Abu Dhabi - Some 1,000 attendees, who were part of the ceremony, were bowled over by the warmth and hospitality extended by the Al Maktoum family.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Thursday hosted a royal reception to mark the weddings of his three sons.
Some 1,000 attendees, who were part of the ceremony, were bowled over by the warmth and hospitality extended by the Al Maktoum family at the weddings of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council; Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai; and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. One of the guests said that the Dubai World Trade Centre was transformed into a "different world", while many were surprised to see the royals stand for hours and personally greet each attendee.
Community leader and founder of VPS Healthcare Dr Shamsheer Vayalil felt honoured to be part of the august gathering. "The celebrations captured the imagination of the entire nation. We are truly honoured and humbled to be a part of the extended family of the UAE. As His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid wrote in the poem to his sons, "that's how life thrives with power". It gives a sense of belonging to all citizens and expatriates alike. We are grateful to Al Maktoum family for the gracious invitation to join in this truly memorable occasion. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, truly captured the emotions we felt when he said that 'the joy of Eid is complete with this national wedding'."
Binay Shetty, vice-chairman and CEO of BRS Ventures, was amazed by the warm greetings extended personally by the leaders to each of the guests even as the ceremony went on for hours.
"This was an occasion which comes once in a lifetime. Next such event may come after 20-30 years. The entire setup of event was simple but grand at the same time. The colours used were subtle but looked very elegant. They took care of all the guests. Despite handling so many people, everything went off smoothly. All the leaders greeted the guests with a smile. They thanked and appreciated that each guest was there."
Neel Shukla, founder and creative director, Four Seasons Ramesh Gallery, was enamoured with the bed of roses which was laid to welcome the guests.
"I felt I was in a different world. I couldn't put my mind to understand where I was standing. The architecture was simple but very different. The meticulous way in which flowers were arranged was most beautiful. There was a bed of roses laid with precision on floor in complete symmetry. And the ceremony wasn't glitzy but simple and charmed all."
Shukla said the overall experience and hospitality made the ceremony unique. "My father was a royal photographer. We have attended all the royal weddings when such comforts weren't available. There was one-week of festivities then. I saw the same spirit of hospitality which was seen decades back. Beyond the glamour, the standout thing was the personal time which each leader shared with each guest. This is what made the ceremony very unique."