What Is The Emirati Wedding & Married Life Like?
Updated on 03 September 2018

By: Salamah Ghudayer

The Emirati weddings for the Bedouin families were modest, yet generous gatherings popular with many. Guests were welcomed; many after traveling days - thus the standard three day of hosting turned into three days of parties. The traditions of wedding parties varied between tribes and the distinction of Bedouin and city people known as the Hadther. Many people ask about the three day parties in the Emirates, and to be honest they don’t happen as they used to. There are different parties some families do, prior to the main wedding which we call A’ars, but they can be spread out with months between.

Once the couple agree to marry, there is a party called Milcha which is an engagement party for the bride. Her close female relatives and friends attend, but also it is a chance for the two hareems - women closely related to the bride and groom to get to know each other better as the groom’s immediate female relatives attend as well. As a bride it offers more insight and time with your future Mother and Sister-in-Laws. Though it is a formal dress party, it feels more casual as there is a feeling of security and excitement for the bride to share with those closest to her.

After the Milcha there is the Al Aqd, this is the signing of the marriage contract. This contract is a pre-nuptial and marriage agreement. Though it can be signed in the courthouse, judges are also available to come to the home. Once signed the couple are legally married, but not quite in the faith. There must be the banquet as a method of celebration and announcement the couple are official, only then in religion are they fully married. and this is called A’ars. The time between the Al Aqd and the Al A’ars can be hours or months, often depending on the families involved. Some prefer to have the couple fully married in every way all at once. Others prefer to sign prior to any planning or investment into the wedding party and prior to any announcement or social issues should someone decide not to sign just before the major event.

Al A’ars is the biggest party of them all. Mainly it is for the bride and the female family members, neighbours and friends from both sides of the wedding couple. In the Emirates, men’s gatherings and lady’s gatherings are held separately. Depending on the season, some men prefer a very traditional theme and hold theirs in tents outside. Others stay modern and formal in ballrooms on the same night as the bride’s party but in separate ballrooms, or on a prior night. However, the wedding here as in many cultures is focused on the bride. Her party is where she will officially be joined by her husband, sitting on a couch called kosha usually on a stage. There the couple accept well wishes from close family and the groom claims his bride and off they leave for the honeymoon. Traditionally they were spending three nights in her house, though now it can be one or none as some opt for a local getaway or an international destination. Once married, most Emirati couples will live with extended family; often in his family’s home, though it can also be her’s in certain circumstances. Once their own little family expands, then they may move on to their own home. In general, husbands and wives share many responsibilities for the home. It is a misconception that only in modern times, homes likely have two incomes. Historically in UAE, women made some sort of business or investments to secure themselves, but also to help out with the children when economies were difficult. In Islam, finances are the men’s duty and the lady pockets her own earnings as are the rights laid out in the religion, but when times are hard, the Emirati couple has always been a team, based on trust, respect, deep care and when the lucky - love.

With thanks to Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Call 04-3536666 or visit

Share this page!
MORE ON general info

Looking to book a RTA taxi? Then you need to download the Careem app and book the ride through the Hala platform, which was officially launched on 29 August, as very soon this will be the only way you can make a booking.

Veganism is not just a fad, it is a reality and getting even more popular. The food delivery platform Talabat reviewed food orders made through them and discovered that there is a dramatic increase in the preference of UAE residents for vegetarian

Good news for Dubai diners. You will soon be able to save a few dirhams on 'expensive' bottled water when you go out to eat from next year.  According to a new update from Dubai Municipality, Dubai restaurants have been advised that they will have t

Schools across the UAE can now sign up to take their students on a series of specially designed educational tours at Expo 2020 Dubai site, through a newly launched online platform. The educational tours will include four itineraries which will

Tickets for the 18th Emirates Airline Dubai Jazz Festival are now on sale and the headline acts have been announced. American R&B singer and songwriter Lauryn Hill will be taking to the stage on Wednesday 26 February at the annual event held at Dubai

The public holiday dates for Commemoration Day and National Day have been amended, and it is confirmed that all workers in the public and private sector will get three consecutive days holiday over these very important days. The Commemoration Day

If you are still craving ways to enjoy and celebrate Diwali festivities, or looking for some authentic, colourful and lively Indian experiences, then there is good news for you this weekend. Yas Island in Abu Dhabi is celebrating the festival of

The thriving Dubai community of Jumeirah Lakes Towers (JLT) has been selected as one of the eleven fitness hubs for the third edition of the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC). Now is the time for JLT residents to enjoy and take part in a 30x30 action

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) will be supplying all the energy generated to Expo 2020 in Dubai next year, 100 per cent from renewable sources. Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of DEWA says, "DEWA has allocated Dhs 4.

A section of tye busy Sheikh Zayed Road, arond the are of the Dubai World Trade Centre, will host a special Dubai Fitness Challenge fun run on Friday, 8 November. Those who love to run at different locations can now happily tick off the most buzzing

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.
This weekend, venture outside at your peril and beware of things that go bump in the night. It's a spooky weekend, where ghosts and ghouls come out to scare us for Halloween, and if that is your thing then there are lots of ways you can mix and
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 Downtown Dubai, DIFC, Business Bay, Al Meydan and Dubai Design District
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 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.
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.