Weddings are the celebration of traditions. And these traditions are implemented differently in each culture. The United Arab Emirates is a rich and famous country where weddings are celebrated in a very lavish manner. Their weddings display their eternal love for gold and extravagance in the best way.
The marriages in the UAE are conducted by special Islamic laws and highly influenced by local traditions. Let us give you a sneak peek into the customs and rituals of an Emirati wedding.
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In the UAE, the traditional wedding celebration lasts for 7 days, which starts with the marriage proposal ceremony called Al Khoutha. In this ceremony, the groom’s father asks for the bride’s hand from her father, which is later followed by a marriage contract agreement called Al Akhd.
Once the wedding date is fixed, the bride rests at home for 40 days prior to the wedding. During this entire time-frame, she is pampered by her family members with healthy food. Her entire body is smeared with traditional oils and perfumes from head to toe and her hair is cleansed with flower extracts to nourish them. All these activities are performed to help the bride look beautiful and graceful on her wedding day.
The groom presents the bride with perfumes, jewelry, silk materials, and other important items before the wedding, from which she creates her extravagant wedding dress, which is called Addahbia.
A bridal shower also called Henna night is organized 2-3 days before the actual wedding day where all the bride’s female friends and relatives are invited to enjoy a night of music, dance, and lip-smacking food. All the invited guests in the room bless the bride with gifts like jewelry, expensive dresses, and money. While the women dance and celebrate with the bride, the henna artist decorates the hands and feet of the bride with beautiful designs.
On the actual wedding day, the religious ceremony of nikah takes place in the presence of family. During this ceremony, a religious figure called Maulvi or Qazi officially marries the couple. After the ceremony, the celebrations start with a great feast.
In Emirati weddings, there are separate ceremonies for men and women. The reason is so that the Muslim women who wear hijab can celebrate without worrying about being seen by unknown men at the party. Emirati weddings are the best occasions for women to show off their exclusive dresses and jewelry. The bride’s reception is all about dancing, lavish decorations, and enjoyment.
The men’s party also have their separate dancing and enjoyment sessions. They wear a traditional simple white dress called kandoura. According to the traditional dance form, men stand in a line holding a thin gold cane in one hand. Also, sometimes the men at the front and end of the line carry a small rifle and then they all dance to Emirati music tunes.
As they say, you can never leave an Emirati wedding feeling hungry. Apart from dancing and celebrations, mouthwatering cuisines are served at weddings in the UAE. The guests on arrival are served with coffee and dates followed by other desserts and delicious dishes.
The grandeur of Emirati weddings can differ based on the financial status of the family. But it is a celebration that you must experience once in a lifetime that will stay in your memories forever.