The extravagant luxury and Islamic laws—Emirati weddings can be something of a mystery for anyone outside the UAE and weddings in the capital city, Abu Dhabi, are no different. Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect.

Image via Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort

The nikkah

The only thing strange about the nikkah is how the word sounds and everything else is pretty much the same as in weddings of other cultures. It’s nothing but the wedding ceremony that kicks off the big day, where a religious figure officiates the marriage by pronouncing the couple husband and wife.

The wedding celebrations

Here comes the fun-filled occasion of any wedding that many guests look forward to. However, unlike wedding celebrations in other parts of the world, weddings in Abu Dhabi and the rest of the UAE have not one but two separate parties for men and women.


Emiratis are known to pour huge amounts of money into their weddings, so ceremonies will often be held at high-end, luxurious hotels such as Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort. Therefore it’s best to arrive on an empty stomach as you will be served with a wide assortment of delicacies.


While this may come as a surprise to you, gifts aren’t a part of weddings in the UAE. Unlike westerners and most other cultures, Emirati couples don’t usually expect gifts from guests on their wedding day.