(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) A mass wedding in Abu Dhabi will include non-Emiratis for the first time. The wedding organised by the General Women's Union (GWU) will see 10 couples tie the knot on Wednesday, with all their expenses covered by sponsors.
Mass weddings are typically organised to encourage Emiratis to get married without worrying about the huge expenses involved.
Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the GWU, is "keen to make both citizens and residents happy" by encouraging them to marry and live stable lives, a top official said.
Noura Al Suwaidi, Director of the GWU, said the union's first mass wedding in Al Mirfa, Al Dhafra, is part of Sheikha Fatima's directives to achieve the "national priority of creating a cohesive community".
The wedding ceremony for the grooms will be from 4pm to 6pm, while the women will have theirs from 8pm.
Community leader and Indian businessman Dr B.R. Shetty, founder and chairman of NMC Healthcare - one of the sponsors of the mass wedding - said such events were a good way to cut down on expenses.
He noted that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has set a "good example" by holding a joint wedding ceremony for three of his sons last week. "The royal ceremony was done in a simple way and that should be the way forward for all," he said.
(With inputs from Wam)