x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Bride in a million

This Dh1 million wedding dress may make you the centre of attention on the big day, but is not for the bride on a budget.

French lace and Swarovski crystals account for the dress's price tag.
French lace and Swarovski crystals account for the dress's price tag.

DUBAI // This wedding dress may make you the centre of attention on the big day, but is not for the bride on a budget. With a price tag of Dh1 million (US$270,000), the dress, with reams of frothy lace and a crystal-enmeshed bodice, is thought to be the most expensive ever made in the UAE and will be unveiled to the public at the Bride Show Abu Dhabi in two weeks.

The dress is the work of Ahmed al Reyaysa, 32, an Emirati designer. "It is the most extravagant wedding dress I have ever made," he said. "The special thing about it is that it is entirely hand-stitched. It took myself and two helpers two and a half months to make. The dress is a big, flashy number which is very sparkly and certainly not for the demure." While the dress does not carry a single diamond, the high cost is down to the crystal mesh fabric of the bodice, which cost Dh6,400 a metre and is made by crushing Swarovski crystals finely and weaving them into the material.

The full meringue-style skirt of the dress is made from layers of expensive French lace. More than 30 metres of fabric was used for the shimmering creation. Two brides-to-be have already ordered the dress, a "very rich" 25-year-old Saudi woman and a 23-year-old Libyan. Mr Reyaysa is hoping to pick up more orders at the four-day bridal show in the capital that starts on Jan 21. Last year's show attracted 14,000 visitors.

"There is a strong market for this type of wedding dress," Mr Reyaysa said. "Women in the UAE like dresses with lots of embroidery and crystals. "I wanted to do something different and unique with an Emirati touch ... Design is all about innovation and craziness." tyaqoob@thenational.ae