Recession, what recession? couples splash out on UAE weddings
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, June 05 - 2008 at 08:28
- PRESS RELEASE
While the rest of the world is tightening purse strings, cutting back on luxury items and buckling down during the global recession, couples in the UAE are spending more than ever on getting married.
put together bigger guest lists and spend more on making their big day one to remember, especially by splashing out on wedding dresses and jewellery.
A survey of visitors to The Bride Show Dubai, the hugely successful event held at the end of April, showed that, despite the soaring cost of living and inflation, more than a third (34%) would spend between Dhs100,000 and Dhs250,000 on their big day, up from 26% in 2007.
As many as 24% will spend between Dhs250,000 and Dhs500,000, compared with only 11% last year. And perhaps most startling, 19% of visitors questioned will spend more than half a million dirhams on their nuptuals, compared with 9% in 2007.
Weddings in the UAE are traditionally lavish, opulent events, spanning many days, and the trend is to invite even more relatives and friends. Forty three per cent of The Bride Show visitors surveyed will invite 500 to 750 guests, compared with 19% last year, while 20% will invite more than 750 guests.
Putting the figures into perspective, the average cost of a wedding in the USA stands at Dhs100,613 ($27,490), with 167 guests invited. An American couple is likely to spend around Dhs3,718 on wedding rings, while 43% of couples in the UAE will fork out between Dhs20,000 to Dhs50,000 on jewellery, and 21% will spend more than Dhs100,000.
The Bride Show Dubai survey also showed that almost a third (29%) of brides-to-be will pay between Dhs20,000-Dhs30,000 for their wedding dress, up from 21 per cent last year. As many as 20% will splash out between Dhs30,000-50,000, and 17 per cent will pay more than Dhs50,000, against just 8% in 2007.
The largest bridal exhibition in the region experienced its most successful year yet, welcoming more than 30,000 visitors. Visitors flocked to take in the weird and wonderful - fake nails made from gold and platinum, glittered with diamonds - sitting alongside the more traditional and elegant such as the fashion creations from Elie Saab, Ungaro and Valentino flown in from Europe.
"Our exhibitors reported strong sales from Dubai, and its sister show in Abu Dhabi in February," said Daphne Cota, Exhibition Manager for The Bride Show. "This research is incredibly welcoming but surprising given the state of the global economy. It goes to show that once again, Dubai, and the UAE as a whole, is bucking the trend, emerging as a market leader in one of the most lucrative industries in the world."
The four-day extravaganza in Dubai hosted the largest fashion event in the UAE, the only event of its kind open to the public, with more than 20 fashion shows from renowned design houses such as Manish Malhotra, Salma Khan and Rahmanian Haute Couture. Rapturous applause echoed around the Dubai International Exhibition Centre as the latest collections were sashayed down the catwalk for Amato, Tijan Trading and Swarovski Middle East.
Exhibitors at The Bride Show Abu Dhabi and The Bride Show Dubai welcomed high footfall and strong sales as brides-to-be, friends and family splashed their cash on high end purchases such as diamonds, flowers and wellbeing spa packages.
IIR Middle East is already preparing for next year's events. The Bride Show Abu Dhabi takes place from 21-24 January, 2009 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, while The Bride Show Dubai, which will also feature Bride Home and Women's Healthcare, takes place at Dubai International Exhibition Centre from 8-11 April, 2009.
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