One hundred Emirati couples marry in Dubai mass ceremony

Local tradition means separate events for grooms and their brides

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed (center) with the Grooms during the mass wedding of 100 Emirati grooms held at the V hotel at Al Habtoor city in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National
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A mass wedding ceremony in Dubai on Wednesday was attended by 100 Emirati grooms.

The brides have a separate ceremony, where vast crowds gathered and which tend to last up to four hours.

The men's wedding celebration is a far simpler, more low-key affair. Sometimes grooms choose not to have a ceremony at all.

The mass wedding was organised by Al Habtoor Group in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development and was conducted in the presence of Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed, chairman of the Dubai Border Security Council.

The special event took place at V Hotel in Dubai, and was aimed at reducing wedding expenses for Emiratis by doing away with lavish ceremonies.

The celebrations included festivities such as dancing and Emirati folk songs.

Saleh Al Sheikh, 43, a government employee, said that holding such ceremonies removes the financial burden on Emiratis wanting to get married.

“It’s a good chance to participate in the mass wedding. It helps to ease the financial difficulties resulted from wedding,” Mr Al Sheikh told The National on the day of the ceremony.

“We are grateful for the organisers who support such weddings. I would really like to thank them for setting up this initiative.”

For Hazza Al Hosni, who works at Adnoc, the occasion helped him reduce the expenses of a wedding that can run into hundreds of thousands of dirhams.

“This is a social initiative unique to the UAE, which helps build family stability, social stability and financial stability by covering the costs of the wedding ceremony,” said the 27-year-old groom.

Mr Al Hosni said that Emiratis sometimes take out loans to cover their wedding ceremonies.

“This initiative helps to start married life without debt. Thanks to all the people who made this wedding possible and make me able to begin my family life.”

Mohammed Salem, 26, said the large ceremony was also a great opportunity to make friends.

“It is also a great chance to meet other grooms and become friends,” Mr Salem, who works for a semi-government company, told The National.

“Saving the wedding services money for other important issues in life is very important when starting a new family.”

Khalaf Al Habtoor, chairman of Al Habtoor Group, said he was happy to host the wedding in a bid to encourage more Emiratis to have families.

“I supported the initiative to help our young Emiratis to establish their families and to have the next generation of Emiratis for our homeland. Families are the pillar to our blessed country,” said Mr Al Habtoor.

His advice for the newlyweds was to treat each other with respect. He also offered an extra incentive.

“From my side there will be prize money for the groom who has the most children,” Mr Al Habtoor told the couples, without specifying the amount.

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Community Development signed an agreement with the Al Habtoor group to support Emiratis with a series of mass wedding.

Over the last 25 years, around 200 mass weddings have been held across the UAE for more than 10,000 grooms, according to the ministry.

The Ministry of Community Development is keen to organise more mass weddings all over the Emirates to support the family values established by UAE Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Emiratis can apply to participate in mass weddings through the ministry website.

Updated: November 10, 2022, 9:13 AM