OH HAPPY DAY
WHETHER YOU'RE AFTER GLAMOROUS GRANDEUR OR LAID BACK LUXURY, TH EU A EH AS SOMETHING TO OFFER FOR EVERY BRIDE-TO-BE. HERE, WE ROUND UP SIX OF THE BEST LOCAL LOCATIONS TO SAY‘ I DO' IN STYLE
AN AN TARA DUBAI THE PALM RESORT& SPA
BEST FOR: Beach-loving brides
THE LOWDOWN: Situated on Dubai's iconic Palm Jumeirah, Anantara is the ideal location for couples looking to wed surrounded by palm trees, a sparkling sea and white sand beaches. In addition to the options of its spectacular Palm Ballroom and beside its expansive pool, Anantara also offers couples the opportunity to be married out on the beach with stunning views of The Palm's skyline (we suggest you opt for sunset to truly see the magic of the venue), followed by an alfresco dinner under the stars.
RESORT HIGHLIGHTS: The hotel also offers four additional 'experiences' to add a special something to the big day for you and your partner - they are called ‘The Perfect Entrance', ‘Night Before', ‘In Your Own Words' and ‘A Gift of Love'. Our favourite? You can't go past ‘The Perfect Entrance' where the bridal party can tailor their wedding entrance to make a serious statement by arriving on an elephant, a camel or even a boat.
PACKAGES START AT: Dhs375 per person (minimum of 80 guests) for a buffet dinner (drinks packages are priced separately), and the bride and groom automatically receive the wedding package that includes a two-tier cake, a complimentary night's stay and a one-hour massage.
CONTACT: (04) 567 8888
FOUR SEASONS ABU DHABI
BEST FOR: Classic elegance THE LOWDOWN: If big and beautiful is your wedding motto, look no further than the Four Seasons Abu Dhabi. With its impeccable positioning on the glamorous Al Maryah Island and boasting an uninterrupted vista of the capital’s dazzling skyline, the Four Seasons is the ultimate destination for the grandiose couple. You’ll be able to choose from two ballrooms, both of which feature floor-to-ceiling windows and doors that open outwards onto a waterside terrace area, and can hold up to 340 guests. What’s more is that the hotel’s wedding album-worthy marble staircase makes for the perfect backdrop for your photos, given its impressive design and ocean views. RESORT HIGHLIGHTS: The resort goes above and beyond to offer its brides (and grooms) everything they could need for their wedding day including a personal wedding planner to help with all details from flowers to decor, make-up and hair styling at the Spa, an in-house pastry chef to create the cake of your dreams and a customised menu developed alongside the Executive Chef. PACKAGES START AT: Dhs275 per person for a four-course meal with juice and soft drinks, complimentary tea and coffee, a dance floor, stage and sound system and a three-tier wedding cake. CONTACT: (02) 333 2222
BEST FOR: A contemporary celebration
THE LOWDOWN: Boasting unobstructed views of the Burj Khalifa, the Taj Dubai is the ideal location for couples looking for a lowkey-but-luxurious celebration. If you have a large event in mind, the hotel offers its stylish Opera Ballroom which seats 300 people, or if you’re looking for something slightly more intimate, there are four locations in which you can celebrate becoming husband and wife, including the outdoor pool deck, Secret Garden or Treehouse (both of which overlook Downtown), and Bombay Brasserie’s contemporary Indian setting, each hosting between 110-120 people.
RESORT HIGHLIGHTS: The hotel offers two standout rooms that are perfect for newlyweds. First, the Maharaja Suite, which is inspired by the Maharaja palaces in Rajasthan, occupies 680 square metres and features sumptuous, Indian-inspired interiors as well as an Instagram-worthy roof terrace. The second is the Presidential Suite, which makes itself at home across the entire 35th floor of the building and comes with its own fitness suite, study and spa. With its breathtaking views of Dubai, the ultraluxurious space is fit for royalty – also known as the bride and groom.
