UAE mass wedding for people with special needs planned
By Siham Al Najami, Staff Reporterhttp://www.gulfnews.com/nation/Society/10225133.html
Published: June 30, 2008, 23:37
Dubai: The largest mass wedding for people with special needs will take place in January marking the third anniversary of the rule of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Over 100 UAE nationals will tie the knot in a traditional Emirati wedding set to be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. In its third year, the mass wedding for special needs people, which is being held under the patronage of Shaikh Mohammad, aims to send a message that people with disabilities are an important part of society and have equal rights.
“We are celebrating two important occasions: the mass wedding and anniversary of Shaikh Mohammad as Ruler of Dubai. He is personally handling the entire expenses of the wedding and granting each couple Dh70,000,” said Thani Belriqad, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dubai Sports Club for Special Needs.
The mass wedding is being organised in coordination with private and public entities along with, for the first time a federal and public organisation, the Ministry of Culture and Youth, which will be decorating the venue for the wedding.
Applicants for the mass wedding have to be employed UAE nationals and preferably be getting married to UAE national females, although it is not restricted and is also open to brides from GCC countries and Arab nationalities.
The mass wedding will promote social awareness about equal opportunities that should be provided for people with special needs, said Belriqad.
Based on previous special needs mass weddings over 90 per cent of special needs grooms get married to brides that do not have any disability, which reveals people are becoming more aware people with disabilities are as much capable of raising a family just like any other person, said Belriqad (DUH!)