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Dubai couple hosts ‘drive-by wedding ceremony’

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They stood under a flower arch outside their home for a socially distanced wedding reception.

Weddings have become small, intimate affairs, with Covid-19 affecting the grand plans of couples seeking their big fat happily-ever-afters.

A Dubai-based couple managed to have a slice of the grandeur by having a ‘drive-by ceremony’ for their loved ones outside their home in Jumeirah.

Indian couple from Kerala Muhammed Jazem and Almas Ahmed first had their Nikah. After that, they stood under a flower arch outside their home for a socially distanced wedding reception.

Close family members and friends who could not be part of the Nikah stopped their cars outside the couple’s home for less than two minutes as they wished them well and clicked some photos.

“The rules were simple and we communicated them to our guests through a video invitation,” explained Jazem.

“We asked our guests to stop only for a few moments, give us their best wishes, take a picture and then they could drive away. We instructed them not to step out of the car, to keep moving to avoid traffic, and not pull over,” he added.

Schoolmates-turned-couple Jazem and Almas spent a good chunk of their childhood in the UAE. “We were both students of the New Indian Model School. Almas was my sister’s classmate, however, we did not know each other in school,” said Jazem.

Almas added: “Ours is an arranged marriage.”

Jazem, an aeronautical engineer with Emirates Airline, said their parents and many of their relatives are elderly. “We did not want to have a big event because they fall under the high-risk category.”

Almas, a final-year medical student, said they were inspired by similar wedding receptions hosted in the UK.

Though Dubai government has given the green signal to host socially distanced ceremonies, the couple decided to stick to their drive-by reception plan.

Almas added: “The Nikah was at 12pm and the reception from 4pm to 6pm. Almas’ father Ahmed Panthalingal and her brother Ansif Ahmed were instrumental in setting this entire thing up. Fortunately, there was not much traffic on the day.”

The couple said the idea was “very well received” by their friends and relatives. “People were playing music and cheering us from their cars during the drive-by. They would stay in the car, take a picture, wish us and leave.”

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88