Dubai: Couples opt for weekday weddings as weekend bookings soar

Venues report high demand even during peak summer



by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 25 Jul 2022, 3:02 PM

Last updated: Mon 25 Jul 2022, 10:23 PM

The demand for wedding venues is higher than ever, even during the peak of summer, with many couples who got married legally earlier now planning grand celebrations with an extended gathering of friends and family members.

Due to strong demand, some couples are finding it hard to hold weddings on the weekends, hence settling for weekdays to celebrate the “Big Day”.

“Absolutely, the demand has been higher than ever... many couples have had to delay their wedding plans due to the pandemic and with the top health rating Dubai and the UAE have for their handling of Covid-19, people feel really safe choosing Dubai as an option,” said Arun Bablani, owner and founder of Vivaah Weddings.

“We are getting many enquiries even for weddings in the high summer. We are also seeing a lot of couples who already got legally married with just their immediate families present and are now wanting to do a larger celebration with extended family and friends,” he added.

Why is Dubai hosting more weddings?

Bablani added that Dubai is hosting more weddings for the same reason that it’s attracting tourists – connectivity and safety against the pandemic.

“People believe that they can come here and stay safe, plus the connectivity is most convenient. Hotels, understandably have some dates that are sold out but luckily there are more than enough venues to find a place on your desired dates. Also, we don’t mind having a three-day wedding overlap onto some weekdays,” Bablani added.

He added that weekend bookings haven’t been a problem but there have been many weekday weddings that have the same fun and success.

Elina Belkova, owner of Elegant Moment, said there are a lot of requests and queries from couples from different countries because some countries are closed for mega events after the pandemic while some countries facing economic challenges.

“After the pandemic, there are a lot of marriage proposals as well,” she said, adding that weddings are mostly taking place over the weekend but it’s not very common on the weekdays.

Sanjay Vazirani, CEO, Foodlink Global Restaurants and Catering Services, said Dubai has established a status of a Wedding Destination of Choice for many, which was further strengthened given the emirate’s effective response to the pandemic.

“Indian families and couples love the destination, and this has created a stronger need for Indian specialisation, fusion food, and expertise in the domain. Dubai government is making serious efforts to attract destination weddings through regular retreats and familiarisation trips to network with the world’s best wedding experts, influencers and thought leaders and expose them to experience the city’s diverse offerings and services available to them,” added Vazirani.

Venues

When it comes to venues, people are truly spoiled for choice in the UAE.

Belkova added that all the four- and 5-star hotels provide facilities for weddings.

Vivaah Weddings’ Bablani said there are a variety of venues available for the residents and foreigners to organise their weddings.

“We can find almost any type of venue a couple may be looking for – whether it be a luxurious 5-star hotel, something in the middle of the dunes, a mountainous backdrop or the beautiful sea waters. If money is no object then almost any location is possible – be it the Burj Al Arab Helipad; a full hotel buyout; the Al Wasl Dome at Expo or the Museum of the Future,” he added.

Popular demands & trends

When it comes to popular demands from brides and grooms, Bablani noted that couples want something unique, a wedding that sets them apart from other weddings. “Great food, amazing entertainment, international DJs and a venue that will allow them to dance and party till dawn.”

Hussein Gamaleldin, cluster director of sales and marketing, Central Hotels Group, said rather than the location and choosing date and time, the facilities, reception and creating the right atmosphere are essential, too, for weddings.

When it comes to the selection of mouth-watering food menus, Sanjay Vazirani, CEO, Foodlink Global Restaurants and Catering Services, said there has been a rise in Fusion food as there is so much access to traditional cuisines from around the world, especially during the pandemic, that a huge food trend is a cross-cultural cuisine. “Fusion dining is not a new concept, but the time for creativity and innovation in food has definitely arrived.”

In addition, health consciousness is also growing as families prefer the use of local produce, sustainable menus, a taste of home food, plant-based meat, low-salt cheese, and probiotics.

“In the current times, modern diets need to be considered while designing the menu. Single-serve packages/Moni Portions are a trend to stay. Plant-based eating is on the rise. Interactive Live Cooking Stations are the need of the hour and are fast developing to add more dimensions to please all senses,” he added.

Major costs to host a wedding in Dubai

>> Dh93,450 total cost

>> Dh38,175 cost of food

>> Dh28,960 cost of venue

>> Dh16,370 cost of drinks

>> Dh4,600 cost of videographer/photographer

>> Dh2,770 cost of decoration

>> Dh2,565 cost of cake

Unique venues

>> Burj Al Arab’s helipad

>> Al Wasl Dome at Expo

>> Museum of The Future

>> Hotels in desert

>> Sea-facing facilities

>> 5-star hotels

>> 4-star hotels

Source: Holidu, Vivaah Weddings, Elegant Moment, KT Research

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

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