The Ultimate Guide to Gifting for Emirati Wedding Traditions Skip to content
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The Ultimate Guide to Gifting for Emirati Wedding Traditions
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The Ultimate Guide to Gifting for Emirati Wedding Traditions

Emirati weddings beautifully blend long-held traditions with modern touches into vibrant, multi-day celebrations.

These joyful affairs offer guests a window into the rich cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates. If you're invited to an Emirati wedding, you're in for many special experiences.

This guide will walk through key customs so you understand the significance behind each one. That way, you can fully take part in all the festivities.

And of course, what's a wedding without gifts? We'll also share with you the best gift experiences you can gift the newlyweds.

Emirati Wedding Traditions

The Path to Matrimony: Pre-Wedding Ceremonies

Instead of one ceremony, Emirati weddings often last a week, featuring separate pre-wedding celebrations. These smaller gatherings allow the couple's families to get to know one another and solidify the upcoming marriage.

Al-Khoutouba (The Proposal)

The first step once a couple decides to marry is called Al-Khoutouba.

Here, the groom's father and other important men from his family visit the bride's home. They come with gifts like perfumes and sweets to show their respect.

After polite introductions and a few conversations, the main purpose of the visit is revealed – formerly asking for the bride's hand in marriage.

The bride's father may take time to think it over and discuss it with the family before accepting.

If he approves, they celebrate this important first step with tea and dates. Both sides then start preparing for the actual wedding events.

Al-Aqd (The Marriage Contract)

A few days before the wedding, a small ceremony is held for Al-Aqd – signing the marriage contract.

The parents and siblings gather as the bride and groom promise themselves to each other under the guidance of a religious leader called an Imam.

The Imam blesses the soon-to-be-married couple and reads from the Quran on the sanctity of family. Most importantly, the Al-Aqd contract itself is signed outlining each partner's marital rights and the Mahr, a respect payment from groom to bride.

This legally seals the commitment between not just the bride and groom but both families.

The Celebration Begins: Henna Nights and Zaffe (Processions)

The night before, female family and friends share Henna Night festivities with the bride. There is usually music, dance, and ornate henna hand drawings symbolising luck.

As the big day nears, parades known as Zaffes wind through town – the groom's party joyfully announces the wedding while the bride's Zaffe remains more private.

Emirati Wedding Traditions

The Ceremony: A Union Blessed

Though wedding ceremonies themselves are relatively short, simple religious blessings, they still overflow with meaning. Vows seal the union supported by both families while strengthening cultural heritage.

Afterwards, weddings become vibrant celebrations, welcoming hundreds of guests to indulgent feasts with classic Emirati dishes like biryani rice, Machboos lamb, and limited doughnuts.

Alongside nonstop music and dancing, the reception atmosphere beams with well wishes for the newlyweds' future together.

Emirati Wedding Traditions

Best Gift Experiences for Emirati Weddings in the UAE

Emirati weddings beautifully blend long-held cultural traditions with modern celebrations into vibrant, joyous affairs.

While you could gift household items or money, gift experiences are the best thing you can surprise the newlywed with.

At Wondergifts, we offer unique ideas that combine local culture with pampering to treat the couple after months of stressful planning.

Luxurious Spa Day for the couples in UAE

How About a Luxurious Spa Day for the couples?

After finalising seemingly endless wedding details, the bride and groom deserve serious pampering and relaxation.

Treat them to a completely rejuvenating spa resort escape featuring hours of tension-melting massages, organic facials, herbal body scrubs, and therapeutic treatments tailored to their needs.

They'll leave walking on clouds and floating on air – blissfully relaxed, both body and soul!

Click here if you'd like to gift the couples this experience.

Desert Safari Dinner in UAE

An Elegant Desert Safari Dinner

This iconic evening under the stars whisks the newlyweds away via luxury SUV deep into the wavy Arabian dunes.

A traditional low Bedouin tent beckons, filled with vibrant carpets and plush pillows surrounding a hearty Emirati feast.

As the last bites disappear, a professional astronomer amazes with insights into dazzling desert constellations in some of the world's clearest night skies. Truly magical!

Click here if you'd like to gift the couples this experience.

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride Experience in UAE

Surprise the Newlyweds with a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride Experience

Surprise the newlyweds by gently lifting them high over Dubai's gleaming cityscape in a peaceful hot air balloon at dawn.

With 360 views around their transparent basket, iconic sights like Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah fade into the distance.

As bright orange sunlight crests the rolling dunes, serve sparkling cider to toast their amazing shared journey floating upon desert breezes.

Click here if you'd like to gift the couples this experience.

Private Chef Experience at Home in UAE

Private Chef Experience at Home

You can gift the newlyweds an opportunity to celebrate without leaving their new home!

A professional chef arrives to completely personalize and prepare a mouthwatering five-course gourmet meal focused on the couple's favorite local flavors, transformed elegantly right in their own kitchen.

The date-night atmosphere made it easy, including candles, flowers, and memories in the making that last years beyond their special day.

Weekend Getaway to a Luxury Resort in UAE

Weekend Getaway to a Luxury Resort

Newly married couples deserve rest, relaxation, and reconnecting after the wedding rush.

An all-expenses-paid dream weekend for two at a luxury resort delivers everything they need to start their journey refreshed.

We're talking about beach cabanas, poolside spa treatments, world-class dining, and lounging surrounded by spectacular ocean scenery.

They'll return renewed and ready to begin their lives together.

Click here if you'd like to gift the couples this experience.

With our carefully curated gift experiences, you can gift the newlyweds unique local adventures or indulgent pampering escapes.

Our personalised experiences will help celebrate their special union in style!

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