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Fairytale Wedding in Dubai - United Arab Emirates 1999  
 
Liwa - United Arab Emirates with our car in February 2013 - part 2
Sharjah/Dubai/1st Traveler's Festival/Emirates National Auto Museum - UAE with car Nov. 2012 to Jan. 2013 - part 1
Sharjah + Dubai: United Arab Emirates - without our vehicle from February 19th, to 27th, 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
United Arab Emirates Map
 
 
 
         
          Map of
    the Middle East
 

 

latest picture: March 1999
  • click a picture to see details
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
01  View over the Creek towards the modern
skyline of Dubai. Only 60 years ago, Dubai
consisted only of three little desert settlements
along a windy creek. Considering the incredible
development of Dubai since our 1st visit in
1994, we refer to the Wikipedia website of
Dubai and its future development
 02  The futuristic building of
the hotel ‘Burj-al-Arab’in Dubai
– appearing like a sail – is a
complex of luxurious residences,
sumptuous suites, a restaurant
in vertiginous height and a
helicopter landing strip on the roof
03  Two worlds collide at Jumeirah
beach in Dubai: The Arabs dressed
in their long flowing outfits and the
tourists in their bathing suites
 
 
Because we weren’t allowed to take any pictures at the wedding,
we stretch this report by some pictures from the United Arab Emirates

The countless lights that illuminate the palace of Sheik Al Habtoor look like a fairy-tale. It is hard to resist the temptation, to admire it at close range. “May we enter?” we ask the Indian security guard who controls the gate. Negatively, he shakes his head, but then gets communicative and tells us that one of the daughters of the Sheik will get married in three days time and that the wedding festivities are already in full swing. At this very moment, a luxury limousine is driving out of the palace door. The Arabian driver looks at us questioningly what gives us the courage to repeat our wish. Much to our surprise and joy, his answer is “yes”. At the same time he informs us that some dances are already going on in the compound. With some hesitation and a bit lost, we approach slowly the beautiful building with its 150’000 lights illuminating the evening sky. A middle aged Arab immediately approaches us and introduces himself as being the brother of the bride. Before we are even able to explain why we are here, he has already organized a cold Cola for us. We can hardly believe our luck as he is inviting us spontaneously to attend the three days festivities and even be guests at the wedding celebration itself. In the meantime, the few musicians pausing on a carpet on the ground grab their instruments again – the drums and the tambourines. Immediately, we are carried away by the strange rhythms, to which veiled Bedouin women clap their hands and around 20 elderly men perform a slow traditional dance. They are standing in two rows facing each other. While these beardy, biblically looking characters are chanting monotonously, they swirl in perfect conformity acrobatically their wooden sticks through the air. Besides, in the hot desert sand, two small fires are burning to provide the coal for the traditional water pipes, smoked by men as well as by women and for warming up the instruments of the musicians. While we are watching fascinated the performance, a pickup turns up and dozens of goats – ready to get cooked – are thrown onto the loading bridge. Another truck carries a stockpile of butchered camels.
 
 
 
 
 
 
04  The Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai) is the
heart of Dubai. Water taxis, called Abra,
shuttle the passengers from one side to the
other. In the back the district of Deira
 05  The Al Jumeirah mosque towers
majestically and impressively into
the blue sky
06  A traditional dhow is anchoring
near the oriental Souk in Sharjah
(Blue Souk or Central Market)
 
 
All of a sudden, a young girl approaches me and asks shyly if I would like to have decorated my hands with Henna. I nod happily and follow her into a small room where around a half a dozen young women are chatting and laughing. Their hands, feet and arms show already wonderful motifs. Immediately I am introduced to the bride, a lovely girl of about 25 years of age. She doesn’t differ in her plain clothes from other young ladies. Her pitch-dark hair frames her beautiful face; striking brown eyes are looking at me. We exchange some polite small talk while two girls are working on my hands with an amazing speed. The tool is a small bag with a pin filled with Henna with which they create skillfully wonderful drawings on my hands. After about ten minutes, the black color is dry and peels off. What remains is the “art of work” in shining red that will remain for two to three weeks before fading slowly away. Henna is produced from leafs of the Henna shrub (Lawsonia inermis) plant. In the Middle East and in India it is used since centuries as cosmetic, especially to color the hair or to decorate hand and feet at weddings and other important events like ‘Eid al-Fitr’, the end of the Ramadan fasting month.
 
