Celebrate Love In Style: UAE's Spectacular Wedding Destinations

From dazzling high-end resorts to beautiful sunset weddings in the desert, the UAE offers a multitude of options for your special day
Celebrate Love In Style: UAE's Spectacular Wedding Destinations

Marriages might be made in heaven, but the perfect venue is what makes a wedding special. The United Arab Emirates has recently cinched the enviable position of becoming the perfect spot for weddings. With a number of striking locations in the Emirates, including the crowd favourite Ras Al Khaimah, the UAE has undoubtedly become a hub of luxury weddings.

Nestled on the Arabian Peninsula, the UAE, with its gorgeous scenery and many exotic properties accentuated by golden deserts and rugged peaks, has recently become a favourite amongst couples when it comes to hosting their special day. Couples often choose the many lavish resorts and hotels as they want their guests to enjoy the extravagance that comes with hosting a bash in one of the emirates. The UAE, with its seven emirates, including Abu Dhabi (the capital), Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain, has no dearth of luxurious locales.

Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah are leading the race to put the Emirates on the map for potential wedding destinations, especially ranking high for couples in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

"In H1 2023, Ras Al Khaimah saw a 300% increase in revenue from weddings, which is expected to grow," said Raki Phillips, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority.

Dubai is also pioneering the cause with a steady rise in the number of weddings hosted in the past few years. Known for its cosmopolitan charm and iconic attractions, Dubai combines a mix of traditional Arabic charm, heritage and contemporary vibes, making it a coveted wedding destination. Here are some of the Emirates that are most desired among couples to be the venue for their weddings.

 Abu Dhabi offers a blend of traditional and modern
Abu Dhabi offers a blend of traditional and modernPhoto: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi

With its stunning landscapes, grand architecture, and exceptional hospitality, Abu Dhabi offers a unique blend of traditional charm and modern sophistication. It is an ideal choice for couples seeking a lavish and extraordinary wedding experience. One of the city's most renowned venues is the Emirates Palace, a true epitome of luxury. This iconic palace-like hotel boasts unforgettable views of the Arabian Gulf, opulent ballrooms, and meticulously landscaped gardens, creating an exquisite backdrop for a fairytale wedding.

For couples seeking a blend of luxury and cultural authenticity, the city offers the timeless allure of desert weddings. Traditional Bedouin-style setups provide an intimate and romantic atmosphere, while the backdrop of the serene desert landscape adds a touch of mystique to the occasion. Abu Dhabi also provides a plethora of exquisite dining experiences, ranging from international gourmet cuisine to traditional Emirati delicacies.

Some of the popular luxury venues in Abu Dhabi besides the Emirates Palace are the Saadiyat Beach Club and the Liwa Desert at Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort. The Rixos Premium on Saadiyat Island offers a captivating setting for great wedding experiences. This exquisite venue immerses its guests in a symphony of senses, encompassing luxurious accommodations, gastronomic delights, rejuvenating spa treatments, and captivating in-house entertainment. Elevating weddings to enchanting heights, the resort boasts a grand ballroom that accommodates up to 600 guests in an atmosphere of refined luxury.

Ras Al Khaimah

The thing that sets Ras Al Khaimah apart from other destinations is the variety of historical and outdoor venues beyond hotels. Its strategic positioning at the crossroads of continents, coupled with its rich history and natural allure, makes it an inviting destination for couples to host their special day.

Moreover, Ras Al Khaimah is a conveniently accessible destination for couples through direct or short-haul flights from key Indian cities like Mumbai and Hyderabad via IndiGo. It is also a mere 45-minute drive away from Dubai International Airport and can be reached easily via road.

Here, you can not only choose from a range of world-class resorts but also several distinctive venues, with each presenting a stunning setting for personalised and picturesque celebrations.

These include the Jebel Jais Viewing Deck, located some 1,250 metres above the sea with picturesque vistas across the Hajar Mountains and Arabian Gulf. It is the perfect venue for a bespoke celebration, and couples can take advantage of any of the expansive open spaces on the highest mountain in the UAE. Al Jazeera Al Hamra, which has a tentative spot on UNESCO's Global Heritage Sites list, is another gorgeous spot. Previously a small fishing village, the destination has an important past as it is known to be one of the last surviving pearl diving and seafaring towns of the Arabian Gulf.

The Dhayah Fort is another contender for the UNESCO Global Heritage Sites list as well as for the choice of destination to celebrate a wedding. As the only fort that sits atop a hill in the UAE, it offers breathtaking views of lush palm gardens, the mountains and the sea. This twin-peaked golden mud-brick fortress is one of the most iconic landmarks.

