The Coronavirus And Your UAE Wedding
Brides, we know many of you are feeling extremely anxious now, and that some of you have possibly had to postpone or cancel your imminent wedding events. We are genuinely sorry you are going through this and our thoughts are with you during these testing times. The fact is, the entire world is feeling the strain in one way or another, but our duty here at Bride Club ME is to you and the industry, which is why we have put together this FAQs article, addressing the many questions we have been receiving from brides over the past few weeks. UAE brides planning destination weddings over the next 6 months, or who are having weddings in the UAE, with lots of international guests, will be struggling the most when it comes to questions and concerns.
As of today, March 19th, 2020, below are the current up to date regulations regarding information pertaining to events and weddings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Bear in mind, these could be subject to change from day to day.
*In line with ongoing efforts to safeguard public health the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing directs that all events should be suspended from Sunday 15th March 2020 till the end of the month. DTCM also directs all entertainment destinations to suspend all operations and all hospitality estalblishments and wedding halls to suspend wedding getherings from Sunday 15th March 202 till the end of the month. Inspections will be carried out to verify compliance with this circular.
*The supreme Committe of Crisis and Distasters Management ordered people to avoid holding weddings at home with immedite effect as of Sunday March 16th until the end of the month, according to a tweet by Dubai Media Office. The step is part of precautionary measures implemeted in the country to achieve the highest levell of safety in the emirate.
Your Popular Questions Addressed
Should I postpone or cancel my wedding?
It all depends on your individual circumstances, but we personally recommend postponing if possible. Most venues and vendors will honour their commitment to you at a later date, you will be easing the financial impact facing many vendors right now and you will have more time to plan ahead for one of the most important days of your life.
Many of my guests are cancelling for our summer wedding and I am so upset, how do I handle this?
Given the high levels of anxiety people are facing now and the risk of infection, this is a common occurrence. All we can advise is to reassure your guests that you are monitoring the situation day by day and understand their worries and concerns. Try not to take anything personally and breathe!
No one really knows how long restrictions will go on for, so if you have guests that are in high-risk groups (elderly or immunocompromised), or they must have to travel into the UAE, it’s important to remain empathetic to their concerns.
If you do decide to proceed with your wedding and it goes from mid-large to intimate, don’t fret – Intimate events are lovely and remember, its ultimately about your commitment to your loved one.
Our personal finances are struggling, and we need full refunds, but I have no idea if I am entitled to one from my venue or vendors?
Did you sign a contract? Have you triple checked the clauses and small print? This is the first thing you need to do. Most vendors and venues will have very clear clauses regarding refunds and cancellations. You need to jump on a call or email with them ASAP and start discussions. Some vendors will be in very difficult situations at the moment and that is important to keep in mind. That said, if you are able to come to an agreement for a partial refund, credit towards a future event or service, or better yet work with your vendors to find a common date in the future, which could potentially help save costs for both you and them, this is what we advise.
You can also consult a lawyer for clear advice on what to do, should you 100% require the money back, but be prepared for a lot of vendors not fully refunding.
Mosika Zeid of True Law UAE says;
It depends on your individual contracts, but it is common to see that any costs incurred to the vendor up until the date of termination are reimbursed.
Mosika stresses that it all depends on your contracts.
The Force Majeure clause allows either party to essentially get out of their obligations under the contract (to terminate) if a force majeure event occurs, but the definition of an FM event varies widely and can include an act of God. A party may have a hard time arguing that COVID-19 amounts to an act of God. If you have a good, comprehensive FM Clause, it will cover pandemic and epidemic
My destination wedding was planned in Italy and I have had to postpone, I have no idea when to reschedule and I am now put off having it there. Any ideas?
Italy is stunning and one of the most popular countries for destination weddings, it would be a real shame for brides to be put off having their weddings there, once this has been fully contained and bans on events are lifted. We would suggest taking a break from planning and waiting it out a few months, to see how the situation progresses and improves before making any rash decisions.
I am still planning my 2020 wedding, which is happening later in the year, but I have concerns. Do you have any tips for brides in my situation?
As above, we recommend taking a step back and pausing any indefinite plans for a month, carry on researching vendors, inquiring about rates etc, but avoid making any solid plans until you have a clear indication as to whether there will be further restrictions imposed on wedding events and travel.
Should I invest into wedding insurance, if so, where? I don’t know if anywhere offers this in the UAE.
We have investigated this, and wedding insurance, isn’t a big concept here unfortunately. However, ADNIC have introduced their Mabrouk insurance recently to couples. Wedding insurance provides a suite of insurance products specifically designed to meet your needs as you organise your special day.
The product is built around two core products; Cancellation and Rearrangement of Wedding Legal Liability.
We recommend contacting them directly for more information, and to visit the below link to get a quote for wedding insurance: https://online.adnic.ae/bestbuy/.
As a middle man who acts to service both brides and vendors, we recommend that both couples and vendors are patient with one another and understanding of each other’s predicaments, and that you work together to come up with solutions and agreements, that are fair for both parties.
Below are useful resources for you, as you navigate your wedding plans, while being mindful of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Legal advice: www.truelawuae.com
- Wedding insurance: https://online.adnic.ae/bestbuy/ /
- Government of Dubai media office: https://mediaoffice.ae/ /
- Dubai Health Authority: https://www.dha.gov.ae/en/pages/dhahome.aspx
Wedding vendors, if you are reading this, feel free to join our Facebook COVID-19 Support group for UAE wedding professionals and entrepreneurs: