Love, like music, knows no barriers or boundaries. And what better example of this than the multi-cultural metropolis of Dubai, where couples hailing from different countries are continuing to meet, fall in love and get married. Today being Valentine’s Day, we at City Times have decided to set aside our usual sprinkling of cynicism and bring you feel-good stories of how love between people from diverse backgrounds has flourished in the city.
‘Love is bringing out the best in each other’
Peter Rodrigues & Patrycja Rodrigues (Goan & Polish)
“We met in November 2006, on a 11-hour flight to Perth from Dubai. By the time we reached Australia we were totally hooked, knowing that this new found friendship will be very special for both of us. We got married on 10-10-2010 and our wedding theme was ‘Love is in the air’ as it all began in the air!
Dubai has played a special part as we would have never met if not for this place. I am from Goa, India and Patrycja is from Poland and we needed a common place like Dubai to meet. When I met Patrycja she was very new in Dubai so I was her local guide, showing her those hidden gems of the city and helping her to understand the culture!
For our first date we went to Rugby Sevens, which will always hold sentimental value for us, although we were so excited and busy getting to know each other we had no idea who was playing and what the score was! Nowadays we like going to Kite Beach and La Mer Beach, as well as BOXPARK and Zabeel Park. The fountains at Dubai Mall never fail to amaze us, no matter how many times we see them.
This year it is going to be a quiet Valentine’s Day, as we will be spending it at home with our one-year-old baby girl, who brought even more love into our life.
We believe love is integration of two people into one. It is the understanding of each other’s values and most importantly bringing out the best in each other.” As told to Enid Parker (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘In the most important things, we are all the same’
Liam McElhinney & Katrina Navarro-McElhinney (Irish & Filipino)
“We met at Claw BBQ, Souq Al Bahar. There are a lot of mixed couples in Dubai. I believe that here more than any other major international city we are all encouraged to bring and share our different cultures/traditions. By being empowered to share our different cultures we actually highlight how in the most important things (love, family, aspirations) we all are the same. For me the Filipino and Irish cultures are so similar I feel just as much at home with my wife’s family as I do with my own.
A place that has sentimental value for us is the creek area since we got married in Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. Our plan for Valentine’s Day is to have a romantic dinner at the place we first met. Claw!” As told to Enid Parker (email@example.com)
‘Dubai played cupid for us’
Rena Rzayeva & Rui Martins (Azerbaijani & Portuguese)
“We first met in Dubai in 2002 at the French Connection Cafe on Sheikh Zayed Road and now we are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary next month! We were introduced to each other by a common friend and what started as a normal meeting led to a solid bond that culminated in us taking our marriage vows. Before coming to Dubai we had never ever met anyone from each other’s respective countries before, so it seems that Dubai, in some ways, played cupid for us! We don’t think we would have met each other if it wasn’t for Dubai.
Among the things that we love to do in the city is to go to Jumeirah Beach because this place holds many sweet memories for us and we also take our 7-year-old son, Tiago, who was born in Dubai, along with us to share those pleasant memories. We also like to visit a shawarma joint in Satwa which used to be a regular hangout for us. It’s called Al Mallah. And once in a while, we also take an abra ride across the Dubai Creek to the Spice Market.
Love means different things for different people, but for us, it’s about two souls trusting each other, it’s about a long life journey filled with lots of adventures that is fun to experience together.
This Valentine’s Day we plan to celebrate at home. Rui is threatening to cook a romantic dinner! Hopefully, we will not have to call the firefighters or order dinner from a restaurant!” As told to Michael Gomes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘Love is not an on and off switch. Love is something that grows every day you are together’
Fuad & Aisha Nazim (Indian & Canadian)
“We met in December 2006, surprisingly at 360 – Jumeirah Beach Hotel (my favourite hangout during those years). Aisha had just moved to Dubai a couple of months earlier from Canada, and I moved back to Dubai during the summer of ’06.
Considering the fact that we got married in six months, I would say that Dubai has played a special part in our story. My whole family lives here, so it was easy to introduce Aisha to all of them. Dubai is a very cosmopolitan city, and it’s easy to be a newcomer here. The jitters of a new relationship were ironed out by hanging out in different places in Dubai, getting reacquainted with old friends, and making new ones too. Dubai is a melting pot of East meets West, and now with four kids, its honestly the best place to raise a family. Pier Chic in Al Qasr is a particularly special place for us as that’s where we had our first date. Love is not an on and off switch. Love is something that grows every day you are together. After almost 11 years of marriage and four amazing kids, love is something that you can just be yourself with your other half. Aisha and I are exact opposites and I think that’s the strength of our relationship.
We’ve made a pact that we’d spend Valentine’s day with ourkids at their favourite restaurant, Farzi Café at City Walk. We couldn’t have it any other way.”