Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

His 1979 Wedding

In 1979, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum (now Ruler of Dubai) married his first cousin Sheikha Hind Bint Al Maktoum. Their Wedding was Dubai's first major public event.
Elaborate arrangements were made to celebrate the Wedding. No Dubai event since then has matched Sheikh Mohammed's 1979 Wedding in scale, content or the involvement of all Dubai's population.

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A Spectacular Event!

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum married his first cousin Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum in 1979. A five day holiday was declared to celebrate this event. A huge sand area in front of Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum's Zabeel Palace was cleared and fenced off. Lighting Poles were erected around this area and decorated. On Sheikh Mohammed's Wedding Day people, both Nationals and Expatriates gathered around this area to watch displays taking place within the fenced area. People began gathering during the morning. During the day Traditional Dancers and Musicians provided non stop entertainment while horseback riders showed their riding skills and prowess with their lances. Sheikh Rashid's Royal Guard paraded on horseback as well as large numbers of Riders and their Camels.

Dubai's First Air Display

Late afternoon brought the highlight of the day - an Air Display by Dubai's Police Force Air Wing (formed in 1971). Dubai Police Force Air Wing had taken delivery of their Macchi Jet Fighter Trainers in 1977. This was the first occasion Dubai's Police Air Wing had given a public flying display. These five Macchi Jet Fighters flew in formation over Zabeel Palace then carried out precision formation flying with individual performing aerobatics. As a Grand Finale, one of the Macchi Jet Fighters flew around the Dubai Trade Centre Building as the sun was setting. Dubai Trade Centre was still under construction and yet to install the radio tower which made Dubai World Trade Centre (then) UAE's tallest building.

Celebrations carried on into the night with Dancers, Musicians and Performers entertaining large crowds of Nationals and Expatriates throughout Deira and Dubai on any open space they could find. Over the next five days it is said 127 camel races were held in the desert. Cost of Sheikh Mohammed's Wedding was rumoured to be in excess of $100 million.