Traditional Vs Modern Weddings in Dubai: What do you expect? Wedding Photography(er), Dress Code, Dishes, Decorations, DJ

Traditional Vs Modern Weddings in Dubai: What do you expect? Wedding Photography(er), Dress Code, Dishes, Decorations, DJ

Traditional vs Modern Weddings in Dubai

Weddings in Dubai have always been known for their luxurious and exquisite nature. They are a symbol of grandeur and extravagance, and they showcase the city’s culture and traditions. Over the years, weddings in Dubai have evolved, offering modern interpretations of traditional customs and rituals. Traditional weddings in Dubai, UAE are rooted in cultural and religious customs and often follow long standing traditions specific to the region. These weddings generally honor the cultural heritage, family values, and community customs. On the other hand, modern weddings in Dubai reflect a more contemporary and personalized approach, often combining global trends with local elements. This article will discuss the traditional versus modern weddings in Dubai, the expectations that come with each, and the role of photography, dress code, dishes, decorations, and DJ in these events.

Expats wedding places / venues in Dubai


The location of a  wedding in Dubai can significantly impact the vibe  of the wedding. The location of a traditional  wedding in Dubai tends to be more conservative and formal. The venue is often a ballroom in a hotel or a community hall  that can accommodate a large number of guests. The ballroom will typically be decorated with traditional Emirati elements, such as lanterns, Arabic calligraphy, and floral arrangements, in shades of gold and red. The venue will often feature chandeliers, intricate table settings, and other traditional decorations to create a grand and lavish atmosphere.


ballroom in a hotel for wedding in Dubai-UAE
Ballroom in a hotel for wedding in Dubai-UAE

In addition, some Emirati couples may choose a more intimate setting for their wedding ceremony by getting married at mosques in Dubai. Dubai has some of the most beautiful and stunning mosques that offer a serene and traditional location for wedding ceremonies. These mosques include the Jumeirah Mosque, the Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque, or the Al-Ahmadiya Mosque. These mosques offer a serene setting for traditional wedding ceremonies to take place.

Other traditional outdoor wedding locations in Dubai may include the desert, which provides a unique setting for a traditional Emirati wedding. Couples could choose to have an outdoor desert wedding that features a Bedouin tent, Arabic music and dance performances, camel rides, and traditional Emirati food.

Bedouin-tent-Wedding in Dubai
Bedouin-tent-Wedding in Dubai
Bedouin-tent-Wedding in Dubai
Bedouin-tent-Wedding in Dubai

Dubai is known for its cultural heritage and has many historic sites that provide a traditional location for wedding ceremonies. These sites include the Jumeirah Archaeological Site, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House, and the Dubai Museum.

Many of the palaces and castles in Dubai have been transformed into luxurious hotels and wedding venues, and they offer an ideal location for traditional Emirati weddings.

Modern Wedding Location in Dubai:

In modern times, wedding locations in Dubai have become more luxurious and extravagant. Many couples choose to host their weddings at one of the many luxurious hotels in Dubai. These hotels boast stunning ballrooms, outdoor gardens and terraces, and exceptional service. Some of the most sought after wedding venues in Dubai include the Armani Hotel, the Burj Al Arab, the Ritz Carlton, and the Four Seasons.Couples who opt for a more unique wedding venue in Dubai might choose to exchange vows at one of the city’s many iconic landmarks. The Dubai Opera House is a popular choice, with its striking architecture and world-class entertainment facilities. Other popular landmarks for weddings include the Dubai Fountain, the Dubai Miracle Garden, and the Dubai Mall.

One trend that has emerged in Dubai’s modern wedding scene is the destination wedding. Many couples choose to fly in guests from all over the world and host a multi-day celebration in one of Dubai’s most luxurious hotels. These weddings often feature a mix of traditional Emirati customs and Western wedding traditions.

Dubai is famous for its towering Skyscrapers, which offer a modern and stylish location for wedding ceremonies. Skyscrapers such as the Burj Khalifa and the Burj Al Arab provide a one of a kind venue for modern weddings.

Dubai’s beaches are known for their crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. Beach weddings are a popular choice for modern weddings in Dubai.

Dubai offers a variety of location settings for traditional and modern weddings. Whether couples choose to have a traditional wedding, a modern wedding, or even a fusion of the two, Dubai’s location settings provide couples with unique and memorable venues that reflect their individual taste and style.

DISHES at Traditional vs Modern Weddings Dubai:

             Dishes play a significant role in traditional and modern weddings in Dubai. Food is an essential part of traditional as well as modern weddings in Dubai.