In Pictures: “Many modern Indian couples find that the contemporary architecture and high-end venues in the UAE perfectly align with their desire for a modern and elegant wedding. From a photographer's perspective, the UAE offers an opportunity to capture couples in the most glamorous settings. What sets UAE apart is its extended golden hours, which gives us the chance to capture truly ethereal moments.”

Shrey Bhagat, Founder and Creative Director of Raabta, a wedding photography company.

Palace Downtown features traditional Arabic design
Palace Downtown features traditional Arabic design


The lavish shopping centres and opulent hotels make Dubai a perfect spot for hosting a dreamy, luxurious wedding. With opulent venues like the Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa, Palace Downtown, and Bulgari Resort, Dubai is where you can take celebrations to the next level. The process of planning a wedding in Dubai can be simultaneously exciting and overwhelming, particularly when considering the potential costs involved.

“The choices of the couple play a large role in determining the cost of a wedding in Dubai. The venue typically incurs steep costs as it offers meals, lodging, and other essential amenities. Stunning beachfront locations, suites, and villas come at a hefty price,” said Devanshi Patel, founder of Shreem Events, who organised Hardik Pandya & Nataša Stankovic’s wedding.

“Other than that, food takes priority, while decoration and entertainment go hand in hand. However, personal preferences in that respect are also crucial.” While there are many avenues to host a grand celebration, Dubai also has a significant appeal to the more creatively inclined couple, who value aesthetics over parading obvious affluence.

However, there are strict laws regarding alcohol licensing in the Emirates, and because of that, most weddings take place in resorts and hotels. But if you want to set your big day apart, a traditional Bedouin camp in the desert hits the mark.

From the months of October till May, the weather is desirable, and beach weddings are an ideal choice, with yachts and private villas also being popular options.

In Pictures: "Dubai has a lot of potential. If you have the budget, you can get very creative, but even if not, there many ways to have a beautiful wedding in Dubai given the plethora of picturesque settings."

Ahad Hafeez, Professional photographer

Fairmont Ajman boasts a 200-yard stretch of sandy beach
Fairmont Ajman boasts a 200-yard stretch of sandy beach


Ajman has emerged as a charming and intimate wedding destination, offering a perfect blend of Arabian heritage, modern amenities, and stunning natural beauty. As one of the lesser-known emirates, it exudes a sense of exclusivity, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a romantic and serene backdrop for their special day.

Moreover, Ajman's cultural heritage adds a unique touch to wedding celebrations. Couples have the option to infuse traditional Emirati elements into their ceremonies­—from incorporating local music and dances to arranging for henna artists.

Ajman's intimate ambience, luxurious offerings, and cultural authenticity make it an increasingly sought-after wedding destination in the UAE.

The Fairmont Ajman, the five-star beachfront property, is perfect for a beach wedding. Located a practical 30-minute drive from Dubai, the Fairmont Ajman is steeped in natural beauty and promises unbeatable views from various vantage points scattered around the expansive property.

The grand ballroom is perfect for hosting the main ceremony or the reception indoors. Besides that, the beachfront spot Pearl Garden is a match made in heaven for a sundowner or a cocktail party.


Weddings in the UAE are what dreams are made of, but they are not without their challenges.

“Organising a destination wedding in the Middle East would be more expensive than in Southeast Asia because the room rates are significantly higher,” said Parthip Thyagarajan, founder of WeddingSutra, India’s leading bridal media brand.

“However, what really helps is the absence of a language barrier because many of the hotel staff is from India. Additionally, their hospitality is really what discerning and high-profile Indians want. Also, they have chefs or restaurants whose speciality is Indian food. And of course, Middle Eastern food also presents an array of vegetarian options which suit the traditional Indian palate.”


Things To Keep In Mind

  • Choose the right season for the availability of outdoor venues

  • All items used in rituals are very expensive in Dubai. It’s advisable to get them from India

  • Don't fuss over food—Dubai is home to over 300 nationalities hence finding the right palette of food is never an issue

  • Go beyond the usual—Dubai lets you try unimaginable things and go beyond the usual, such as an underwater wedding or a desert safari wedding

  • Photographers work on an hourly basis and need to be finalised way in advance

Kaveri Vij, Co-founder, Designer Events Inc.

  • Traffic and transportation logistics can be challenging, especially if the wedding spans multiple venues, escalating expenses

  • Be prepared for the paperwork and permits required for various aspects of the wedding

  • There are a number of undiscovered wedding planning jewels in Dubai that are environmentally friendly and sustainable

  • Given the city's appeal as a wedding destination, efficient negotiation with suppliers is essential

  • Respecting local culture is important including adhering to prayer times and understanding dress codes

  • Establishing a clear budget from the outset is crucial, as the UAE offers a wide range of options, and expenses can escalate quickly

Devanshi Patel, Founder , Shreem Events

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