McDowell, back in the United Arab Emirates this week for the Dubai World Championship, first met Stape when he contacted the Orlando interior design business she runs to design his palatial four-bedroom home.
But he revealed yesterday that he popped the question a fortnight ago when in Dubai for a practice session before heading to the Australian Masters in Melbourne.
“I did it properly getting down on one knee and she was very shocked,” said McDowell.
“I even found myself getting a little bit emotional. It was very special and a stunning location, looking out over Dubai as the Burj Al Arab hotel does. We’ll probably get married towards the end of next year.
“The funny thing is she came to this tournament last year and we went up to the Al Muntaha Restaurant that’s right at the top of the Burj Al Arab. I had a table booked when I was out here two weeks ago so we went back there but through my Jumeirah contact I said to her that the hotel was going to give us a quick look around, including going out onto the helipad.
“I have to say I was very nervous in popping the question because I had a little speech I was going to make to her and found myself getting all choked up about it. We’ve been told it’s the first marriage proposal ever held on the helipad. We’re both 33 and we want to crack on and start a family and stuff.”
The Burj Al Arab Hotel is the fourth highest hotel in the world and the helipad is famous, not for helicopter landings and take-offs, but for celebrity photo shoots.
Both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have been filmed hitting golf balls off the landing pad, while in 2005 Roger Federer and Andre Agassi stunned the world playing a game of tennis there.
“We haven’t decided on where we will get married but it will probably be somewhere in Florida or maybe the Bahamas as I like the idea of what Darren [Clarke] did this year getting married on the beach in the Bahamas as that was fantastic and the pictures looked awesome.”
McDowell said nothing would please him better than to celebrate his engagement with a win in the $8m (€6.2m) Dubai World Tour Championship.