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BellaNaija Weddings in Dubai! | Tips for Planning a UAE Wedding – Part 1 of 3



Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 011

Earlier this year BN Weddings went to Dubai to explore the wedding scene for 3 whirlwind days.

Dubai is currently the #1 most sought after destination wedding location for Nigerians. You know we’re always on the pulse of Nigerian weddings worldwide so we just had to find out why!

Before we took out time to explore the wedding scene, we asked some couples why they decided to get hitched in Dubai. It seems as though if you have a big family, a grand traditional wedding in Nigeria is not really a choice, it’s more of an obligation. After that, many couples want to ‘get away’ with your nearest and dearest to say ‘I do’. You can also save a lot of money on what would be considered luxuries for a wedding here – real fresh flowers, a breathtaking venue, and of course, things money can’t buy like peace of mind and the experience of getting married somewhere spectacular.

Top Reasons Nigerians Wed in Dubai

1. Dubai! – Dubai is beautiful! From city to beach, garden to desert, you can get creative with your pre-wedding and wedding shots here.

2. Visa – Visas are easier to obtain than other countries Nigerians traditionally visit in Europe and North America.

3. Crowd ControlBanky W said it best – “Ain’t no Party like a Lagos Party!” Which often means weddings where a thousand guests attend are the norm. Having your wedding out of from Nigeria keeps away people not on your guest list.

4. Cost – Depending on your budget, a wedding in Dubai is cheaper than renting some venues in Lagos *cough* *ahem* (we won’t mention names).

However, don’t forget Dubai is not the only emirate! Nigerians also wed in the other spots in the UAE – Abu Dhabi – the capital, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and Umm al Qaiwain. However, keep in mind Dubai is the least conservative and most cosmopolitan, in case your guests want to enjoy some nightlife or tourist spots.

Our Stops!

Where did we start?! With hundreds of bridal shops and more in different ‘cities’ (Dubai has cities allocated to their purpose. e.g. Sports City, Media City, Studio City) we worked with top PR agency/wedding consultants Grace and Garbo to connect us with some of their partners in addition to other vendors.

Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 05

Nigerian Bride in Dubai – Chichi & groom Benoit | Light House Studio

Photographers & Videographers – Light House Studio

Most Nigerians getting married in Dubai ‘import’ their important vendors – photographers being one of them.

You can save the cost of flights, hotels and more if you work with photographers and videographers based in Dubai. They are more accustomed to the environment, so they can propose locations you didn’t think of for your once in a lifetime couple portraits and pre-wedding shoot.

Light House Studio is headed by a team of South Africans – Kashif & Faadhila. Coming from the multi-ethnic country, they are used to working with a variety of skin tones.

They recently worked with Nigerian bride – a beautiful model called Chinyere Udegbunam (Chi Chi) & Canadian Benoit Paradis wed at One And Only The Palm, Dubai and the couple has graciously shared their wedding photos with us.

Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 02

Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 012 Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 03 Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 09 Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 07 Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 04 Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 010 Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 08 Chichi & Benoit | Light House Studio | Nigerian Fusion Wedding Dubai | BellaNaija 06

So if you’re having doubts about choosing a local photog, try not to be too wary – just do your research beforehand and you should be fine.

Wedding Planners – 

Just like photographers, Nigerian couples tend to ‘import’ their wedding planners and this approach sure has its benefits! They can be at your ‘beck and call’ – they’re in the same time zone and can answer immediate questions. They know your culture, and the implicit expectations of Nigerian couples and their families. The downside of course is, they are reliant on vendors mostly based in Dubai which makes communicating your needs slower.

We just had to speak with one of the top wedding planners in Dubai for our feature.

Before we get into that, here are FIVE of the best/most well known Luxury Wedding Planners in Dubai:

1. Design Lab Events:

2. Sensation Weddings:

3. Olivier Dolz Wedding:

4. Couture Events:

We had the honor of speaking to Couture Events about tips for wedding in Dubai and what makes Nigerian brides special.

