All eyes on royal wedding
Dubai - The wedding ceremony will take place today at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, and two of his brothers are set to have a grand wedding ceremony at Dubai World Trade Centre on June 6, which coincides with Eid Al Fitr celebrations.
According to Duba Media Office, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Rulers of the Emirates have arrived at Dubai Trade Centre in time for the wedding.
Read: Dubai lights up for the upcoming royal wedding
Khaleej Times earlier reported that the Dubai Palace has been lit up as the dates for the royal wedding were announced. Videos and photos were going viral on social media. Bin Redha said Emiratis decorate their house with lights to let their neighbourhood and community know that someone in their home is getting married.
Here's all you need to know about the Dubai Royal wedding:
Which royals are celebrating their weddings?
> Sheikh Hamdan is married to Sheikha Sheikha bint Saeed bin Thani Al Maktoum
> Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, is married to Sheikha Maryam bint Butti Al Maktoum
> Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, is married to Sheikha Midya bint Dalmouj Al Maktoum
What are Emirati weddings like?
> First, the engagement takes place. The two families can have an engagement party if they wish
> The marriage contract is signed by the groom and bride through a court, an imam or a sheikh. This means they are legally and Islamically married. According to Emirati culture, however, the bride does not move in with the groom until after the official wedding ceremony
> The henna night takes place, where the bride, her family and friends get together to do henna, enjoy performances, dance and celebrate
> The official wedding ceremony takes place, with separate celebrations for men and women. They may do the celebration at the same venue in two different halls, or at two different venues
> The male can join the female side of the celebration later into the night, once only the main family members and friends remain at the venue. This is when the groom and bride cut the cake and drink either juice or a rose-water syrup drink together
Women's side of the celebrations
> The women's side is said to be more festive, with grand performances, exquisite décor, expensive gowns, hundreds of guests and an impressive dinner menu
> It's almost like a 'fashion show', as women come dressed in their most lavish gowns
> There is a 'perfume corner' set up, where loads of luxurious and traditional scents are offered to guests
> There is a 'runway' set up for ?the bride. She walks on it, as guests watch
> For most of the ceremony, she remains seated on a fancy sofa, set up on-stage
> In older days, the bride had to remain seated throughout the ceremony, but, these days, she can join in and dance with her friends
> There are waiters serving tea, coffee, snacks and desserts throughout the celebration
> The ceremony can go up to four hours or more
Men's side of the celebrations
> The celebration on the men's side can last up to two to three hours
> They wear their traditional clothing, called kandoura
> Most of the men's side of the celebrations these days are done after lunch, with tea, coffee and desserts being served to guests
> If being done during dinnertime, especially if it's a royal wedding, the traditional 'kuzhi' dish is served. It is the national dish of the UAE and includes roasted lamb or mutton over rice
> They do the Emirati traditional folk dancing, called Ayala, where they face each other, holding swords or sticks, and dance to the beat of drums
Video: Beautiful Dubai royal wedding ceremony invites revealed
What we know so far
> It's happening on June 6 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, at 4pm
> Invitations of the ceremony have been going viral on social media
> The royal invitation card was placed inside a massive embroidered box, with a gold-coloured utensil that was filled with Omani halwa. The ceremony details were embroidered in Arabic in gold inside the box
> The Dubai Palace has been lit up with exquisite lights, which is common in Emirati culture as a way to announce to their community that someone in their home is getting married
> Royals from the GCC region, other world leaders and dignitaries are likely ?to attend
> Brides and grooms have already been married in a private ceremony earlier in May. The event on June 6 is the wedding party.
(Curated by Yousuf Kapadia)