All the world loves a royal wedding, and you know it is set to be a lavish affair when it involves Dubai.
So expectations for a spectacular ceremony will be especially high with the news of the simultaneous weddings of three of the sons of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
These include the marriage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince, to Sheikha Sheikha bint Saeed bin Thani Al Maktoum, Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed to Maryam bint Batti Al Maktoum and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed to Sheikha Midya bint Dalmouj Al Maktoum.
Attention will now focus on the wedding ceremonies that are expected to follow the formal Islamic marriage contract.
Although private affairs, glimpses of the Dubai weddings of the Maktoum family have often been shared with an enthusiastic public, including the marriage of Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter Sheikha Maryam to Sheikh Suhail bin Ahmed bin Juma Al Maktoum in January last year.
At the time, official photographs of the couple were released, with Sheikh Mohammed posting a video of the official celebrations on his YouTube account.
A year later, to mark their first anniversary, Sheikha Maryam shared video clips on Instagram showing the amazing ceremony which featured ballet dancers and undulating giant silver spheres.
Another video showed a firework display as they celebrated their first year of marriage at the Burj Al Arab.
In 2016, the engagement of another of Sheikh Mohammed’s daughters, Sheikha Latifa, to Sheikh Faisal Saud Khalid Al Qasimi of Ras Al Khaimah, was announced on Instagram, where the groom also revealed a poem he had written about his new bride.
The marriage of Sheikha Maryam bint Mohammed to Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khaled bin Mohammed bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, also received widespread attention, with messages of congratulation from the Sheikha’s family.
Her elder sister, Sheikha Latifa, posted photographs of the couple on Instagram, writing: “May the rest of your lives be filled with love, joy and happiness. Congratulations!”
Sheikh Mohammed’s own weddings have also attracted worldwide attention. His first marriage, in April 1979, to Sheikha Hind bin Maktoum, saw five days of celebrations in Dubai, including a public holiday.
On the wedding day, crowds gathered outside the Zabeel Palace to watch a riding display by the royal guard, with a train of camels delivering the Sheikh Mohammed’s wedding gifts to his bride.
Other performances took place across the city, including over 100 camel races and a formation display of jet fighters.
In April 2004, Sheikh Mohammed married Princess Haya of Jordan. Although the ceremony was private, wedding photographs of the couple together were released to the public.
Among the publications using them was the celebrity magazine Hello. It was the first time a Dubai Royal Family wedding had featured in Hello – but almost certainly not the last.