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Travel & Art
Anantara Embraces Traditional Emirati Wedding Rituals
2014-11-15 11:18:55
By Carole Dixon


Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa has revealed a new consumer trend in local wedding rituals and in destination weddings to Abu Dhabi, one that reaches back to traditional Emerati customs.   The classic Henna Party, which forms part of the pre-nuptial rituals in Emirati traditions, is revived with modern touches.  Traditionally held a few days before the main wedding ceremony, female family, friends and invited guests of the bride would meet at the family’s home to celebrate the lead up to the wedding in an intimate gathering known as a Henna Party.  Henna would be applied for the bride and her guests, with intricate designs to symbolize health, fertility and good luck – with the most intricate and beautiful design reserved for the bride-to-be.  

Throughout the Henna party, the ladies gathered would enjoy entertainment from the all-female ‘tagagat’ band playing traditional folklore music with the Arabic drum known as the ‘tabla’, whilst enjoying traditional, home-made delicacies. 

In today’s modern society, Emirati brides-to-be still celebrate with their female family and friends as well as extended family members.   Some brides continue to host the Henna Party at their family home, while others with larger families and a greater number of friends often prefer to have an evening celebration hosted at a private venue or luxury hotel. In addition to the traditional entertainment from the Tagagat band it is common to see bukhoor (Arabian incense) burning to ward off evil or ‘bad eyes’, a perfume corner where exquisite scents are on display and available for the guests to sample, and a lavish spread of culinary delights including traditional favourites.   

Henna Parties are common throughout the Arab world, however their format and tradition varies from country to country.  

Henna Parties have grown in popularity at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa in Abu Dhabi, with a preference for the Ballroom as the venue and with several parties per week in the season. 

The entire wedding festivities can also be hosted at Anantara Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa, whether separate ladies and men’s traditional gatherings or combined celebrations.  The hotel features 222-guest rooms and suites, each one blending classic chic with lavish local culture, the luxurious Anantara Spa and delectable dining facilities.  The wedding party can choose to celebrate the big day with either an intimate ceremony or a lavish event to create memories that will last a lifetime, with the support of the dedicated events team at the hotel. 

For more information and bookings, please visit http://abu-dhabi.anantara.com.