PACKAGES START AT: Dhs250 per person for a deluxe dinner buffet, free-flowing soft drinks, a three-tier wedding cake and event facilities. CONTACT: (04) 438 3100
JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS DUBAI
BEST FOR: A grand celebration with 1000+ guests THE LOWDOWN: With its beautiful views of Downtown Dubai, and the fact it’s the world’s tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai promises an evening of unparalleled sophistication. If your guest list is larger than the Met Gala, then you’ll be pleased to know that the hotel has over 80,000 square feet of event space and that the Dubai Ballroom can comfortably host over 1,000 guests in a standout space, complete with private preparation suites for the bride and her entourage. When it comes to the reception, you have the choice of 10 restaurants, including the award-winning Rang Mahal, which is owned by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar. RESORT HIGHLIGHTS: The hotel’s Saray Spa offers a ‘Girl’s Day’ package which is perfect for you and your bridesmaids to be pampered ahead of the wedding. You’ll choose from a 30-minute facial or back massage and then enjoy a complimentary 15-minute foot reflexology session (to make sure your feet are in tip-top condition ahead of your walk down the aisle). You’ll then indulge in a detox juice and a selection of delicious canapés before heading to French bakery La Farine, where you can enjoy Dhs300 worth of beverages per person. PACKAGES START AT: Dhs330 per person which includes a seated or buffet dinner, non-alcoholic beverages and coffee and tea, cake and use of the ballroom, as well as a one-night stay in a deluxe room with complimentary breakfast for the bride and groom. CONTACT: (04) 414 0000
ALMA H AA LUXURY COLLECTION DESERT RESORT& SPA
BEST FOR: An intimate soirée with traditional Arabian influences
THE LOWDOWN: Nestled in amongst the seemingly endless Desert Conservation Reserve, and just an hour's drive from Dubai, Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa is a beacon of luxury within the local landscape. The resort offers two on-site destinations for wedding ceremonies, both of which deliver spectacular views of the surrounding dunes, and four reception venues which can cater for anywhere from 30 to120 guests. You can choose to dine poolside in the Presidential Suite (where you and your groom will stay the night, with breakfast included), in the expansive grandeur of the Al Majlis, in traditional Arabian style with a live desert barbecue, or at the exclusive dune dining site, depending on your party preference.
RESORT HIGHLIGHTS: The resort offers multiple activities to keep your guests entertained both pre- and post-wedding, including expert concierge-led camel trekking, dune driving and falconry. Additionally, the bride and groom will receive a complimentary bottle of bubbles upon arrival, as well as a 25 per cent discount at the Spa to ensure you're relaxed from headto-toe before the big day.
PACKAGES START AT: Dhs3,680 for the wedding ceremony to be held on-site (which includes seating, a podium, carpet and the altar table) and from Dhs6,176 for the reception.
CONTACT: (04) 832 9900
WALDORF ASTORIA DUBAI PALM JUMEIRAH
BEST FOR: Brides seeking a bespoke service THE LOWDOWN: Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, with the glittering waters of the Arabian Gulf surrounding it, is an ideal wedding location. If it's an outdoor wedding you have in mind, the hotel's private beach delivers an intimate and romantic space to hold your ceremony, or if you were after a more formal affair, the Grand Ballroom can accommodate a seated reception of 380 people or a cocktail reception of 700. The hotel offers three different wedding packages and each can be entirely customised with the help of the dedicated events team, to help you create your perfect day from beginning to end. RESORT HIGHLIGHTS: To help you prepare for your big day with as little stress as possible, the hotel offers its tried-and-tested wedding checklist that covers everything from guests, gift registries and getting ready for your honeymoon. The list also allows you to highlight certain things you'd like (such as a rehearsal dinner or your reception agenda) so that your dedicated concierge can ensure everything runs smoothly. PACKAGES START AT: Dhs320 per person (minimum of 100 guests), which includes a buffet or three-course seated dinner, unlimited soft drinks, dance floor and stage set-up and a complimentary one-night stay for the bride and groom. CONTACT: (04) 818 2222