The dreaded minimum spend…

The minimum spend. It’s something that you’ll face at almost every venue in the UAE.  It’s understandable for hotels and golf clubs to require a minimum spend for the use of their venue, whether it be a golf club lawn or a luxurious ballroom… but it frustrates me when their required spend is just ridiculously high.
I’m receiving more and more emails from brides planning their weddings who face this problem. It’s heartbreaking when you fall in love with a venue and you can’t have it because of that ‘minimum spend’.
If you’re planning a wedding with over a 100 guests you might not face this problem. You’d probably reach 50k by spending AED 20,000 on food and another AED 30,000 on beverages.  (depending on how much one drinks ;-)) To save you newly engaged brides-to-be some time I’ve made a list of some of the most popular wedding venues in Dubai with their minimum spends…
The Madinat Jumeirah
Magnolia is one of the most popular venues for expat weddings. It’s private, it’s lovely and it combines an indoor space with a green lawn and palm trees. It’s sounds pretty doesn’t it. The Madinat aslo have one of the biggest ballrooms in Dubai… The Joharah ballroom!
The minimum spend for Magnolia is around AED 70k and the Joharah ballroom is AED 170,000.  (The ballroom is used mainly for large weddings, and now we know why… you can feed a lot of people for AED 170,000)
The Madinat
The One and Only Royal Mirage
This hotel is one of my personal favorites. Their stunning grounds make for a perfect Dubai wedding venue. The One and Only offer several different venues for a ceremony and reception. The oval lawn is one of the most popular for outdoor weddings in the Arabian Court, and it can seat up to 250 people for dinner.
The minimum spend for the oval lawn is around AED 70k, and their Amphitheatre is AED 100,000. It sounds a lot but when you have a wedding of 350 people, you can easily spend AED 100k on F&B.
The Address Montgomerie
The Montgomerie is one of the most beautiful golf club’s in Dubai. (Of course I would say that because that’s where I got married) But really, it’s just simple, tourist free and the food is amazing… and it’s green. I know lots of brides who live in Dubai crave some of that greenery you’d find back at home.
The minimum spend is around AED 60k – 80k.
The Montgomerie
Al Badia Golf Club – The Intercontinental at Festival City
Al Badia Golf Club is another lovely green venue in Dubai, and it’s also tourist free. It’s popular with expat brides because of it’s simplicity, and green grass. It’s also big enough for a wedding of 300, but would also look just as nice with a smaller intimate setting.
The minimum spend is AED 50K
These figures might seem a lot but if you’re having over 100 guests at your wedding you’re looking at spending nearly half your budget just on food and beverage. It’s a lot I know, and after doing months of research in 2012 I realized that this was just how the industry works here.  It frustrating.
For those brides who are having 50-70 people I know that this is something you’ll struggle with. But that doesn’t mean we can’t try to bring the price down, or work yourself a deal.
Ask what’s included… will the venue provide a complementary cake or a room for the bride and groom? If you book in advance can they lower the min spend? How about having your wedding on a weekday? It might not be convenient for your friends in the UAE, but your friends flying in from overseas won’t care either way.
Try looking at smaller venues like Arabian Ranches Golf Club, or going a little further to venues in Abu Dhabi or RAK. I visited the new Waldorf Astoria last week and had a grand tour of their hotel.. it’s amazing and right now they DO NOT have a minimum spend. It’s perfect for smaller weddings 🙂
If you need any advice or have further questions please drop me an email… I’m always happy to help a bride in need. And I hope this little feature has been useful for you.
Got to go folks. Have a lovely afternoon.. x

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