Getting hitched overseas is a popular choice for UK couples and it is not hard to see why. Apart from the attraction of having a moving ceremony on a sun-soaked beach, holding your wedding abroad should make it much easier to keep the guest list to a manageable number. Casual acquaintances that might have merited an invite to an evening do at home will not feel slighted if they are not invited on an all-expenses paid trip to the Middle East and are unlikely to want to pay for themselves.
As far as destinations go, the Middle East has plenty to offer. Underneath is a list of the more appealing ones with some notes on what makes them a good choice for a romantic break.
Inexpensive air travel and rising standards of living over the last century have made overseas holidays an affordable option for almost everybody in the developed world and as a consequence, there are very few regions that retain an air of mystery nowadays. However, the Middle East is less popular with package holiday tourists and it is therefore still possible to book all inclusive luxury holidays in the area that offer you the chance to really get away from it all and explore a culture and people that are completely different to what you experience on a daily basis back home.
If you like the idea of making a lifetime commitment to your partner in exotic and unusual surroundings, consider the following destinations:
- Dubai – the best known of the emirates, it has the largest population and has the widest selection of world class hotels in the region. If luxury is what you crave, this is one place in the United Arab Emirates that you should definitely put on your shortlist. Some of the best restaurants in the world can be found in Dubai and for couples that enjoy shopping in high-end retail outlets, this is, if you will excuse the pun, a Mecca. Whilst on the subject of religion, it should be noted that although Christian ceremonies can be held in many parts of the Middle East, you should be sensitive to the fact that Muslims have a different idea as to what constitutes acceptable behaviour than many in the West and always try to behave in a manner that does to cause offence to local inhabitants.
- Abu Dhabi – situated in the neighbouring emirate, a little under a hundred miles from Dubai, is the capital city of Abu Dhabi. It is the capital of the UAE, as well as the principle city in the emirate of the same name, and is said to be the richest city in the world. Beautiful beaches offer visitors the chance to top up their tan whilst here and for those that want to explore more of this emirate, the 200-year-old Al Maqaa Fort is well worth a visit and the ever shifting sand dunes of the interior are a sight to behold.
- Bahrain – sandy beaches, historic sites and a vibrant nightlife make this island in the Persian Gulf a great destination for betrothed couples as well as those who just want to enjoy a couple of weeks in a sunny climate where there is plenty to see and do. Sites such as the Barbar Temple in the village of Barbar boast 3000-year-old temple ruins and are a must see if you are travelling to this part of the world. On the other hand, if you just want to relax on a beach for two weeks, there are many excellent private and public ones from which to choose.
With guaranteed good weather, ancient ruins, luxury hotels and world-class shopping facilities, the Middle East has plenty to recommend it, not only to couples planning to get married but to anybody that is looking for a sunny holiday destination with a difference. You can find a good selection of all inclusive luxury holidays in this region for sale online so it is very easy to book a simple break. However, if you would like to have your actual wedding ceremony performed in any of the places mentioned above it is advisable to contact the relevant authorities to make sure that it is possible, before making a booking.
Leslie Tourville is a writer working freelance for Atlantis Travel Group, a company that is fully bonded with the ABTA, IATA, and Civil Aviation Authority. They are specialists when it comes to booking luxury hotel resorts at various destinations.