Maybe you are planning UAE’s wedding of the century; maybe you are just getting ideas for “someday” or maybe you aren’t getting married at all. No matter what your situation, there is much to marvel at this year’s Bride Show Abu Dhabi. Here are six highlights from almost 200 exhibitors that will appeal no matter what’s going on with your ring finger.
• The Bride Show Abu Dhabi is on at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Halls 7, 8 and 9) until Saturday, daily 4-11pm. Standard tickets Dh25; VIP Dh150.
The first, mind-boggling sight upon walking into the Bride Show are the sheer number of jewels – and the women enthusiastically snapping them up. Lebanon’s Matar is one of the many jewellers representing at the show doing a brisk business in sparkly things.
The regional fashion
One big surprise at the show is that it’s not all wedding dresses. This is a great place to scout unique party dresses, abayas – even sleepwear – for all occasions. Hidden inbetween all those fancy frocks were these comfortable, one-sized fits all embellished camoflage T-shirt material versions, from the Bahraini company Style Haute Couture.
Of course, the wedding dresses
There are literally thousands here to size up, gaze upon, critique and try to imagine wearing. And they are not all massively expensive. These bedazzled versions are courtesy of Romanian designer Carmen Ormenisan, who retails her designs for upwards of €1,000 (Dh3,941).
Cakes that look like wedding dresses, shoes and even the Frozen castle are one of the Abu Dhabi company Royal Catering’s specialties. Cakes, like this cushion wonder, begin at about 7-20 kilograms and cost Dh350 per kilogram.
The party ideas
Even if you aren’t close to sitting at a head table like this (other than as a bridesmaid), it’s fun to browse the fanciful settings created by one of the kings of the UAE’s wedding industry, Dubai World Trade Centre.
Tucked away in a corner of the show are the 10 student winners of the Arabic Fashion Awards including American University in the Emirates student Mona Mohammed Moheb’s Dhallah-themed kaftan.