BellaNaija Weddings: What are the 3 things a couple must be prepared for when wedding in Dubai?

Couture Events:

  1. The Heat! Most guests underestimate how hot it can be in Dubai. Therefore when choosing the date of the wedding, one must be very mindful of the weather. On a related note, it is important to also determine what time of day the wedding will be held.
  2. Diversity! Not only in terms of the cultures residing here but also in the vast choice of venues and landscapes available to them. From desert resorts to beachside opulence and from the Burj Khalifa to the city palaces there is no end to the possibility of turning their dreams into reality.
  3. Guest List Management – Destination weddings are usually smaller than the weddings held in Nigeria. However brides should expected uninvited guests who have traveled for the wedding without receiving any invitation. This has been our experience for every Nigerian wedding that we have organized. It is important to flag this from the beginning and make provisions for it or hire in additional security. Either way this must be anticipated prior to the day.

BNW: What makes Nigerian clients special? What are they most particular about?

CE: I think security is a large priority. We have done a lot of high profile Nigerian weddings keeping the paparazzi out has always been a concern.

BNW: What were your most memorable experiences?

CE: There are so many wonderful memories that it would be hard to choose one. I have had the pleasure of working with some fantastic families from Nigeria. However one client wrote a song for his new bride and performed it on the day of the wedding. While he sang it we played a music video which he recorded prior to the wedding. It was a very romantic gesture and I am not sure there was one dry eye in the ballroom.

BNW: What’s the average cost of Nigerian weddings in Dubai?

CE: There is no average cost of a wedding. This very much depends on the client’s individual taste and the number of guests attending.

BNW: What are the emerging wedding trends you see for weddings here?

CE: There is a trend for weddings in Dubai to be more than just one day. This applies for both residents and for destination weddings. The majority of wedding guests travel into the country for weddings and the couple want them to experience as much of the UAE hospitality as possible. Multiply events can include hosting an event in the desert, another at the beach and one around or with a view of the Burj Khalifa.

BNW: Lastly, please share your tips for brides in general!

CE: 1. This is one of the most important days in your life but not to lose sight of this amongst the details of the wedding. That it is good to remember from time to time what is truly important.
2. Take a moment during the day and say to yourself “This is my moment”. The day goes by so quickly that it is important to have at least one defining moment from that day.

BNW: Thank you for your time! Our readers will really appreciate it.

5. Ali Bakhtiar Designs:

They designed, planned and coordinated Mariana & Abba Atiku‘s Outdoor Wedding :

Abba Atiku Abubakar & Mariana Purobeach Conrad Dubai Wedding | Udimee Photgraphy | BellaNaija Weddings 05

Atiku Wedding in Dubai – Decor & Planning by Ali Bakhtiar Designs | Photo by Udimee

Abba Atiku Abubakar & Mariana Purobeach Conrad Dubai Wedding | Udimee Photgraphy | BellaNaija Weddings 03

Atiku Wedding in Dubai – Decor & Planning by Ali Bakhtiar Designs | Photo by Udimee


Watch out for part 2 and 3! Coming tomorrow and the day after – on Wednesday.

Expect Wedding Dresses, Suits, Venue, Brides Behaving Badly – DOs & DON’Ts of a destination wedding and more!


PR/ Wedding Consultants: Grace & Garbo –

Photographers: Light House Studio –


We love weddings as much as you do – get in touch for inquiries, inspiration & more!

E-mail: weddings (at) | E-mail for #AsoEbiBella: asoebibella (at)

Instagram: BellaNaijaWeddings  | Instagram for #AsoEbiBella: AsoEbiBella
Twitter: BellaNaijaWed
Pinterest: BellaNaijaWed



  1. Cheliz

    May 19, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Dubai is just fab.

