UAE Wedding Prices Doubled in a Year reports Sam Designer
Extravagance is key in desert weddings
Arab expat couples are now spending an average of $54,452 for weddings, which is up from half that mark a year ago. The splurge in money comes from every corner of the ceremony preparation, from the celebration itself to invitations, centerpieces, and decorations.
“Around this time last year, clients were quite price sensitive,” said Sandra Faris, the managing director at The Wedding Factory in Dubai. “Their budget was tight and any simple koasha [translated from Arabic to love couch], with plastic flowers on the backdrop would do the job. “Now they want more and real flowers, which makes it more expensive, starting at Dh40,000 and upwards.”
The annual Bridal Show recently kicked off with 12,000 visitors expected to visit the event in Abu Dhabi to take a look at the latest in wedding paraphernalia.
Many prospective brides will take the opportunity to discuss with exhibitors their various, and surely lengthy, to-do lists that span from venues to photography, as well as honeymoon destinations and table settings.
“December was extremely busy for us,” said Jasmine Arika, the director of marketing at Beach Rotana in Abu Dhabi. “We had close to three weddings a week. What also helped is that we have two ballrooms to host a male only and female only wedding at the same time.” The average for last year was 1.5 weddings a week. The 0.5 accounts for female-only weddings.
Remi De Marchi, who works in Sydney, Australia, wanted his wedding at Abu Dhabi's Sofitel hotel in order to ensure his family and friends could attend the big day.
“It was painful to coordinate – but I am very, very happy with the end result,” said Mr De Marchi, a private equity banker. “We tightly managed the Sofitel and to their credit gave us an experience beyond my highest expectations.”
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