With the start of a New Year and Valentine's Day looming on the horizon, now is the perfect time to stop putting off that proposal and finally do what you've always wanted - to show your significant other how you truly feel about him or her.

If you are straining your brain trying to come up with the perfect destination at which to express your undying affection, below are five ideas for ideal - not to mention memorable - proposal spots at which to profess your love on bended knee.

The Royal Mirage Hotel 'The Palace' - Dubai, United Arab Emirates

It is a well known fact that Dubai is one of the best places in which to buy gold without incurring any sales taxes. So shop for that perfect diamond studded-gold ring, and propose to your loved one in style at one of the most luxurious destinations in the country.

The Royal Mirage Hotel is located in the coastal area of Jumeirah, on its very own private beach overlooking Palm Island Bay, one of Dubai's three largest man-made islands in the world. Like an incredible mirage in the middle of a desert, this palatial kingdom commonly known as 'The Palace' rises high and mighty above palm trees and lush landscapes, giving one the feel of being in a fortress of a bygone era, whilst enjoying all the modern luxuries.

Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa - The Cook Islands

The Cook Islands in the South Pacific is a private hideaway ideal for the perfect proposal. Boasting one of the most romantic locations in the world, the mention of this destination conjures images of simply lazing about in private bungalows by the water, sleeping the day away in hammocks strung from palm trees or stepping out of your verandah and right into the cool blue waters of the sea.

Such a perfect day can only be topped by a perfect night. Have a private candlelit dinner on the beach with your lover, and then propose on bended knee by the waters edge.

Aman-I-Khas - Rajasthan, India

Leave the tourist trails behind and share an isolated, intimate adventure holiday with your loved one in a tent situated on the border of Ranthambore National Park. Not just any tent, mind you. These are spacious, luxuriously air-conditioned delights looking every bit as if they've been plucked from the Moghul era and placed right smack in the middle of the Indian wilderness. In your spare time, enjoy a customized safari tour with a trained guide and check out wildlife in action at the Ranthambore National Park.

But it is when night descends that the magic of the place truly overcomes you, with the sounds of exotic night birds calling in the distance to the diamond mine of stars sparkling in the pitch blackness of the universe above you. Lay beneath the brilliance of stars twinkling like diamonds and proffer your own diamond as you propose to your treasured one.

Sydney, Australia

It may come as no surprise to the astute traveler that Sydney is best known and much-frequented for its famous surfing beaches. Though one may think it to be a somewhat tricky affair to locate a secluded beach in which to enjoy the Australian waves and sun, there are in fact many beaches that are so private they are accessible only by plane or boat.

For a full day event to make the experience all the more worthwhile, you can hire a seaplane which includes a picnic basket of goodies such as appetizers, food, and wine, and also drop-off and pick-up service. After swimming and enjoying a private picnic, propose to your special someone with only the sun and sand as an audience.

Black Forest, Germany

Considered one of the most popular destinations to visit in Germany, the Black Forest is a mountainous range with rich mythological history.

Take your partner for a hike to the mountain top of Belchen, the third highest mountain with the best views in the Black Forest. Impress him or her with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes and maybe even (on a clearer day) the distant Alps.

Or if you're not much of a hiker, take your partner for a walk along one of the lakes in a town called Titisee (which offers much choice for accommodation) and whisk them away on a boat with the pretence of fishing but propose right out on the lake.

photos, top to bottom, by: twocentsworth, Rowen Atkinson, Paul and Jill, Pavel Sigarteu, trixnbooze