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Emirati Wedding Traditions and Ceremonies

Emirati Wedding Traditions and Ceremonies
Emirati Wedding Traditions and Ceremonies

Emirati wedding traditions and ceremonies are a vibrant reflection of the rich culture and heritage of the United Arab Emirates. These customs are deeply rooted in the values and traditions of the Emirati people, making each wedding a unique and colorful event. In this article, we will take you on a journey through the heartwarming rituals and celebrations that define Emirati weddings.

Emirati Wedding Traditions and Ceremonies

Embracing the past while moving towards the future.

Emirati weddings are a celebration of love, family, and culture. These weddings are a unique blend of traditional customs and modern influences. Here are some of the key elements that define Emirati wedding traditions and ceremonies:

Al Akhdar: The Marriage Proposal

In Emirati culture, the marriage process begins with the proposal, known as "Al Akhdar." This is when the groom formally asks the bride's family for her hand in marriage. It is a significant event filled with rituals and traditions that showcase respect and commitment.

The groom, accompanied by his family and friends, visits the bride's family to propose. They bring gifts, including traditional Arabic coffee and dates, symbolizing hospitality and acceptance. The bride's family typically accepts the proposal, and a date for the wedding is set.

Henna Night: Pre-Wedding Celebrations

One of the most anticipated pre-wedding ceremonies is the Henna night. This is a festive occasion where the bride and her female friends and family members gather to apply intricate henna designs on their hands and feet. It's a night filled with laughter, music, and joy, celebrating the bride's upcoming marriage.

Henna is considered a symbol of good luck, protection, and fertility in Emirati culture. The intricate patterns are not only beautiful but also hold cultural significance.

Jahaiz: The Dowry

Emirati weddings often involve the exchange of a dowry, known as "Jahaiz." This is a practice where the groom's family presents gifts and money to the bride as a symbol of love and commitment. The items in the dowry can vary, and their value is a testament to the groom's devotion to the bride.

Zaffa: The Grand Procession

A highlight of Emirati weddings is the Zaffa, a grand procession that announces the arrival of the bride and groom. Traditional Emirati music and dance performances add to the festive atmosphere. The couple is often seated on a beautifully adorned horse or in a luxury car, making their way to the wedding venue in style.

Wedding Feast: A Culinary Delight

Emirati weddings are renowned for their sumptuous feasts. Traditional Emirati cuisine, including dishes like Al Harees and Al Majboos, takes center stage. These mouthwatering dishes are served to guests, showcasing the culinary expertise of Emirati chefs.

Dressing in Style

Emirati brides don stunning traditional wedding dresses, often adorned with intricate embroidery and embellishments. Grooms, too, wear traditional attire, which may include a Kandura and an Agal. These outfits pay homage to the rich heritage of the UAE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the significance of henna in Emirati weddings?

A: Henna in Emirati weddings symbolizes good luck, protection, and fertility. The intricate henna patterns are applied during the Henna night, celebrating the bride's upcoming marriage.

Q: What is Al Akhdar in Emirati wedding traditions?

A: Al Akhdar is the marriage proposal in Emirati culture. It is when the groom formally asks for the bride's hand in marriage, accompanied by gifts symbolizing respect and commitment.

Q: How is the Zaffa celebrated in Emirati weddings?

A: The Zaffa is a grand procession that announces the arrival of the bride and groom. Traditional music and dance performances create a festive atmosphere as the couple makes their way to the wedding venue.

Q: What are some traditional Emirati dishes served at weddings?

A: Emirati weddings feature culinary delights such as Al Harees and Al Majboos. These traditional dishes showcase the culinary expertise of Emirati chefs.

Q: What is the role of Jahaiz in Emirati weddings?

A: Jahaiz is the dowry presented by the groom's family to the bride. It includes gifts and money, symbolizing the groom's love and commitment.

Q: What traditional attire do Emirati brides and grooms wear?

A: Emirati brides don stunning traditional wedding dresses, while grooms often wear a Kandura and Agal. These outfits pay tribute to the UAE's rich heritage.


Emirati wedding traditions and ceremonies are a beautiful blend of history and modernity. They are a testament to the Emirati people's commitment to their culture and values. These weddings are not just celebrations; they are a reflection of love, respect, and a vibrant cultural heritage.

Explore the diverse customs and celebrations of Emirati weddings to truly appreciate the magic that unfolds when love and culture come together in harmony.

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