Image Credit: Falah Gulzar, Trainee Social Media Journalist

Sharjah: Sharjah held UAE's first mass wedding in which 500 individuals from 19 different Arab countries got married.

The Zayed Arab Mass Wedding was organised by the Sharjah based entity, Arab Family Organisation.

A group of 250 couples originally hailing from Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen and Egypt amongst other nationalities participated in the group wedding ceremony.

Most of the participants are born in the UAE or have stayed in the country for an extended period of time. Families based in the UAE of the participating couples were also invited to the event.

Speaking to Gulf News, Jamal Bin Obaid Al Bah, the chairman of the organisation said: "This is a way to show them that UAE is their home, many of them have been part of the UAE's growth. Their parents have been doctors and teachers in the country. This is a thank you - a way of giving back to them."

The event is held in accordance with the Year of Zayed.

"The Year of Zayed means a lot to us. It's the year of giving and helping others. These are some of the values we have learnt from Shaikh Zayed, so this is an event that is dedicated to him."

The event was financially supported by UAE-based businessman, Abdulrahim Al Zarouni.

Each couple is also getting Dhs30,000, which totals to over Dhs11 million, donated by Al Zarouni.

The event also had cultural performances and dinner along with the wedding ceremony.

All grooms were dressed in traditional Emirati attire.

Previously, mass weddings have included Emirati couples only. An event with participants from various Arab nationalities and at such a large scale has not taken place before in the UAE.