And the perfect Dubai wedding to go with it.
Just in case you needed more proof that Dubai is a city that brings people together, meet Shazia and Adnan.
The couple, who got married last year, have lived in the UAE for more than 25 years. They consider Dubai their home, even though Shazia was born in India, and Adnan was born in Pakistan.
“Therefore, yes, we did have an Indo-Pak marriage as it’s called these days,” Shazia said.
The pair met at the Australian University of Wollongong in Dubai about 12 years ago, and became close friends.
However, it was only recently that they realised their friendship was turning into something more.
“During these 12 long years of genuine friendship where we’ve seen each other go through the best and worst, have seen our friends migrate and leave this amazing place to pursue their other ambitions, Adnan and I have enjoyed our time here with our families and have seen this place blossom in front of us – exactly like our relationship did,” Shazia said.
“We say this was meant to be – the coming together as a couple. Nothing beats getting married to a best friend.”
Once they finally decided to tie the knot, the couple set to work planning an elaborate wedding in Dubai with family and friends from India, Pakistan, the US, Africa and Australia.
“Since we represent two cultures, we wanted to bring out the best of the two in this week – from the decor, to the music – and what better place than Dubai to host it!”
The week-long celebration began with a milad ceremony to bless the couple, followed by a henna party and haldi ceremony where paste made from turmeric is applied to the bride for good luck.
The couple was officially pronounced husband and wife during the nikah ceremony, and the next day enjoyed a sangeet function at the Arjaan Rotana Burjuman, with music, dancing, and street food inspired by Indian and Pakistani cuisine.
The baraat, or wedding reception, was held at the Park Hyatt Dubai, and saw the groom making a grand entrance, complete with drummers, to take his bride away.
Finally, there was the walima, or homecoming reception, where the bride and groom came together to meet their guests as a married couple. This was held at the Sheraton Grand on Sheikh Zayed Road.
“Overall it was a week two of us will cherish forever, but at the same time it was memorable for everyone that had attended,” Shazia said.
Can we please have an Indo-Pak wedding too?
Images and video by MelRish Photos and Films.