Saudi Wedding Industry Gets a Boost

Saudi Arabia’s Wedding Arabia event is coming to a close today, after highlighting exhibitions by over 170 participants eager to gain a portion of the country’s .5 billion wedding market.

Weddings are major industry in Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf, raking in billions of dollars per year in a market that is growing over 20 percent annually. The event was meant to capitalize on this demand by showcasing exhibitors from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China, Malaysia, Jordan, Lebanon, and the UAE.

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Vice president of Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions, Zahoor Siddique, said of the event, “This year’s exhibition will bring a wide range of products and services ranging from the latest jewelry designs to fashion, beauty, photography, wedding designers, bridal accessories, flowers, invitation cards, kitchen appliances, furniture, and a lot more.”

Saudi weddings are typically lavish affairs with hundreds of guests. Men and women are separated throughout, but the clothes, makeup, and venue often add up to hundreds of thousands of riyals.

On average, Saudi Arabia hosts over 1 million weddings every year.

The pattern is similar throughout the region. Weddings in the UAE average $80,000; couples in Oman and Bahrain often go into debt funding elaborate weddings, to a degree that the governments provide wedding funds to help young couples.

This year’s Wedding Arabia was held in conjunction with Beauty Arabia, a trade show focusing on the cosmetics industry. Another profitable business, Saudi women are estimated to spend roughly $2 billion on various beauty goods and services, more than anywhere else in the world.

This was the second year of the event, held in Jeddah. The rising popularity and increasing demand for wedding goods as the Saudi population ages are sure to keep businesses returning to the trade show.

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