Dubai hotels booked out for 'auspicious day' weddings

The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina

A memorable day at the Dolphin Bay, followed by a candlelit dinner at Nobu and a walk under the stars for a romantic, once in a lifetime marriage proposal is all that’s on the cards for Karan, who’s planning to pop the question to his long-time girlfriend on 12/12/12.

Calling it a “magical” day, he says: “I chose the date specifically as a memorable one that we can claim as our own some day down the road. It is the last day of the century that such a combination of date, month and year will unite.

“Why not turn it into a day for our unity?”

World over, many are looking upon 12/12/12 as a day of special meaning, calling it ‘auspicious’ or ‘unique’ for marriage or to give birth, while others are looking upon it as the start of a doomsday scenario as per the ancient Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end by December 21, 2012.

“If the world is to end in a few weeks, then I would much rather face it standing by the woman I love,” quips Karan.

Dubai hotels such as The Address Marina and The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina claim to have been booked out months in advance.

Said Mona Asprah from The Westin events department: “We are hosting an approximate 300-people wedding on 12/12/12 at our outdoors amphitheater.

“In fact, enquiries and bookings for the date came a year in advance; however, it had to be book three times over because for some reason it didn’t work out for the first few couples.”

The superstitious may call it the curse of the date, however Asprah said that there are always people ready to book such dates, despite Feng Shui stating otherwise.

“But in my experience, 11/11/11 was a far better date in terms of inquiries and considered more auspicious,” she said.

Other popular Dubai wedding venues such as the Jumeirah properties, which include Madinat Jumeirah, are also not available, having being booked out for the ongoing Dubai International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, Dubai-based wedding planner Rimjhim Bhagchandani couldn’t hide her surprise that the date is demanding a premium from some properties in the emirate.

“I am quite surprised that several Indian, Hindu, families have approached me to plan a wedding for them on 12/12/12,” she says.

“However, I was forced to decline because I have a big one on the cards for later in December and couldn’t take on two weddings so close to one another.”

Bhagchandani, however, adds that weddings on such ‘unique’ dates are a fad that won’t die down in a hurry. “I think it’s more of a fashion statement than anything else, to block such a premium date when astrologically the stars are not even aligned,” she says.

“Most of the traditional Indians don’t want to take on such a date, which is immediately followed by a no-moon day. However, other religions are no bound by such restrictions.”

According to media reports, even places such as Hong Kong and Singapore that are always in on the numbers game for mass weddings have shied away from this particular date, with many stating the Feng Shui is not right for marital bliss.

On the other hand, engaged couple, Kavita and Pradeep Nair, said they did not even consider the date because some properties were charging a premium to block the wedding venue on the day.

“I was told by one of the hotels that I may have to pay Dh70,000 to block the place itself,” said Kavita. “That is silly to begin with, especially since I am not date conscious.”

Dubai-based brand manager Kanwalpreet Kaur also does not understand what the fuss is all about.

“Why are such dates important? Frankly, the appeal of 10/10/10, 11/11/11 or now 12/12/12 have never been understood by me,” she said. “Love has no date and shouldn’t be defined by it.

“So if you are planning to get married, why not do so when your heart says it’s right?”

Meanwhile, opinion is still divided on the medical front, whether 12/12/12 should be looked upon as a premium date to schedule a baby’s birth, as has been the case this year in some hospitals.

“We have an increased number of appointments for a C-section procedure tomorrow,” confirmed Leon Du Preez, Medical Director of Medi Clinic, The City Hospital, Dubai.

“We accept as many requests as we can cope with. But we would not hire extra staff. We do what we can deal with.”

At the moment of writing this story, it was still possible to make an appointment for 12/12/12.

“As long as the mother is close enough to term, which would mean she is pregnant 38 weeks or more, she can make an appointment for a C-section at our hospital.”

However, there were also hospitals clearly refusing the requests.

“We have heard that such practice is going on but we do not accept any such requests,” said Suresh Kumar Menon, Medical Director at International Modern Hospital, Dubai. “Unless there is a case of emergency and the foetus needs to be removed, we do not schedule a C-section procedure.”

Meanwhile, Qassimi Hospital, Sharjah also did not report any unusual number of appointments for a C-section scheduled for 12/12/12.

“We have not received any such requests and as a government hospital we would not accept them. We could not deal with an overload of procedures on one day. Our capacity is to deal with four to eight procedures per day,” said Khalid Khalfan, Medical Director of the hospital.



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