Ideas To Keep Your Out Of Town Wedding Guests Entertained In Dubai
Written by on December 21, 2015.
Tagged under: DUBAI WEDDING, Ideas To Keep Your Out Of Town Wedding Guests Entertained In Dubai, things to do in Dubai
Keep Your Out Of Town Wedding Guests Entertained
Having your wedding as an expat, means that you are in the unique situation of inviting guests to travel to and experience the place that you currently call ‘home’. This differs from an ordinary destination wedding because whilst your guests might see it as the chance to also enjoy a holiday and warmer climate, for you, everyday life continues. There are still groceries to buy, bills to pay, cars to fix…as well as wedding plans to finalise.
Although having your wedding in the UAE means that you get the chance to show everybody what your life in Dubai is like, it can also bring with it some disadvantages. For example, our Assistant Editor Rachael found that as well as trying to deal with last minute big day preparations and nerves, a flat tyre (hence the car reference above) and all the usual inconveniences that life throws at us, the need to keep guests entertained before the wedding day was problematic. Some people had travelled to Dubai on their own and therefore needed to be introduced to others, and Rachael worried that other guests might have felt ‘in the way’ whilst she simultaneously busied herself with last minute tasks and trying to keep them occupied.
It’s therefore a great idea to plan some activities for your wedding guests before they arrive. In doing so, they get to see Dubai from your perspective, and looking after them becomes one less thing that you have to think about at an already stressful time. Of course, you need to make sure that they are in safe and reliable hands, particularly if you and your fiancé are unable to join them. Some guests, such as your parents, may have been to Dubai before, and so stepping off the tourist trail slightly will keep everybody happy.
Today, we bring you our top four ideas to ensure that your friends and family stay happy, safe and busy before the big day. Read on for some inspiration!
You Drive Desert Experience at Off Road Zone
This experience comes highly recommended after BCME’s Assistant Editor Rachael gave it a go. Off Road Zone, located in Al Quoz, provides the perfect opportunity not only for your friends and family to experience the stunning UAE desert, but also to have a go at navigating the dunes and experiencing the thrill of off road driving in an air conditioned Jeep Wrangler.
The fully modified 4x4s are all in exceptional condition, meaning that it’s entirely up to you to make it through the desert without getting stuck, or, if you do get stuck, knowing how to get out again! No experience is needed for the trip, apart from having a driving license of course, and each car is provided with a walkie-talkie through which the highly skilled and patient guides instruct the driver. Starting with the basics and gradually progressing to some pretty hair raising yet safe manoeuvres, both confidence and driving skills develop rapidly, and your guests will actually find themselves opting to take the more difficult route through the desert!
Each car can accommodate a maximum of four people, including the driver, and there are plenty of photo opportunities so that your guests can capture the beauty and nature of the UAE; something which many people believe does not exist.
Explore the Bastakiya Quarter
Forming a contrast to the impressive towers and architecture of Dubai’s more modern buildings, the Bastakiya quarter gives both visitors and residents the opportunity to learn more about the history and culture of the UAE. Declared an official conservation area, it is characterised by the wind towers featured on the buildings, which once provided natural air conditioning in the city’s sweltering summer months.
Located by the creek in Bur Dubai, there are many attractions in the vicinity that will keep your guests entertained (and educated) for a whole day. To begin with, the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding offers heritage tours, the opportunity to try traditional Emirati cuisine and much more besides.
Outside of the Centre, there’s the chance for your guests to have their names written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy, shop for souvenirs in the Souq and take a ride across the creek in a traditional Abra. Refreshments can be had at the famous Arabian Tea House Café (pictured below. Images by Sean Fitzgerald Photography), and there are several other museums and art galleries to explore, giving an insight into the history and culture of the UAE.
If your guests are particularly interested in art, direct them towards Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, which has now established itself as Dubai’s arts hub. Undergoing further expansion, with art galleries, live music, urban markets and film screenings, there’s something for everybody. It’s also the perfect place for them to buy you a wedding present!
Alserkal Avenue provides a refreshing break from the usual Dubai tourist scene, where everything is usually the longest, tallest and largest, and instead provides a chance to learn about some of the more edgy and emerging artists that are gradually finding a platform for expression through this unique cultural platform. There’s also plenty of restaurants and cafés nearby for your guests to enjoy a well deserved lunch.
For more information on events and galleries at Alserkal Avenue, visit this website.
Discover Wildlife at Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is an ideal opportunity for your friends and family to experience some of the wildlife that is indigenous to the UAE, in what has been classed as its first national park. Only four selected tour operators are licensed to take guests into the reserve, which features a variety of protected species of flora and fauna.
Activities within the park include camel rides, falconry, horse riding and even camping, but perhaps the highlight for many visitors is getting the chance to observe creatures such as the Arabian Oryx and Gazelle in their natural habitat. For a more relaxing visit, make the short trip to BCME vendors Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa, for a sumptuous lunch at the resort’s restaurant, with spectacular views of the reserve and the animals close by. The lunch package not only includes a three course lunch, but access to walk in the reserve. Make sure that your guests bring a camera to capture the wildlife!