  2. @edDREAMZ

    May 19, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    No wonder our celeb fly to dubai to wed and the reasons laid out is just reasonable….. Chichi is no doubt a beauty and may God continue to bless their union…

  3. Janey

    May 19, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Thank God this is out in the open, told my ex then its actually cheaper to have a wedding here plus crowd control, dude just dey para anyhow. i dnt wnat to wed and then go broke afterwards considering we are both averatge salary earners.

  4. Miss Independent

    May 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you BN…

  5. vivan

    May 19, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    hmmmmm I see y dey do dis Dubai Dubai wed

  6. baboushka

    May 19, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Chichi’s groom reminds me of a young Bruce Willis! Boy do they make a handsome couple happy married life. Nigerians will overcrowd Dubai after this lol As for me and le boo na Alaska we dey go no chance of people travelling uninvited there lol BTW who are these people who travel to a destination wedding uninvited anyway una get mullah ooo too much money very little brain:)

  7. mally

    May 19, 2014 at 4:31 pm


  8. natty

    May 19, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you for this, I may actually start considering having a dubai wedding seeing as I don’t want a large crowd, smart way to cut down costs

  9. Berry Dakara

    May 19, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    For the love of all things sensible, why on earth would anyone buy a plane ticket to fly to a different country to attend a wedding you weren’t invited to???

    • huum

      May 19, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      And use that money to improve that countrys infrastructure. Totally absurd.

    • Wow

      May 19, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you very much!!! I’m just confused as to why anyone would do that.

  10. pynk

    May 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Dubai is a free destination if its exclusivity you are going for. Under $2000 you can get flight and hotel. And the visa is given to everyone.
    If your goal is to deter people, somewhere you have to catch a connecting flight to. Lol. Zanzibar, seychelles etc.

    If you absolutely dont want folks to come, bora bora, tahiti or polynesia somewhere. My brother did this and we didnt even fight him. Lol. Aint nobody paying $4000 for ticket from america. Lol.
    Destination weddings are generally cheaper emotionally and financially.
    I am planning one and the bill is at about $15,000 for 100 people at best. Hoping for 60 guests max.

  11. Fz

    May 19, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Please Bella i need to know who the dress is made by or where to find this wedding dress in dubai

  12. Aisha

    May 20, 2014 at 3:26 am

    Maybe if there is a high chance of “accidentally” meeting an official who could pave the way for them to earn high mullah from contracts, then paying to go to a wedding uninvited is a good investment for them, seeing that there is a possibility for a big ROI…just my guess.

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      May 20, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Aisha, you have a good point.

  13. Feirooz

    May 20, 2014 at 10:42 am

    This is soooo helpful thanks BN


    May 20, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Only the best is featured on Bella!

  15. moi

    May 20, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Tiwa should have worn something like this with all that teddy bear dress she wore looking like a bubby doll

    • Ohumotu

      May 20, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      And u wonder y u r still single and Tiwa is married….Mtcheeew Wat’s ur business if she wore a dress dat made her look like a “bubby doll” or a pumpkin on HER own wedding day? She beg u abi na ur clothes? Kilode? Y must u comment? is it by force? se wan fi run e ni? abi wan sepe fun e ni… ahn ahn do ur own na make we see. koda wen U marry wear ur own… d babe don marry de hubby house u de hear de talk of cloth wen she wear don even return gan… Shior

  16. Chicky

    May 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    @Ohumotu pls take it with @moi. lmao. Well i guess there is a reason for everthing. you just have to weigh your pockets and cut your coat according to your cloth. but i am really love this dubai wedding idea. Makes a lot of sense sha…

  17. deyemmy

    June 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    pls bella, i really need to know who made this dress or where its bought. you need to know how much am in-love with it. As at this point i don’t have a boyfriend yet but i don’t mind buying the wedding gown now in anticipation. lol…Kindly contact me pls.

  18. Eman

    July 6, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Hi, this garden venue looks amazing!

    Can someone please tell me where is this venue?

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