Saturday, September 20, 2014

My First Emirati Wedding: A Night To Remember

    There have been a few experiences since I have been living in the UAE that have blown my mind. You may remember when I went to a student's house last year, that was one of them. Last night was the other. I went to my first Emirati wedding and met me tell you my socks were blown off.

    I was invited by a coworker to her neice's wedding. The wedding took place last Wednesday night. I know that it seems strange to have a wedding on a Wednesday night since we still had work the next day, but hey when in Rome...

    I bought this dress at the mall and it was only 100$ Canadian. I love the color, it also had beads and crystals and I thought it looked super festive and very Emirati-esque.   The wedding took place at a wedding hall and when I walked it I had to pick my jaw up of the floor.  Picture a huge hall, decorated lavishly in white and silver. There were chandeliers and long tables elaborately decorated with beautiful china and romantic center pieces with beautiful pink and white roses. On the tables there were abundant fruit platters, tabouleh, hummus and pita bread. Woman walked around with huge trays of chocolates and dates. We were offered freshly squeezed juices made from mangoes and strawberries. Tea and coffee were also available, as well as water and soft drinks. 
   Before I continue, let me say a few things. You may notice the lack of pictures, that is because none are allowed. There are also no men. Many of the women in attendance were still fully covered, but many of them were dressed very beautifully in long gowns that hugged their curvaceous coca-cola shaped bodies. Now I see what they are wearing under those abayas, woooo too sexy.   The plunging necklines were laced with exquisite gold necklaces encrusted with precious jewels of all colors. I felt like I was at the Oscars. There was a stage with a catwalk in the middle of the room. A beautiful white grand piano on the stage. 

    The food was the served, rice with goat, kabobs made of lamb and beef. Curries, pasta and more warm bread. I was so stuffed and the food just kept coming.   
    The dj turned up the music and ladies began to dance on the catwalk. My coworker pulled me by the arm and said, 'you must dance!'. I am not one to decline a chance to show my moves, so I got up on the catwalk and just copied what everyone else was doing, they loved it! 
   I was told that they loved my dancing so much, that I will be invited to another wedding in the future. 
   Finally, the bride arrived. She was dressed like a North American bride with a beautiful, full white gown. The dress was right on the top with a full ball gown skirt. The sleeves were long and sheer.  Her veil was sheer and extremely long. Her make-up was flawless and she had a young lady fix her dress and her veil as she walked and took pictures.
    She carried a bouquet of roses as someone threw fresh rose petals as she walked toward the stage. Ululations (long, wavering,high pitched vocal sound resembling a howl with trilling qualities) could be heard from all the women in the room. This is very common at weddings in Arab countries.  The bride walked along the catwalk and was adored by all. By this time it was around 11 pm and time to go home. We had one more dance and then we were off.
    I had such an amazing time and I really hope I get invited to another one. 


  1. Hi. My name is Amy. I am looking into possibly coming to teach in Abu Dhabi next year with a few friends. I was wondering if we could email about a few things. My email is

  2. Hi MsHaneefa,

    Great blog! Nice to see another natural sister out here in the desert. I have been living in Dubai for the past 8yrs.

    I love your hair by the way, where do you get it done? If you are ever in Dubai I would love to teach you how I do mine. Give me a shout if you are ever over this side.