Residents across the emirate were elated to find out that the three sons of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, were married.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, married Shaikha Shaikha Bint Saeed Bin Thani Al Maktoum in a religious ceremony that took place on Wednesday night.
On the same day, his brother Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, married Shaikha Maryam Bint Butti Al Maktoum.
The third marriage that took place that day was between Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad, Chairman of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, and Shaikha Midya Bint Dalmouj Al Maktoum.
On social media, Shaikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum confirmed the wedding and extended her congratulations to the three couples, as she posted a message on Instagram of her brothers, accompanied with the caption: “The nation is rejoiced”.
On Thursday, residents flooded social networking sites with photos of the three grooms, as the Arabic hashtag #Spirit_of_the_Union and the names of the newly-weds became a trending topic on UAE social media.
Match made in heaven
Following the news of the Al Maktoum wedding, Nasif Kayed, chief executive officer and founder of Arab Culturalist consultancy based in Dubai, told Gulf News how such unions take place in Emirati society.
“The concept of an engagement first happens when an adult man and woman meet, their families also meet, and agree that a match has been made in heaven. Each party knows what journey they will take and are ready to form a commitment,” he said.
In Islam, the engagement is a contract signed before a judge where the bride and groom express their official approval to marry one another, and Surat Al Fatiha is then recited during the ceremony.
“In this phase, only immediate family members are aware of the union and the community do not know about it yet. This agreement can last anywhere from a few months to one year, however long it takes to get to know each other,” said Kayed.
Although the couple are technically married, their union may still remain private until the wedding ceremony takes place.
Weddings of ruling families in the UAE are reserved events that are not celebrated in public or on television, although the emirate may choose to decorate the city with lights.
“Families get together in Ramadan and can get connected even further by a marriage. A marriage is about the unification of two people, and what best other time can there be than during the blessed month,” he said.
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