’ve had a fondness for Escape Rooms ever since. They offer four different rooms: Prison Madness, The Museum, Around the world in 60 days, And Pablo Escobar (which is rated 18+)
There’s sure to be an escape room option near you, and you can have a look at the other options here.
8 – Sky Diving
Hear me out, you have 2 options. Skydive Dubai has a starting price of 1699AED for a tandum dive (which I personally haven’t done because I can’t see the joy in experiencing an almost near death experience strapped to the chest of a stranger.) It’s a little extreme on the best of days so I recommend the 2nd option. Indoor skydiving.
Inflight Dubai‘s tagline explains it best: “Ever wanted to experience the thrill of world-class skydiving without jumping from a plane?” Starting at 184 AED per person for two flights, it’s pretty much a steal and guaranteed to get your heart racing.
7 – Explore a rainforest
It’s not that hard to imagine a rainforest in Dubai when you consider it has a ski resort. The standalone man-made biodome, called The Green Planet, is located in City Walk in Jumeirah and boasts 3,000 species of tropical plants and animals. It’s the ideal destination for nature lovers who are keen to learn more about the planet and the delicate balance of nature. Entry to this nature lover’s paradise is only 99AED
6 – Paint and Grape
This is great fun and highly recommended for artsy types and untalented potatoes alike. It’s even more fun when neither you nor your date know what you’re doing. Recreate one of the world’s most famous and loved paintings in one night. Each night focuses on a different artwork. Booking in advance is recommended as Paint and Grape have limited space. At 390AED you will get a three-hour painting session (with all equipment provided), teachers to help you create a stunning Masterpiece and two glasses of grape or 4 non-alcoholic drinks.
5 – Games Night
Hub Zero brings to you a state of the art indoor gaming experience, the first of its kind in the UAE. Step into a world where fantasy blends with reality and virtual gaming comes alive through advanced, innovative technologies. In association with acclaimed video game developers including Capcom, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Konami and Square Enix, this gaming park is the ultimate in indoor entertainment, complete with action zones, thrilling rides and attractions. A full day mega pass will set you back 275AED
4 – See An Award-Winning Performance
La Perle by Dragone is an experience I cannot put into words. Early bird tickets for this show starts at 199AED for silver but I would highly recommend getting gold (starting at 249AED). It features a beautiful fusion of performance art, technology, and immersive story telling. The 270 degree seating offers a different perspective to the action unfolding on the tailor-made aqua theatre where the stage can flood with water and drain again within a matter of seconds. This is probably the most authentic and pure bit of magic I have experienced in ages.
3 – The Smash Room
Aside from the quality name, there is nothing quite as liberating as breaking a bunch of stuff. And what better way to see what you’re getting yourself into than taking your date to go blow off some steam. I’ll be honest, it’s a specific kind of girl that agrees to go and do this on a first date. But that kind of girl is the best kind. Prices range from 99AED to 599AED per person and offers you glass and electronic items to smash to pieces. The Smash Room also have a lovely tongue-in-cheek website.
2 – Museum Of Illusions
The Museum Of Illusions is located between Marsa Al Seef and Al Fahidi Historical neighbourhood. The Museum itself is not that big and we found ourselves in and out within an hour and a half. That being said, we did skip some of the exhibits and I do still recommend this as one of my favourite date ideas. The highlight, for us, was the Vortex. I won’t spoil it for you but what I will say is stay in the Vortex for longer than you think you can.
What I love about the museum is you can explore the Quant and old-timely neighbourhood of Marsa al Seef on your way to the museum. After the Museum you can head off to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood which has a lot of interesting galleries, including a Coffee Museum. I would recommend stopping at MAKE Art Cafe for refreshment and to doodle before you leave the neighbourhood.
1 – The Workshop Dubai
The Workshop Dubai is one of my favourite places in Dubai. A quaint cafe situated inside a gallery featuring local and international art. The Workshop is focused on, well, workshops and their calendar is always popping with unique and interesting events. Anything from drawing classes, public speaking workshops, introduction to lego robotics, hand pottery, pasta making, and well I can go on forever but you get the point.
I recommend keeping an eye on their workshop calendar to see what they have coming up.
Do you have some of your own Dubai adventure suggestions? Contact me or leave a comment.I would love to hear what you have to say