Traditional dishes in Dubai Weddings :

Traditionally, Dubai weddings served authentic Middle Eastern Cuisine. Mezze is a popular choice for starters, which includes hummus, baba ghanoush, and muhammara. These small plates are often accompanied by fresh bread, such as pita or Arabic bread. In traditional weddings in Dubai, the emphasis is on serving local and regional cuisine. The meal is typically served family-style, with large platters of food being placed in the middle of the table for guests to share. For the  main course, Dubai weddings traditionally serve roasted lamb or chicken, which is marinated with aromatic spices and roasted to perfection for hours. The Biryani, a spiced rice dish with meat, chicken or fish, is another popular choice in Dubai weddings.

Here are few traditional common dishes served in weddings:

  1. Machboos: A traditional Emirati dish made with rice, served with spicy meat or fish gravy.
  2. Thareed: A layered dish of bread and meat broth, served with chicken or lamb.
  3. Harees: A porridge-like dish made of wheat and meat, topped with clarifying butter and served with dates.
  4. Luqaimat: Small sweet dough balls made with flour, milk, sugar, and saffron, deep-fried and dipped in honey or date syrup.
  5. Balaleet: A sweet vermicelli prepared with sugar, saffron, and cardamom, served with an omelet on top.
  6. Baba Ghanoush: A dip made with smoked eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice, served with pita bread.
  7. Kebabs: Grilled meat skewers made with chicken, lamb, or beef, seasoned with various spices and herbs
  8. Samosas: Crispy pastry dough triangles filled with spiced meat or vegetables.
Traditional dishes in Dubai Weddings-Samosas-Machboos-Thareed-Harees-Luqaimat-Balaleet-Baba Ghanoush-Kebabs
Traditional dishes in Dubai Weddings-Samosas-Machboos-Thareed-Harees-Luqaimat-Balaleet-Baba Ghanoush-Kebabs

Modern dishes in Dubai weddings:

In modern Dubai weddings, the food served is more likely to reflect the diverse and cosmopolitan tastes of Dubai’s multicultural population, with international dishes being served. This includes a wide variety of cuisines including Italian, Chinese,Indian, and Arabic. Buffet-style dining has become increasingly popular as guests are free to taste a variety of dishes.

Modern Wedding Dishes in Dubai, UAE:

  1. Steak: Grilled or pan-fried beef served with a variety of sauces and sides, such as mashed potatoes or vegetables.
  2. Seafood: A selection of fresh seafood dishes, including crab, lobster, prawns, and fish.
  3. Sushi: Traditional Japanese rolls made with sushi rice, raw fish, and vegetables, served with soy sauce and wasabi.
  4. Mezze: A spread of Middle Eastern appetizers, including hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush, and stuffed grape leaves.
  5. Pasta: Italian-inspired dishes, including pasta with various sauces, risottos, and pizzas.
  6. Desserts: A selection of luxurious cakes, macarons, chocolates, and other confectionery treats.
  7. Live Cooking Stations: Interactive food stations where guests can order dishes made-to-order, including stir-fries, grilled items, and sushi rolls.
Dishes for Modern Weddings-in Dubai Steak-Seafood-Sushi-Mezze-Pasta-Desserts-Live Cooking Stations
Dishes for Modern Weddings-in Dubai Steak-Seafood-Sushi-Mezze-Pasta-Desserts-Live Cooking Stations

Whatever the menu may be, both modern and traditional wedding dishes in Dubai are typically designed to be visually stunning while still offering a great flavor experience for guests. Whether it’s incorporating aromatic species, delicate flavors, or bold textures, the dishes served at expat weddings in Dubai aim to provide a memorable culinary experience Ultimately, the dishes served at the wedding are an integral element that complements the ambiance and the atmosphere of the event.


     However, with the influence of modernization and globalization, modern  weddings have started to adopt more contemporary styles. Here is an overview of the dress code for both traditional and modern weddings in Dubai.

Traditional Dress Code

Dress code plays a significant role in the weddings of Dubai, UAE,and varies between traditional and modern weddings.Traditional weddings focus on modest dressing, which is a reflection of the Islamic culture and customs. The dress code for the bride and groom in traditional weddings in Dubai is influenced by the Islamic culture and customs. The attire should be modest and respectful of their culture and traditions. The bride typically wears a long-sleeved dress with intricate, delicate embroidery and patterns on the fabric. It is usually made of high-quality materials such as silk, chiffon, or lace. The dress covers most of the bride’s body, including the arms, and the necklines are designed to be conservative yet elegant. The dress is paired with a matching veil that covers the head and flows over the gown. The groom usually wears a tailored Thobe, which is a long white robe made from high-quality materials such as cotton or linen. The Thobe is often paired with a headdress known as the ghutra, which is a square or rectangular piece of cotton cloth in white or black color.

