How Do Emirati’s Find A Spouse?
Updated on 01 August 2018

By: Salamah Ghudayer

(The Emirati Wedding Part 1)

Though arranged marriages are still widely popular in the Emirates, many future couples handle the information gathering on a prospective life partner themselves, while they share their days at work or university. Still if it is to be a success it will remain quite formal by international standards. Many speak of their current husband being the one unwilling to talk to them, but rather observed her character over time. Some say their wife snapped back at them at an invitation for coffee and they knew she was the one; had she said yes he would have kept looking for someone stronger in the gentle barriers that have come with us from the past. However culturally the comfort of an arranged marriage can lessen the fear of ‘will I ever find someone’ as the whole family and tribe are more than excited to assist! So if a man doesn’t have anyone in mind himself, there is the hareem - his family community of women to be his personal match making service.

His mum will have a few ladies in mind whom she has always imagined would be a great match for her son; daughters or sisters of family friends, extended family or neighbours are often the main source. She takes into consideration what he likes, as well as what he needs to balance his own personality. She will play the ultimate match maker, and who knows us best; our good and bad traits but our mum. She may not do this alone. Often aunts, sisters, and her friends will be thinking of possible partners for him. Then she will offer a few names with some of their qualities, and see which he responds to and selects one or if he needs a whole different list and clarifies his expectations.

Once a lady becomes the favourite choice, the groom-to-be’s mother and her ladies arrange a friendly visit. The hosts have an idea as to why a visit of so many ladies is occurring but the topic of marriage will not likely come up. It’s a preview. It is taking the lovely lady from beyond her reputation and getting to know her in person. If all feel comfortable, then the man’s mother will ask about the men of her family coming to visit the men of the lady’s family. That is when the actual proposal will be made.

The future groom, his father, brothers, uncles, grandfather, even possibly a supportive best friend will arrive another day to meet the men of the potential bride’s family. Usually the young man will not speak, but the father or grandfather will complement the girl’s family and offer their proposal and promise to look after the bride as well as her own family. Her father will either deny the proposal right away with some excuse that she is promised to someone else in case this young man or family is absolutely not to his liking. Usually, he will thank them for their time and promise a response in the near future. Then it is all up to the bride herself!

Muslim women are the only ones who can agree or disagree to their own marriage. It is such an important human right that she be in complete control of her own name, that the marriage is not considered legal without her freely given agreement in name. Therefore in UAE culture and in the religion of Islam the decision to accept or reject a proposal is hers. If she is quick to say yes, or no, often her Emirati father will let her think the answer through for a week or two to be sure it doesn’t change. Perhaps if the man would make a great husband, the father will lightly encourage her by dropping little hints. Across the Emirati community as a whole, the happiness of the young women is sought after by her parents and even the ruling Sheikhs are known to support her wishes or try and mediate if the father is rejecting someone she prefers. All seek a happy marriage rather than have negative issues to deal with in the future. So if her answer is no, it is a “no.” If her answer is yes…a huge flurry of excitement and planning begins for both families and often there is a small party called a khutuba for the bride and her friends.

Next Month Part 2: The Emirati Wedding Parties & Married Life!

Share this page!
MORE ON general info

Dubai is all set to get busy again as it welcomes back returning residents from post Eid holidays and long summer vacations ahead of the start of the the new academic year in the first week of September. According to the Emirates Airlines, it is

The UAE Cabinet has expanded the list of excise taxable products to include sweetened beverages, sugary drinks and electronic smoking devices. The step has been taken to ‘reduce consumption of unhealthy goods and modify consumers behaviour’.

A 34-year old Indian expat in Dubai got lucky when her ticket number 4111 won her Dhs 3.67 Million in the latest Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire draw. The winner, Beejal O., a resident of Dubai for seven years, was a regular participant in

Dubai Police is inviting motorists to sign a pledge to drive safely as part of a road safety campaign they are calling ‘Day Without Accidents’. The campaign will be held on 2 September, the day schools re-open after the summer holidays.Motorists

A holiday for the public and private sector in Dubai on the occasion of Islamic New Year, also known as Hijri New Year has been confirmed. The announcement for public sector was made on the official Twitter account of the Federal Authority for

After the big announcement that the Red Hot Chili Peppers will make their UAE debut at Yas Island’s new indoor venue, The Arena, on 4 September as part of Abu Dhabi Showdown Week, the second big announcement is now sweeping fans off their feet.

Emirati passport holders can now travel to one more tourist favourite without having to obtain a visa. UAE passport holders can visit South Africa visa free, and stay in the country for up to 90 days under the new visa waiver agreement signed

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, will visit the UAE later this week. During the two-day trip, which starts on Friday, 23 August, Modi will meet with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy

Dubai Police have issued a fresh alert through their Twitter account warning UAE residents to protect themselves from online fraud by not sharing their personal bank details including debit card, credit card and personal identification number (PIN)

The number of international overnight tourists has spiked to 8.36 million in the first half of 2019, an increase of 3 percent from the same period last year, according to data released by the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing

First Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  ... Next Last 
A 'must do' when in Dubai.
The Dubai Fountain was designed by California-based WET, the creators of the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas, and is 275 metres long with five circles and two central arcs. Over
Unveiled in February 2010, the Burj Khalifa stands 828 metres high - 320 metres taller than Taipei 101 which held the record since 2004. The Burj Khalifa currently holds seven records, including the highest occupied
Since its opening in December 1999, the Burj Al Arab has been one of the most photographed structures in the world. Sometimes referred to as "the world's most luxurious hotel
The UAE is surrounded by two bodies of water, both offering different diving experiences. Dubai is good for shipwrecks, which are home to Barracuda, Snappers and Jacks, with common
Take a magic carpet ride across rolling red sand dunes, with an amazing bird's eye view of the untouched desert below.
Now that a five-day long work-week is back, we have great plans on how to deal with work blues after a long holiday and a tiny working week. This week on our list of things to do we have a baking class for kids and mums, interior design class
Top things to do in Dubailand, Motor City, Sport City and Green Community
Top things to do in Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT), Emirates Living, Jebel Ali, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
Top things to do in Al Barsha, Barsha Heights and Al Quoz
Top things to do in Sheikh Zayed Road, 2nd of December Street and Al Satwa
Top things to do in Bur Dubai, Karama, Al Mankhool, Al Jaddaf and Oud Metha
Top things to do in Deira, Garhoud and Al Muteena.
Top things to do in Jumeirah 1,2,3, Beach Road, Al Wasl Road, Umm Suqeim, Al Sufouh, Palm Jumeirah
Top things to do in Downtown Dubai, DIFC, Business Bay, Al Meydan and Dubai Design District
Travelling through Dubai International Airport (DXB) gets even more exciting, as travellers will soon be able to watch local and international musicians and DJs performing live for them, and the best thing is it’s free to watch. DXB becomes the
Dubai stands in line with cities like Paris, Milan, London and New York, so you can never be bored of this city. There are a million of things to see, try, and taste!
And you won't be disappointed.
Your little ones will thank you.
Discover Dubai
Stay Connected - Drop us your email.