Coronavirus restrictions on weddings in Israel have led numerous Israelis to look eastwards towards Dubai which is fast becoming a trendy tourist attraction as well as a favored place for conducting weddings.
A senior official in Dubai says that local authorities received hundreds of requests recently from Chareidi Jews mainly from Israel and the US who wished to conduct large weddings with hundreds of participants in Dubai. The requesters asked to send rabbis and kashrus supervisors to the emirate in order to prepare the weddings after they are authorized.
Mohammed Bin Jassem Al-Toami, a resident of the UAE who owns tens of halls and wedding reception areas in Dubai and other emirates, told the Yisrael Hayom newspaper that he had been approached by representatives of large Chasidic groups from Israel and the US who wished to rent his halls for weddings.
“I checked with friends from Israel and the US what was being discussed since it involved a lot of money and I was told that groups of religious Jews would arrive en masse. We are willing to do business with whoever wants and will be happy to host weddings, whether they are Muslim, Christian or Jewish as long as the authorities allow it,” Al-Toami added.
Al-Toami said that he also received requests from Israeli Arabs to conduct weddings which he said would be a “big honor to host weddings for the Israeli Arab sector”. However the Israeli Arabs “were put off by the price, but with Chareidim we are in advanced negotiations, and if Dubai stays green we will have many weddings of religious Jews in our wedding reception areas.”
Itzu Yitschak, the director of an Israeli company specializing in videoclips and photography in the Chareidi sector said that he had received tens of requests from people who wished to conduct their children’s weddings in Dubai and wanted to find out prices of accessories. Yitzchak said that “in the next few weeks there will be tens of Chareidi weddings in Dubai.”