Couples seek out new spots to slip the ring

DUBAI - With the marriage season around the corner, couples are looking for more innovative and creative venues to celebrate their special day. Diverting from the well trodden path of indoor banquet halls, many couples are exploring far more adventurous options such as deserts, moonlit beaches, mountain tops and even wadis. Just about any venue can be tailor-made by adventure operators for those seeking that extra bit of thrill on their wedding day.

By Prerna Suri

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Published: Tue 25 May 2004, 9:40 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:31 AM

Said Ahmed Shelleh, Excursions Coordinator, Desert Adventure Tourism: "We do receive numerous enquiries from couples who wish to get married in the desert but on an average only two weddings a year are conducted there. Henna girls, Oudh players, falcon shows, belly dancers and authentic Arabian cuisine is what sets apart this wedding from the others and the moonlit sky just adds to the magical experience," he said. The weather, however, has played a dampener on many people's plans as an indoor venue seems more tempting than the more adventurous - but humid - outdoors.

Said Jaya Jethwani, an Account Executive: "If it wasn't for the weather, then I would have definitely opted for a moonlit beach ceremony as it has been my childhood dream to have my wedding at the beach. The never ending sky, the magical waves and my sweetheart by my side, is just what I want for my special day. But I don't think that it is possible in this weather, so I'll probably book a banquet hall in some hotel and hold a party for my guests."

Another would-be bride, Claire, said that she was looking forward to her marriage on the creek aboard a luxurious boat. "My wedding is in about two months and I'm holding it on a dhow with some of my closest family and friends. It's going to be amazing as we are going to have a traditional English wedding with all the frills included. Since the dhow is air conditioned, it isn't going to be too uncomfortable for the guests," she said.

Many hotels, as a part of their seasonal schemes, are also offering couples with special packages, which include arrangements for their honeymoon. InterContinental Hotel, one of the oldest and leading hotels in Dubai, has introduced a newly designed 'wedding package'.

"The exclusive wedding package offers luxuries such as a one night stay in the opulent bridal suite decorated with exquisite flower arrangements, a beautifully decorated wedding cake, complimentary beauty treatments for the bride in preparation for her special day, a romantic cruise on the five star Al Mansour Dhow, and other offers," said Katerina Fajgar, Public Relations Manager, InterContinental Dubai. Many people also tend to go for dinner cruises, which offer that extra bit of glamour featuring a variety of entertainment options- from live jazz singing to belly dancing.

A dream wedding, however, doesn't come cheap with the price starting at Dh15,000 for an outdoors venue, which may go higher depending on the number of guests and other factors.

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