Wedding service providers eye $1.2bn market
Sharjah, March 5, 2014
The $1.2 billion industry is likely to see a quantum jump as the regional economies recover from the after-effects of the economic slowdown, said experts on the opening day of the Perfect Wedding Show in Sharjah.
The event, which opened today (March 5), will run until March 8 at Expo Centre Sharjah. It was opened by Shaikha Aisha bint Mohamed Al Qassimi.
“The increasing popularity of the show can be attributed to the rising emergence of the UAE as a leading wedding destination, lavish wedding ceremonies and the rising number of weddings and engagements that are taking place here,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO, Expo Centre Sharjah.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics data, the number of marriages registered in the UAE has gone up from 6,475 in 1995 to 14,934 in 2012. But the numbers have remained stagnant near 15,000 in the past several years, which, experts point out, could be due to the fallout of the economic slowdown that forced many a couple to postpone or even call off their wedding plans.
However, this figure doesn’t account for the multiple wedding receptions and other related functions that take place in the UAE.
“Even though the number of marriages has remained stagnant for a few years, wedding planners were doing brisk business on the back of rising demand for wedding receptions and related functions. This is because though several expats prefer to tie the knot in their home country. However, they hold their engagements and receptions over here since they work and live here,” said Midfa.
“With the economy back on track and regional economies getting ready to host mega events, more and more young people are going to make the UAE their second home, which is expected to generate better business for wedding planners and service providers,” he added.
With the industry observers putting a tag of $80,000 as average wedding expense and close to 15,000 weddings taking place annually, the wedding sector here could be conservatively valued at $1.2 billion.
Industry observers also note that the unveiling of the world’s longest bridal veil and the fact that the show is presenting a mega prize of a fully paid ‘royal wedding package’ reflects the vibrancy of the industry in its full scale.
The record-breaking bridal veil by Rozana Hospitality, which is set to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, is five-km long and weighs about seven kg. It is embellished with crystals and pearls at its first five metres and will be up for sale, offering couples a chance to turn their wedding into a truly majestic event.
The ‘royal wedding package’ consists of a five-star ballroom for the couple and their guests, a bridal beauty package, Kosha decoration and a honeymoon trip to Istanbul.
The fair is also organising daily fashion shows featuring local, regional and international design houses and designers, including Fouad Sarkis, Dar Mona Al Mansouri, Dar Sara, Amato and Emirati designer Aisha Al Muhairi among others.
It also features a special section for Egyptian furnishings, sponsored by the Egyptian Trade Centre. Other attractions include special bridal couture shows, cultural parades, live demonstrations of hair-styling and make-up and dance performances. – TradeArabia News Service