Both the bride and groom are expected to avoid form-fitting or revealing clothes. They should dress in conservative yet elegant attire that reflects tradition and values. The bride and groom’s attire in traditional weddings in Dubai reflects cultural heritage while dignified, elegant, and respectful.

Modern Dress Code

Modern brides and grooms in Dubai may choose to wear contemporary wedding attire, including designer wedding dresses or suits that blend local and international fashion styles. Fashion trends and global influences often play a significant role in modern wedding attire.  In modern weddings in Dubai, UAE, the dress code for the bride and groom is typically formal and stylish, combining elements of traditional and contemporary fashion. The bride’s attire in modern Dubai weddings often showcases a blend of opulence, elegance, and cultural heritage. The centerpiece of the bride’s attire is the wedding gown. These gowns are typically exquisite and intricately designed, featuring details such as embellishments, lacework, or delicate embroidery. Depending on personal preference, the gown can range from fitted silhouettes to flowing ball gowns, providing a modern look.  However, it is important to choose dresses that cover the shoulders and avoid plunging necklines, as Dubai still maintains a level of modesty in its dress codes.

In modern Dubai weddings, the groom’s dress code leans towards formal and sophisticated attire. The groom typically wears a well-tailored suit in a dark color, such as black, navy blue, or charcoal gray. The suit can be complemented with a crisp white or light-colored dress shirt and a coordinated tie or bow tie.


Photography at  weddings in Dubai is a crucial aspect of capturing the moments and memories of the celebration. Photography at traditional and modern  weddings in Dubai has different approaches, with traditional photography being more focused on capturing the traditional customs and culture, while modern photography has a more contemporary outlook. Regardless of the style, photography remains a vital aspect of capturing the memories and moments of a wedding ceremony that will last a lifetime.

Let’s take a closer look at how photography is approached at traditional and modern weddings in Dubai.

Traditional Photography

In traditional weddings in Dubai, the focus of wedding photography is often on capturing cultural rituals, celebrations, and family moments. Traditional wedding photography includes documenting the bride and groom’s attire, intricate henna designs on the bride’s hands, and the exchanging of rings and vows. Additionally, capturing important moments such as the “Zaffa,” a lively procession with traditional music and dance, and the cutting of the wedding cake are crucial elements of traditional wedding photography in Dubai.

Photographers will pay close attention to capturing the vibrant colors and rich details of traditional Emirati outfits and accessories, such as the bride’s “thobe” or the groom’s “kandura.” They will also aim to portray the traditional settings and backgrounds, whether it be in a luxurious ballroom or a stunning outdoor venue surrounded by sand dunes.

Modern Photography

Modern  weddings in Dubai are more open to outside influences, and as a result, they have adopted a more contemporary approach to wedding photography. Nowadays, it’s common to find photographers who specialize in modern photography for weddings, and they offer a wide range of styles that blend traditional wedding photography with contemporary styles.

Photographers will work closely with the couple to plan stylized photo shoots at iconic Dubai landmarks, luxurious venues, or beautiful outdoor locations. These locations often serve as a stunning backdrop for capturing breathtaking images. Modern wedding photography also includes documenting the smaller details such as the bride and groom’s attire, intricately designed wedding invitations, and personalized decorations.

Modern photographers take advantage of the city’s modern infrastructure, lavish decor, and lighting to create stunning images that capture the essence of the modern Saudi wedding. They focus on capturing candid moments, the emotions of the bride and groom, and the happy expressions of the guests.

Modern photography in  weddings usually involves pre-wedding shoots that capture the couple’s personality and highlight the various locations in Dubai where the shoot takes place. On the wedding day, the photographer captures the wedding ceremony, the reception, and all the candid moments that make each wedding unique.

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     Decorations at  weddings in Dubai are an essential aspect of creating a magical and unforgettable experience for the bride, groom, and guests. Decorations at weddings in Dubai incorporate traditional and modern design elements, depending on the couple’s preferences. Both traditional and modern decorations reflect the region’s culture and are instrumental in creating the perfect atmosphere for a memorable wedding.

Let’s look at the decoration styles and elements that are traditionally used in both traditional and modern  weddings.

