Last time I visited Dubai I attended a wedding. For those who do not know, weddings are usually a lavish affair in the Middle East. The expected dress for men is at least a suit and for women somewhere along the lines of a prom dress or a straight up ball-gown – regardless of age. Depending on the family or individual preferences, the dresses can be anything from short dresses, to mother-in-law dresses, to dresses conformed to full coverage complete with the scarf.
To be clear, the religious service has already occurred, so by American standards this would be referred to as the “reception”, but within the Muslim culture, this is referred to as the “wedding” because it is considered the “big announcement” and “first public appearance” of the couple as a bride and groom.
This wedding, as is usually the case, was held at a very fancy hotel in a banquet hall. Usually the banquet hall is set up like any traditional banquet, large tables around the room, but with a stage as the main focal point. It may also include a dance floor as well as Disc Jockey or live music performer.
Once the majority of people arrive, the bride and groom usually make a grand entrance and take their seats on the decorated stage where they can observe their guests together.
Throughout the dinner service, usually a buffet demonstrating generosity toward the guests, guests will approach the bride and groom to give congratulations. Following dinner, the bride and groom will often start the first dance, usually slow, and then guests will join them on the dance floor. There are exceptions to the dancing part, but usually, even if the bride and groom choose not to dance, they will still set it up for the guests’ enjoyment.
We decided to leave the wedding and go home. As a group of us waited at the valet for our cars, I noticed the hotel had a club. Yes, a dance club. The entrance was near the area of the valet stop.