Dubai Couples Are Getting Married Faster Than The Rest Of The World

Dubai is expected to see a rise in marriage proposals and weddings this year, bucking the global trend of declines according to local industry experts.

Caroline Ralston, founder and CEO of Dubai-based Proposal Boutique, planned 310 marriage proposals in 2023, a 10 percent increase from 2022. She expects engagements in the region to rise by around 25 percent in 2024.

“We have already noticed a big increase in tourists who are planning to propose on their layover when travelling between Europe and Asia which is a noticeable increase from previous years, where it was predominantly people who were holidaying here,” said Ralston.

This month has already been the company’s busiest January on record. And as visitor numbers expect to hit a peak in 2024, there might be a noticeable rise in tourists proposing compared to previous years.

“2024 is also a leap year so we have a big initiative to also push female-led proposals as we think this will also impact proposal numbers in a big way, now that it’s the year women can propose. We have had women propose in the past, but we predict that this year will be even more,” she added.

During the first half of 2023 alone, the UAE recorded more than 6,500 weddings – up from 6,000 in 2022.

“What we have found is that people are now thinking long-term again, and are already booking proposals 12-14 months in advance which is different from 2022, where clients were only committing to proposals a maximum of four weeks in advance,” Carlston noted.

Fergus James, founder of Dubai-based jeweller Fergus James, agrees Dubai may buck international trends of declining engagements and marriages. “Dubai is a bit of a funny one, isn’t it? Because the population is growing, then there will be more people here who moved here of the age when they may get engaged or married,” he said.

“People tend to move to Dubai in their mid to late 20s and that’s kind of the time where people tend to be pairing off and getting engaged.”

Fergus James sold around 2,000 engagement rings in Dubai last year to both residents and visitors. Customers normally spend between $4,000 and $20,000 on a ring. Engagement rings make up around 20 percent of his business.

James believes that “Dubai could buck the international trend, but it’s still a very small city.”

“Dubai is working hard to attract wedding and engagement tourism and what we call ‘milestone moments’. Our goal is to attract more domestic proposals by constantly offering unique settings that are something different from what they have experienced and seen already,” added Carlston.


Arabian Business

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