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Love is in the airport: Russian couple’s surprise Valentine’s Day proposal in Dubai

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Anastasiia Girfanova and Dmitry Maslennikov were engaged on DXB's rooftop, weeks after meeting at a restaurant in Dubai. Photo: Dubai Airports
Anastasiia Girfanova and Dmitry Maslennikov were engaged on DXB's rooftop, weeks after meeting at a restaurant in Dubai. Photo: Dubai Airports

Anastasiia Girfanova never imagined her first trip to Dubai would lead to love. But after meeting the man of her dreams in the city, Dmitry Maslennikov, he proposed to her in an unforgettable way on the rooftop of Dubai International Airport.

Dmitry Maslennikov proposes to Anastasiia Girfanova on the rooftop of Dubai International Airport. Photo: Dubai Airports
Dmitry Maslennikov proposes to Anastasiia Girfanova on the rooftop of Dubai International Airport. Photo: Dubai Airports

Last week, Maslennikov won the chance to do the memorable proposal, organized by Dubai Airports. Chosen from hundreds of applicants, he and Girfanova went up to the roof of Concourse B at DXB, the busiest international airport in the world. There, 39.5 meters high with the striking Dubai skyline as their backdrop, Maslennikov professed his love for Girfanova.

Girfanova says she will remember the moment of the proposal for a lifetime. Photo: Dubai Airports
Girfanova says she will remember the moment of the proposal for a lifetime. Photo: Dubai Airports

This was the first time Dubai Airports has put together a proposal like this. They released the video of the engagement on Valentine’s Day Wednesday to celebrate.

Speaking to The National, 37-year-old Girfanova said she believes one event may have led to her serendipitous meeting with 41-year-old Maslennikov in Dubai and their whirlwind romance.

“I was at a friend’s wedding in early December last year and caught the bridal bouquet,” she said, referring to the tradition where the bride tosses her bouquet for single women to catch, supposedly meaning the catcher will be next to wed.

A few weeks later, Girfanova, a Russian fitness instructor and actress, was invited by a client to join her trip to Dubai for New Year’s Eve. On a whim, she said yes.

“We spent a long time deciding where to celebrate. Then on December 31st from her house balcony, we saw a restaurant and decided to go,” she recalled. “That’s how fate led me to Dima.”

At the restaurant in Barsha Heights where Maslennikov had booked a table, hoping to enjoy the evening alone while watching others celebrate, the couple met.

Two hours before midnight, the table next to Maslennikov emptied. Then Girfanova’s group sat down. “She was beautiful and lit up the whole place. She was friendly, laughing and making sure everyone had fun. You could say she was the life of the party.”

A few minutes later, Girfanova invited Maslennikov to join them. “She spoke broken English but when she learned I was Russian too, we really hit it off,” Maslennikov recalled with a laugh.

The pair have been together since. “She had a return ticket for January 20th but decided to stay,” Maslennikov said happily.

It was Maslennikov who applied for the Dubai Airport competition. He was thrilled to learn his proposal was chosen.

Due to security and paperwork, Girfanova had to know about the proposal plans. “We shopped for the ring and clothes together,” Maslennikov explained.

The actual proposal happened on February 9th at 10am and lasted two hours. “We had to wear harnesses for safety and ensure the video team captured it well,” Maslennikov said.

For Girfanova, everything was a blur. “All I remember is not dropping the ring. But there were lots of happy tears afterwards,” she said with a laugh.

“I’m grateful to fate and Dubai Airports for noticing our story and giving us this moment we’ll remember forever.”

https://www.thenationalnews.com/lifestyle/2024/02/14/dubai-airport-proposal-valentines-day/