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UAE top destination for weddings in Middle East

Waheed Abbas/Dubai
Filed on June 1, 2018 | Last updated on June 1, 2018 at 06.27 am
UAE top destination for weddings in Middle East


The Middle East accounts for 5 per cent of the global destination wedding industry.

Thanks to luxurious and palatial hotels across the UAE, the country is the top destination for weddings in the Middle East with people spending on celebrations as high as Dh11 million in the region for each wedding, reveals a new study.

The Middle East accounts for 5 per cent of the global destination wedding industry, which is valued at Dh330 billion, with the UAE ranking among the top destinations for couples in Asia, Africa and the Middle East to further cement its position as a hotspot for destination weddings, revealed the survey conducted by Dubai-based event organiser QnA International.

Director Sidh N.C. said it's encouraging to see the UAE make further progress in establishing itself as a hotspot for destination weddings. "We believe that tapping into the massive potential of wedding tourism can help the country move closer towards achieving the ambitious tourism goals laid out in its UAE Vision 2021 initiative."

UAE top destination for weddings in Middle East (KT15566531.PNG)

Romika Fazeli, founder and managing director of Emirates World Club, says venues are pretty important for occasions like weddings and other such celebration. And it's not a secret that UAE houses best hotels and resorts in the world in terms of best quality and service.

"If you are planning your wedding, the most important factors are to have a beautiful venue with the best kind of hospitality services to make this special occasion unforgettable for yourself and for your guests. In the UAE's hotels and resorts, you have a 100 per cent guarantee that you will enjoy the excellent quality in food, service, set up and entertainment. In my personal opinion, the most beautiful resorts as for weddings are One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Qasr, Mina Salam and Emirates Palace," Fazeli said.

According to Atlantis, The Palm, the number of weddings increased 30 per cent in 2017 compared to previous year with couples from India, the UAE, the UK and Pakistan making up the majority - 86 per cent - of weddings delivered in 2017.

Industry estimates showed that an average lower and upper middle class family spends in the range of Dh700,000 to up to Dh7 million. The figures could vary, depending on the nationality and their wealth status.

For high net worth families, the costs for weddings go as high as Dh25 million in the UAE for Indian and Emiratis families. While the turnout in the UAE is between 300 to 400 for Asian and Emirati weddings and 100 to 150 for the Westerns' weddings. The other factor, according to Fazeli, is that UAE is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. "When you invite your guests, you can be sure that they will combine this wonderful occasion with a great vacation for themselves."

Binu Varghese, director of sales and marketing at Millennium Airport Hotel Dubai, said the UAE is among the Middle East's top destination for weddings with Dubai taking the biggest share.

"The weddings market in Dubai is definitely very strong and continues to register steady growth not just among locals but also among expats. We have seen a significant growth in the number of wedding parties at our hotel since the opening of this new ballroom in 2016. Moving forward, we have got high expectations in terms of business which reflects the growing demand in the market."

The average cost of weddings in the region is significantly higher ranging between Dh1.5 million and Dh11 million as compared to average African wedding costing between Dh1.1 million and Dh1.83 million.

Destination weddings in Europe and the Americas are typically a small and intimate affair attended by no more than 50-200 guests, the guest list ranges anywhere from 300 to 1,000 for weddings organised in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

"There are always exceptions to this and it really depends on the culture and on individual couples. There are people who want an extravagant wedding and it is evident from the decoration, number of guests, menus and entertainment. While there are many others who prefer a simple reception with their family and close friends," Varghese added.

Apart from Dubai, Florence and Tuscany are very popular and leading destinations for international weddings with 19 per cent and 42 per cent accounting for the global wedding market share.

- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

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