 
 
 
 
 
07  Like in a picture-book: The oasis
of Shuaib – East of Dubai – on the way
to Al Ain (situated between the Hatta
and the Al Ain highways)
 08  The road from Dibba to Masafi
in Fujairah is meandering through
a fascinating and cragged landscape
09  Sand dunes East of Dubai
are captivating by its reddish color
 
Later, on the wedding day, I am standing overwhelmed at the entrance of the women’s huge tent. The decoration itself is already breathtaking. Heavy draperies in blue and white dominate the interior. The chairs are also dark-blue with a huge white ribbon, and the staff’s dresses are in the same colors. In front, on a stage, embedded in an ocean of flowers is the illuminated backdrop of the Taj Mahal, flanked by two high minarets. The Taj Mahal in Agra/India is the biggest Mausoleum ever built for affection by the Mongol ruler Shah Jehan for his great love, his wife the Princess Mumtajal-Mahal. Above are thousands of stars sparkling in a black sky – a fairy tale of 1001-nights. It is 9pm and the tent starts to fill up slowly with Arabian beauties. They are dressed in elegant evening dresses, wear decent make up and perfume. Only the Bedouin women, belonging to the “hardliners”, have covered their faces with a kind of a glittering mask (Niqab), leaving free only their expressive eyes. But there are also young ladies in tight evening dresses underlining their attractive figures. Even a tiny bit of breast is occasionally visible. I grab a free seat in the middle of the many rows of decorated chairs with a good view over the stage. Instantly, a young girl is at my side and offers me a cold drink, salty nuts and very sweet candies. Then, for a considerable time nothing special happens. It’s only around 10.30pm that movement is coming into the at least 1’000 illustrious guests. I follow them as they are all heading to a second wedding tent, where I am surprised once more: At least one hundred of round tables, decorated with flowers are loaded with exotic food and drinks. Slowly, the tables fill up. I join a group of younger women who is grasping already hastily for the delicacies: Meats of goat, chicken and camel, vegetables, fruits, dates and cakes. I am just starting to serve myself some food, as the crowd starts to move again, returning to the first tent to reoccupy their seats. I really wished I had more time to enjoy those exclusive dishes and I ask myself what will happen to all the untouched food that still piles up on every table.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10  A caravan of camels is passing
our camping spot in the East of Dubai
 11  “Sheik Emil” and his
veiled “Princess Liliana“ in
front of their “Sheikdom”
12  After ten years on the world trip,
we are celebrating on May 8th, 1994,
– during our first visit to the United
Arab Emirates – our silver wedding
anniversary (25 years)
 
Deafening Arabic music echoes through the marquee, announcing finally the big moment we all have been patiently waiting for so long. It gets quiet as mice. 1’000 pairs of eyes stare to the impressive Taj Mahal backdrop. Suddenly, the golden door opens and a fairylike being appears. Everything on her is silvery: The headdress, the forehead decoration and the wedding gown with the long train. On the red carpet, she moves gracefully in tiny steps to the first row of seats, stopping occasionally to greet well-known guests. Then, she sits down on a sofa adorned with flowers to receive the felicitators’ lineup. This is the peak period for the court photographer, as everybody wants a remembrance of and with the princess. According to an old Arabian tradition, the groom is celebrating separately but simultaneously in the men’s tent nearby. Apparently, he is much older than the bride. Long after midnight, when I leave, I ask myself if this marriage has also been arranged by the parents according to the Arab tradition. Do “love reunions” exist at all in the Arab world? I deeply wish this for the young princess I had the unique opportunity to meet personally.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
13  Camels on the way to the training
on the camel racetrack in Duabi. Camels
are said to smell water in the desert from
a distance of 1 miles away; they can
walk for 18 hours without resting
 14  Gigantic commercial
buildings and attractive mosques
shape the center of Abu Dhabi,
the capital of the United Arab Emirates
15  Sculptures along the Maidan
Al-Itthad Street in Abu Dhabi.
In the Arab world, tea pots stay
as a symbol of hospitality
 
 
More websites from the United Arab Emirates:
Sharjah + Dubai: United Arab Emirates - without our vehicle from February 19th, to 27th, 2011
Sharjah/Dubai/1st Traveler's Festival/Emirates National Auto Museum - UAE with car Nov. 2012 to Jan. 2013 - part 1
Liwa - United Arab Emirates with our car in February 2013 - part 2
Al Ain, Eastcoast & Ras al Khaima - United Arab Emirates with our car in April 2013 - part 3
 
Articles in newspapers about us in the United Arab Emirates:
Interview: "Title arabic ae 1994.jpg (12986 bytes)", Daily Arabic Newspaper - April 1994
Interview: "Duo clocks up countries and kms on way into record book", English  Daily Newspaper "Gulf News" - April 28, 1994
Article: "Journey To The Edge of The World", Weekly Magazine "Khaleej Times Features" - May 4, 1994 - pages 1 to 3
Article: "For the Sake of Freedom", Weekly Magazine "Gulf Weekly" - May 11, 1994 - pages 1 and 2
Article: "Tracks Across the Globe", Weekly Magazine "What's On" - June 1994 - pages 1 to 3
Cover Story: "Moving Spirit - 500'000 km and still driving",
                     English Weekly Magazine "Khaleej Times Weekend" - February 26, 1999 - pages 1 to 9
Article: "IBM Presents Globe-Trotting Schmids with New Notebook To Celebrate 500'000 Kilometers on the Clock",
                     English Internet News "DITnet" - March 16, 1999
Article: "500,000 kms service in the UAE for 15yr old Land Cruiser",
                         Al-Futtaim motors - Toyota U.A.E.'s  own Newsletter "The driving edge" - No. 7/1999
Our 500'000th kilometer in Dubai on March 16th, 1999