x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai's fourth mass wedding sees 51 Emirati couples tie the knot

Fifty-one Emirati couples tied the knot last night in the fourth mass wedding in Zabeel Park, Dubai.

Bridegrooms pose for group photographs during the 4th Dubai Joint Mass Wedding Ceremony organised by Dubai Municipality at the Zabeel Park in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Bridegrooms pose for group photographs during the 4th Dubai Joint Mass Wedding Ceremony organised by Dubai Municipality at the Zabeel Park in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // A mass wedding took place last night at Zabeel Park, where 51 Emirati couples celebrated the start of their family life.

Employees of Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority and the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities celebrated their marriages at the ceremony.

The initiative tries to help young Emiratis marry without the high costs of a wedding, which can reach upwards of Dh1 million.

The celebrations saw Omani sword dancing and Emirati folk songs traditionally performed at weddings, as well as seafarer’s shanties. The night was topped off with a fireworks display.

“This initiative has aided 515 people since its inception,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, director deneral of Dubai Municpality.

“This is a social initiative unique to the UAE, which helps build family stability, social stability and financial stability for young Emiratis by covering the costs of the wedding ceremony and, at the same time, celebrating the happy occasion.”

“The costs of wedding services can be a huge burden on a newlywed couple,” said Khalid Al Rais, 30, one of the grooms.

“Sometimes it takes years to pay it off, and it has been the reason why many marriages have led to divorce.

“If it was not for this initiative I would be starting my married life in debt right now and be in a bad situation.”

Mr Al Rais’s fellow Dubai Municipality worker Hassan Mohammed Al Blooshi, 38, said: “Financial difficulties are a main reason why I, and many other Emiratis, are not getting married at a suitable age.

“I would really like to thank Sheikh Hamdan [bin Rashid, Minister of Finance] for setting up this initiative, and all the people who made this possible.

“Thank you for allowing me to finally be able to begin my family life.”

malkhan@thenational.ae