With the destination wedding industry booming, Bahrain is now eyeing more than a chunky slice of the lavish world-wedding craze. When it comes to destination weddings, Bahrain has it all—a pristine beach, an urban cityscape and the desert. As a result of the efforts made by Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority under the flagship programme ‘Island Weddings Bahrain’, the Pearl of the Persian Gulf is fast becoming an ideal location for Indian weddings.
Bahrain has emerged as a preferred wedding destination in the Middle East among other countries. The kingdom is redefining luxury weddings with uber luxury hospitality and picturesque backdrop for ideal wedding scenarios. India is seen as the biggest potential market for weddings.
Destination weddings may be the entire vogue. But picking the right destination is no easy choice. This results into first Indian wedding in Bahrain in 2017. The Jatias of Hardcastle Restaurants (the force behind McDonalds in India) and Mehtas of Rosy Blue made a rather unconventional choice, selecting Bahrain to host their children’s wedding. Ayush (son of Amit and Smita Jatia) married Diya (daughterof Russell and Mona Mehta) in Manama, the capital of Bahrain.
The country has played host to more than 17 big Indian weddings between April 2017 and 2019, receiving about 6,000 Indian guests and contributing USD 22 million to its economy. The country had recognised wedding tourism as a potential segment in 2016 and started promoting itself as a preferred wedding destination through a dedicated incentive programme called Island Weddings Bahrain since April 2017. As a result of the continuous efforts by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) to promote the Kingdom of Bahrain as a destination for weddings and other happy occasions, the Kingdom of Bahrain hosted another an exotic Indian wedding of the son of Indian businessman, Sushil Mantri, of Bangalore, from December 15 to December 17, 2018, at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay. The event attracted more than 800 guests who travelled on Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, from various Indian cities, including Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, and from other parts of the world.
The three-day wedding included a series of activities, the first of which was the arrival of the Bride and Groom in a traditional Bahraini environment and means of transportation; the Groom arrived on a purebred Arabian horse accompanied by traditional Indian music and dancers, while the Bride arrived to the scene of the wedding onboard a traditional boat at Bahrain Bay. After the ceremony, Bahrain’s skyline was adorned with a display of fireworks to celebrate the wedding and the Kingdom’s National holiday, commemorating the joy of both glorious occasions.
BTEA also organized a Bahraini Souq “Bazar” which featured Bahraini craftsmen, such as pottery makers, ship modelers and palm leaf basket makers who exhibited their unique products to visitors in addition to a traditional live Ardha performance. BTEA Advisor Dr Ali Hassan Follad said: “The success in hosting this occasion stems from the prominent role of the Authority in planning and organizing the ceremony efficiently. We worked closely with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Information Affairs and other semi-official authorities including Bahrain Airport Company, the Airport Duty-Free market and Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, to organize the event’s logistics and ensure the selection of appropriate locations. Further communications were also made with various suppliers and specialists.”
BTEA is confident of setting new records in the number of Indian weddings and the revenue earnings from the Indian wedding business to Bahrain’s economy this year. “We are confident of setting records in Indian destination weddings by fourth quarter of this year and first three months of 2020. What we offer to our wedding guests is a unique partnership. BTEA acts as eyes and ears of the wedding organisers from the time they come scouting for destination. We offer complimentary visa, arrange special rates from the airlines, take them to the right hotel, arrange professional DMCs, etc. so that they feel confident and at the same time relaxed. We are pleased to host more of such events over the coming years which will further promote the Bahrain as an ideal destination for hosting weddings and other happy occasions,” Follad shared.
So if you are getting married soon, it looks like you should be considering Bahrain!