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Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid with his sons, the three grooms, Shaikh Hamdan, Shaikh Maktoum and Shaikh Ahmad at the wedding reception. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

All eyes were on Dubai World Trade Centre on Thursday afternoon as the country celebrated the wedding reception of the three sons of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, from 4pm.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, 36, married Shaikha Shaikha Bint Saeed Bin Thani Al Maktoum in a religious ceremony that took place on May 15.On the same day, Shaikh Hamdan's brothers Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, 35, married Shaikha Maryam Bint Butti Al Maktoum, and Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, 32, married Shaikha Madiyah Bint Dalmook Al Maktoum.

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And Gulf News is signing off from Al Maktoum wedding reception

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Rulers of the Emirates attend the Al Maktoum wedding reception
Rulers of the Emirates attend the Al Maktoum wedding reception. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

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Lulu group Chairman and CEO MA Yusuffali

M.A. Yousuf Ali, Lulu chairman

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Nasser Al Dhaheri speaks to Gulf News

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Lt General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, deputy chairman of police and public security in Dubai and the council at Royal Wedding Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Mohammad Alabbar arrives for the reception

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Mohammad Ali Alabbar, Founder and Chairman of Emaar Properties at Royal Wedding Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

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Rulers of the Emirates and shaikhs in a group photo at the wedding ceremony

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Indian businessman Feroze Merchant

Indian businessman Feroze Merchant , one of the guests invited shares a few words to the young couples

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Buses and 4x4s continue to pull up with just 15 minutes to go until the festivities begin. With everyone decked in white it makes for quite a scene as entourages continue to flow into the reception hall

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Gulf News reporters Anjana Kumar and Ashley Hammond reporting from Dubai World Trade Centre

Ashley Hammond and Anjana Kumar reporting live

With the religious rites completed it is now time for guests and well-wishers to congratulate the grooms on this almost auspicious of occasions.

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Indian businessmen arrive

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Dr BR Shetty arrive for the Royal Wedding Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News
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Indian businessmen make their way to the reception. Early to arrive is Dr. Br Shetty who said he is elated to be invited to the event and wished the couples good luck for the future.

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Mohammad Bin Rashid, Mohammad Bin Zayed, Rulers arrive

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Guests arriving for the reception. Ashley Hammond/Gulf News

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Traditional Emirati Band welcomes guests

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Early visitors to the event - Ramesh Shukla and his son Neil Shukla

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Paul Griffiths, Ramesh Shukla and Neil Shukla arrive for the reception

The sounds of a traditional Emirati band are resonating outside Dubai World Trade Centre as a convoy of blacked out SUVs continue to pull up and drop off a steady stream of guests all donned in dish-dashas.

Traditional Emirati greetings abound as guests touch noses briefly before entering the hall to escape the oppressive heat and humidity of this blazing June afternoon

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Emirati band performs before the reception

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Al Ayalah, an Emirati band, gives a sample of the performance at the reception Image Credit: Gulf News
Emirati traditional band performs outside the venue of royal wedding. Ashley Hammond/Gulf News

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Gulf News FB live from Dubai World Trade Centre

Hamdan, Maktoum, Ahmad wedding reception today

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Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid with Shaikh Hamdan, Shaikh Maktoum and Shaikh Ahmad after their marriage ceremony last month. Elegant gift boxes were sent to friends of the family to convey the news. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE is rejoicing over the Al Maktoum weddings this Eid Al Fitr, that are bringing double joy to the festive season.

Three sons of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, have married three women from the Al Maktoum family.

Their marriage on May 15 (which was a private family ceremony) and the subsequent wedding reception have captured the imagination of the entire nation, as well as well-wishers beyond the Emirates, with pictures and videos of the exquisitely-decorated palace going viral.

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The invitation card for the wedding reception of the three sons has been decorated with elegant calligraphy. Image Credit: Supplied

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, and two of his brothers are having a grand wedding celebration at Dubai World Trade Centre today. The official reception ceremony at Dubai World Trade Centre at 4pm is expected to be attended by thousands of guests from around the world.

Shaikh Hamdan is married to Shaikha Shaikha Bint Saeed Bin Thani Al Maktoum. Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, is married to Shaikha Maryam Bint Butti Al Maktoum. Shaikh Ahmad Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation, is married to Shaikha Madiyah Bint Dalmook Al Maktoum.

Mohammad Bin Zayed’s wishes

Soon after the news of their marriages was announced last month, congratulations poured in for all of them and best wishes for the UAE leadership. Leading the congratulations was His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. “My heartfelt congratulations to my brother Mohammad Bin Rashid on the occasion of the marriage of his sons Hamdan, Maktoum and Ahmed,” Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed said on Twitter.

Among the many UAE residents to wish them was the grooms’ governess, known on social media as Mama Noora. She shared an image of elegant gift boxes – with golden Arabic calligraphy and containing Omani halwa (sweet) — that were delivered to friends of the family. Also making their way on social media some days later were images of the wedding invitation cards. The card was placed in a wooden box which was sent in a red bag.

Decked in lights

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Zabeel Palace adorned with bright lights ahead of the Al Maktoum weddings. Pictures went viral on social media. Image Credit: Social media

More recently, clips and snaps of a royal residence decked with countless lights — as is the Emirati tradition during weddings — captivated viewers. Sharing the joy of his three sons’ marriage, Shaikh Mohammad penned a new poem in which he spoke about the happiness filling the UAE skies at the wonderful news. The poem was posted on his Instagram account. The reception at the Trade Centre is for men only; a separate celebration will be held for women. The event will see grooms and guests wearing the formal bisht (cloak) over the white kandoura.

Excerpts from a poem by Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid on the marriage of his sons

“UAE nights are full 
of joy and melodies
Its skies coloured in vibrant hues
The nation looks radiant in green
A garden bloomed with flowers
The blowing wind 
and the silent desert
Are with the beauty of roses adorned.
Why not? For the UAE is celebrating 
the wedding of Ahmad, 
Maktoum and Hamdan.
The fragrance of flowers 
fills every corner
Happiness hugs the nation 
in days of delight…
Oh my sons, I spent nights 
caring about you
I raised you as a falcon 
raises its chicks…
Good morals make you 
the knights of nobility
That I have taught you.
Aim high and seek glory
That I have taught you.
Defend your country against injustice
That I have taught you.
I taught you the history of Zayed, 
whose name is glory
Oh my sons, I am full 
of joy and pride…
Today, my efforts continue 
in your marriage
For marriage fulfils faith and regard
I congratulate you with all my heart.
My sons, always treat 
people with respect
This I advise you.
Embrace the grace of 
good people close to you
This I advise you.
My sons, be united always
And be respectful of your wives
Abide by the teachings 
of your ancestors
That’s how life thrives with power.”