Traditional Decorations :

  1. Majlis-style seating: Traditional Emirati weddings often include a majlis-style sitting area, where guests can relax and socialize. The seating is usually adorned with intricate fabrics, cushions, and low-rise tables.
  2. Arabic calligraphy: Decorations featuring beautiful Arabic calligraphy are a common sight in traditional Emirati weddings. They can be found on walls, table centerpieces, and other wedding elements, adding an elegant touch.
  3. Henna-inspired patterns: Henna is an important part of Emirati wedding traditions. Henna-inspired patterns can be seen on everything from invitations to tablecloths and wall hangings, creating a visually stunning atmosphere.
  4. Traditional lighting: Traditional Emirati weddings often incorporate traditional lighting, such as ornate lanterns, to create a warm and intimate ambiance.
  5. Palm leaves and flowers: Palm leaves and flowers, like jasmine and bougainvillea, are commonly used in Emirati wedding decorations. They add a touch of natural beauty and freshness to the venue. In addition, flowers are an important decoration element at traditional weddings. Usually, white and red flowers are used for the bride and groom’s stage, and the venue is decorated with a variety of colorful flowers, including roses, lilies, and orchids.

Modern Decorations :

Modern  weddings often aim to blend traditional design with contemporary elements to create an elegant and extravagant atmosphere. The decorations are known for their elaborate lighting design, grand centerpieces, and opulent drapes.

  1. Contemporary floral arrangements: Modern weddings in Dubai often feature contemporary floral arrangements with bold colors and unconventional designs.
  2. Minimalistic table settings: A popular trend in modern Dubai weddings is minimalistic table settings. These feature clean lines, simple color schemes, and well-thought-out placements of high-quality cutlery, glassware, and plates.
  3. LED lighting: Modern weddings often incorporate LED lighting designs, such as uplighting and color-changing light fixtures. This creates a dynamic and vibrant ambiance, especially during evening receptions.
  4. Acrylic or mirrored backdrops: Acrylic or mirrored backdrops are a contemporary choice for wedding decorations. They create a sleek and stylish atmosphere and can be personalized with monograms or other designs.
  5. Geometric shapes: Geometric patterns and shapes are a popular choice for modern wedding decorations in Dubai. From hanging geometric terrariums to geometric-shaped candle holders, this trend adds a contemporary and artistic touch to the venue.


    DJ services play an essential role in weddings of all cultures, including traditional and modern  weddings in Dubai. DJ services at traditional and modern  weddings in Dubai play a vital role in creating a perfect atmosphere for the celebration. A good DJ is essential to keep the party going, entertain the guests, and create an unforgettable celebration.While traditional weddings focus more on traditional music, modern weddings cater to a wider range of genres and styles., ranging from Western pop, hip hop, and R&B to Arab and Oriental music.

In traditional and modern weddings in Dubai, UAE, DJs may adapt their approach and music selection to suit the different cultural and aesthetic preferences. Here are some key differences:

In traditional weddings, the DJ will focus on playing traditional Arabic music genres like traditional folk songs, classic Arabic tunes, and cultural dance music. They will have a deep knowledge of traditional rhythms, melodies, and instruments. On the other hand, in modern weddings, DJs will include a variety of genres, including Arabic and international hits, pop, hip-hop, EDM, and other popular contemporary tracks. They will be tuned in to the latest music trends and ensure a mix that appeals to a modern audience.

For traditional weddings, DJs need to have knowledge of cultural customs, rituals, and traditions specific to the UAE or the couple’s cultural background. This understanding helps them in creating the right atmosphere and selecting appropriate music for each part of the event. Modern weddings may still include cultural elements, but DJs have more flexibility in blending traditional and contemporary elements seamlessly.

In traditional weddings, DJs may use a more straightforward mixing style to maintain the authenticity and respect the traditional music’s structure and integrity. Smooth transitions and seamless mixing are important to create a consistent and harmonious flow. In modern weddings, DJs often employ more advanced mixing techniques, such as beatmatching and remixing, to create energetic transitions and keep the dance floor lively.

The DJ setup and presentation can also differ. Traditional weddings may have a more modest setup that integrates well with the cultural aesthetics, using traditional instruments or live performers alongside the DJ. Modern weddings typically incorporate professional sound systems, lighting effects, LED screens, and other visual elements to create a modern and visually appealing atmosphere.

Conclusion :

Although there are various differences between traditional and modern weddings in Dubai,both of them share one common theme, which is the importance they place on family, friendships, and community. They celebrate love and the union of two people, setting moments that would last a lifetime.

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