Ali Bakhtiar is a French architect and designer, specializing in large-scale and expansive projects. Born in Tehran and imbued with Classical Persian culture, he has been active in the countries of the Arabian Gulf for more than 20 years. These past two decades he has been organizing the most beautiful events, ranging from luxurious princely weddings to extravagant royal anniversaries. A visionary talent, Mr. Bakhtiar has led projects of Pharonic proportions and elegance in Asia and Europe; leaving his mark in the cities of Dubai, Udaipur, and Nice.
As a coveted speaker and the Gala Dinner Event Partner for DWP 2019, we got in touch with the founder of Ali Bakhtiar Designs to learn more about his incredible work in the Arab wedding world and his overall expertise within the wedding industry.
Who was/is your inspiration for setting foot in the wedding industry?
My inspiration stems from my rich history in architecture, interior design, and choreography. I studied and became involved in Parisian Opera and theater, creating detailed sets as if they were visions from a dream. The weddings I produce are reflections of these dreams: the beautiful dream of two individuals in love, the classical dream of two families uniting and the cultural dream of a community rejoicing. As determined by fate, my expertise in structure and interior designing transformed into my passion for weddings when an esteemed client asked me to showcase my talents at her luxurious wedding just like I had done the interiors for her plush estate.
Having been a veteran in the Arab wedding world, what are some of the latest trends within Arab weddings that you follow and how has the Middle Eastern wedding world evolved over the years, according to you?
I do not limit myself to trends as such, rather I expand upon the wishes and desires of my clients. What I create is unique in nature and timeless in fashion. I translate the dreams of my clients into a fantastic reality, working closely with them and providing them with my proven expertise. Whether that involves French Elegant, Persian Classical, or Indian Festive; it does not matter. I am well-versed in all styles and utilize them synergistically and with elegance. I do not follow the current fashion, I create art that trends can follow or remain behind. Regarding the evolution of Middle Eastern wedding industry, not much has changed in my eyes. We still produce beauty, still celebrate life as vibrantly as in our history and cherish our sacred unions. If anything, others from around the world now notice us and wish to involve their best memories along with our Middle Eastern Flair.
What is it that differentiates the Arab wedding market from the global wedding market?
Originality. Ironically, in the global market, there is not much focus on the dreams of the couple. There are choices. Choices that the global market has already made and produced en-masse, long before the bride and groom have even entered the picture. Here in the Arab market, we are at the crossroads of the world. History has brought many cultures from the east and west through these lands, each leaving behind their influences and adding them to our own. When couples come to us, they do not receive a brochure. They receive a combination of cultures best suited to their vision, a team comprised of various backgrounds to bring their vision to reality and a spirit so intense with assurance that the best night of their life cannot be forgotten.
One advice you would like to give to planners who would like set foot in the Arab wedding industry?
Simple, think outside of the box. Do not subscribe to generic fashion trends and standard styles. Embrace this culture and embrace the vision of your clients, but most of all, embrace your creativity. This region already possesses all the inspiration you need. It is up to you, the aspiring artist, to take from this region and add to its beauty.
Having been an integral part of the DWP Congress over the years, how do you feel being associated with DWP 2019 which is going to take place in Dubai this year?
Fantastic! Dubai has always been a center for innovation and beauty; therefore, it is the natural place for DWP 2019. When like-minded innovators come together and collaborate, what else can be the result but the spreading of art and creation of beauty! The DWP Congress has done much to elevate the place of the wedding industry in today’s globalized landscape, allowing the influential of the world to come together all on one platform in order to collaborate with like-minded connoisseurs.
With DWP taking place in this region, how do you think it will boost the wedding industry in the Middle East?
Exposure, prestige, and community. With the proven reputation as a facilitator of class, it is true that the DWP Congress is a one of a kind platform focused on luxury destination wedding specialists. Adding its presence to the reputation that the Middle East already possesses, we can decipher that the Arabian wedding industry is one of high-standard. This is a revelation that was not hidden to start with, but now has the support of a world-class organization known as the DWP Congress to support it. The DWP Congress is an organization that includes several innovative and creative individuals from around the world, consequently constructing a community of class.
All Images Courtesy: Ali Bakhtiar Designs