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Bride Show Abu Dhabi – a big success
Feb '09
Thousands of brides-to-be descended on The Bride Show Abu Dhabi in January suggesting that the multi-million dollar UAE wedding industry remains resilient in the face of the global downturn.

Following the success of the exhibition, organiser IIR Middle East is expecting the bigger sister event, The Bride Show Dubai, taking place from 8 -11 April at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre, to thrive despite current economic conditions.

A survey conducted by IIR Middle East showed that more than a third of visitors (34 per cent) would spend between AED100,000 and AED250,000 on their big day.

When these figures are broken down they show that 43 per cent of couples in the UAE will fork out between AED20,000 to AED50,000 on jewellery alone while 21 per cent will spend more than AED100,000. Almost a third (29 per cent) of brides-to-be will pay between AED20,000-AED30,000 for their wedding dress alone.

Luxury retailers in the region are feeling the effects of the global economic crisis with consumers increasingly wary of unnecessary spending, but the high visitor numbers at The Bride Show Abu Dhabi illustrate that when it comes to the special day, women are prepared to splash out.

The event, which took place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre at the end of January, attracted fiancés and fashionistas alike who came to see the diverse fashion shows, amazing variety of exclusive products and services, and the CRYSTALLIZED™ Abaya Design Awards, the popular competition for amateur, locally-based fashion talent.

Each day fashion houses launched their latest collections on the catwalk, including bridal wear, abayas and haute couture creations. Ahmed Al Reyaysa, the King of Wedding Dresses came to the event to showcase designs from his fashion house Dar Sara.

Al Reyaysa said: “I was impressed by the number of enquiries we received consistently over the four days, but the rush of people to our exhibition stand immediately after our fashion show was unprecedented.

“Orders have been flooding in, completely against the forecasts for 2009 as a challenging year for the fashion industry, and I am now incredibly busy to meet the demand as well as prepare even bigger things for our fashion show at The Bride Show Dubai. We will finally unveil the AED1million wedding dress – the ultimate luxury for the ultimate bride.”

Daphne Cota, Exhibition Manager for The Bride Show, said: “The turnout and interest we received in Abu Dhabi was excellent. Exhibitors predominantly reported steady and consistent sales over the four days, and the fashion shows generated high numbers of inquiries for the designers featured on the catwalk.”

“Now we are looking towards The Bride Show Dubai, which will be an even larger event in terms of exhibitors, fashion shows and visitors. Businesses concerned that the credit crunch is hitting their sales should consider this exhibition an opportunity to reach more than 30,000 women who have money to spend on their wedding day and life's luxuries.”

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