A Marriage Made in Heaven – Hitcher’s Guide to Dubai

Will the parents get on? Who will the bridesmaids be? Will a king’s ransom be enough to pay for the big day? These are all questions that will inevitably come up when any couple decide to tie the knot and for this reason, more and more people are opting to exchange vows abroad.

The average price of a wedding in Britain has been placed at anywhere between £4,000 and £18,000, depending on which survey is to be believed and what is being taken into account in terms of the wedding costs. Nevertheless, whichever figure is used, there is no doubt that a wedding is a pricey business that can lead many couples into debt; not the ideal way to begin married life!

Perhaps not as obvious a wedding destination as, say, the Caribbean, Dubai is becoming an increasingly popular choice, with a lot to offer over other traditional hitching hotspots, and it has even been dubbed ‘the Las Vegas of the Middle East’, but what makes it so popular with couples?

Firstly, there is accessibility. There are direct flights from Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and London and the flights are mostly under 7 hours. Furthermore, flights can be found for as little as £200. Secondly, Dubai has year-round sunshine and rainfall is rare, meaning an outdoor wedding is practically guaranteed to be safe from a washout.

Dubai itself is one of seven emirates that form the United Arab Emirates, and is a wealthy area, popular with businesses and tourists alike. It is famed for its large shopping malls and ambitious real estate projects, such as the Palm Islands, the world’s largest man made islands which will eventually house numerous residential, leisure and entertainment facilities. And there is also Ski Dubai, the world’s third largest indoor ski slope, catering for skiers and snowboarders. On top of this, Dubai offers a fantastic range of golf courses and some excellent scuba diving, with numerous wrecks dotted around the coastline, so there is certainly no shortage of activities in Dubai.

Like most major cities, Dubai has its own iconic structure in the Jumeirah’s Burj Al Arab, the world’s tallest hotel which was built to resemble a billowing sail, and from its helipad Tiger Woods famously hit golf balls in 2004. There’s also the Madinat Jumeirah which translates into ‘the city of Jumeirah’, a sprawling luxury resort, encompassing waterways and glorious sea-scapes, restaurants, shops and even a private beach making it a perfect venue for weddings in Dubai.

Importantly, English is widely spoken throughout Dubai and most signs are written in both Arabic and English, making practical issues such as travelling and shopping a breeze. There are also no special visa requirements for most western countries.

Dubai is an ambitious and bold place which doesn’t do things in half-measures. Its climate, accessibility and activity-rich opportunities make it the perfect place to tie the knot. Viva Dubai!

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