*** ----> Wedding bells and cash registers | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Wedding bells and cash registers

By Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood 

Many moons ago, when malls were still a novelty in Bahrain and the Al A’ali Mall was the luxury landmark in the whole Al Seef district, I remember an American couple from the US Naval base organising their wedding in the mall because of its picturesque central atrium and sweeping steps.

These days, such arrangements would be considered quite bohemian and weddings are a planned with the military precision befitting the multi-million dollar industry that they are.

For some time now, Bahrain has been working hard to project its charms and facilities as the wedding destination for the world.

Since there is a large Indian population here, naturally, Indians have been the first to take the offers and many residents have enjoyed the benefits of a Bahrain designer wedding package.

Additionally, Indians from other parts of the world too have made a beeline for Bahrain, attracted by the cosmopolitan appeal, world class hospitality standards which seamlessly blend global elements such as cuisine and decor with specifics such as religious requirements.

For two years running, Bahrain brought home accolades: “Best International Wedding Destination for 2020” by Travel and Leisure and the “Best Tourist Destination for Indian Weddings” at the Wow Asia Awards 2019.

Of course, the pandemic was a costly break but the Kingdom has bounced back and the wedding mandaps are busier than ever.

Recently, the BTEA organised a tour for a group of wedding planners to see Bahrain’s beauty and facilities for themselves.

While there is a great deal of touristic benefit to be had from the wedding business, Bahrain also needs to expand its whole game-plan.

For one thing, wedding guests need to know that there are many attractions to explore beyond the ceremony – Bahrain’s beautiful gold jewellery and craftsmanship, for example, deserves some serious shopping by wedding guests.

The sunny weather and beaches call for extended room-nights too.

Only if we push the boundaries of the wedding tourism trade will we fully charge the tourism cash register.


Captain Mahmood Al Mahmood is the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Tribune and the President of the Arab-African Unity Organisation for Relief, Human Rights and Counterterrorism