Complex Made Simple

No UK royal wedding comes close to this GCC nuptial & Guinness record holder

The May 19th wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is estimated to cost $43 million according to estimates from British wedding app Bridebook (most, some $40m, will go on securing the event).

UK daily The Guardian said the royal wedding could bring in $107 million for the country’s economy as retailers, pubs and hoteliers look to cash in on Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding tomorrow.

Good time to check Airbnb’s property rentals with around 42,000 guest arrivals expected in London, as hosts can make up to $16m from renting out their flats and homes, according to the UK daily.

Harper Bazaar said this year’s wedding list is free from any official list of political leaders from any country around the world.

But it wasn’t the case when Senior Gulf royals arrived in London ahead of the April 29, 2011  royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which cost $34 million.

The list included Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan , Sheikh Ahmad Hamoud Al-Sabah of Kuwait, the Emir of the State of Qatar and his wife Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned; and Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.

Even without political leaders, glamorous UK royal weddings always attract attention, but do regional weddings have a place in history, as well?

Chart Courtesy of Statista (

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5 days to remember

Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding in 1981was broadcasted to 750 million TV viewers and cost $110 million.

But according to, Dubai, in1979, witnessed the most lavish wedding of all time, costing $137 million, and holding the Guinness World Record for its place as the most expensive wedding ever held.

Hind Bint Maktoum, then age 17, married Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

When Hind Bint Maktoum married the Sheikh, she became the senior wife and consort of the absolute ruler of Dubai.

The Sheik and Sheikha’s royal wedding was an elaborate event, which required that a $20,000 seat stadium be built to host as many guests, according to the site.

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The celebration lasted for five days, and a holiday was declared for the duration to honour the event where non-stop entertainment filled the day, including traditional dancing and musicians.

“During the wedding ceremony, the Sheikh delivered wedding gifts to his bride, which were carried on 20 camels decorated with jewels. Fifty Arab and African dance troupes provided a parade for the royalty in attendance. It took 34 private jets to transport the Emirs, Sheikhs, Princes and Ambassadors who attended the wedding,” said Moneyinc.

“For five days following, 127 camel races took place in desert. The Sheikh also traveled by horseback during his wedding week to visit every town in the emirate. He distributed food, personally giving it to the residents in each town.”

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Only for a princess

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Princess Salama’s 1981 wedding had  an estimated cost of $100 million, reported CBS News.

The prince had a 20,000-seat stadium built especially for the occasion, and the celebrations lasted for 7 days.

Fit for a king

King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Salma Bennani’s 2002 wedding cost tens of millions of dollars as the King broke tradition with his public wedding celebrations. Previously, the marriages of kings of Morocco were kept secretive.

The wedding was celebrated with a multiday event that included a procession from the city gate to the royal palace, fireworks, musical performances and displays by Arabian horsemen in a lavish public ceremony, that included 1,500 guests, among them Bill and Chelsea Clinton, 1,400 horsemen, and the freeing of more than 8,000 prisoners, the Associated Press reported.

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The most expensive Arab bride

According to Harper’s Bazar, at the February 2018 Bride Show at Dubai World Trade Center, a million dollar wedding cake was revealed in the shape of an Arab bride.
Celebrity cake artist Debbie Wingham designed the six-foot tall cake encrusted with five two-carat white diamonds priced at $200,000 each.