'Will you marry me?' Apart from cheers and voices singing on top of their lungs, these were the four special words that were whispered in corners of Dubai's Ed Sheeran concert, creating an eternal memory in the hearts of at least three couples across the stadium.

As videos of men getting down on one knee with jewelled rings surfaced online, Khaleej Times reached out to one such couple who locked in their forever on that evening.

Michael Mohammad and Ekaterina, a couple residing in Russia, were down in Dubai to attend the concert when Ekaterina, or Kati - an adoring pet name used by her partner - got the surprise of her lifetime.

The first time Michael had heard Ed Sheeran's hit song Perfect, he knew he wanted to get married to it one day. And that's how the couple landed up in Dubai.

Knowing the concert was going to be loud, Michael had decided to change things up and proposed with a series of papers that revealed a heartwarming message, one by one. "I’ve got good news and bad news. I can’t be your boyfriend anymore. Because I want to be your husband. Will you marry me?"

Watch him get down on one knee here:

Finding the perfect place

It was after marking their one-year anniversary last year, that Michael knew he wanted to pose the special question. And so he set off on his hunt to find the perfect destination to begin their forever journey.

"I really wanted to go somewhere warm, but as someone who has high standards, there weren’t a lot of options," said Michael, a 39-year-old journalist originally from Los Angeles. As an LA native, Russian winters aren't so easy on him.

He considered three things before deciding on Dubai. "Number one was that I would be able to freely communicate, as English is my primary language. Secondly, the level of service was an important aspect for me. There are a lot of places that advertise five stars but often fall short of even three. And finally, safety."

"Once I considered all that, Dubai was the only logical choice. Mind you, I had never been nor had Kati, but everything from my research showed it was the type of place we could really unwind, relax, and make some special memories, but without the sin of ‘Sin City’ aka Las Vegas," said Mohammad, who comes from a middle-eastern background, but moved to Los Angeles when he was a baby.

"Values are really important for us, and I don’t want to spoil this special moment. So I chose Dubai, and truly, I’m glad I did."

A massive Ed Sheeran fan, it felt like destiny when Michael came across the singer's concert date online. He immediately booked the tickets and surprised his now fiance on New Year's. "In Russia, it’s customary to exchange gifts, so on New Year's, I had the tickets ready and concert tickets booked and presented them to her. She was so excited."

Speaking about his 35-year-old fiance, who works at an international women’s fashion company, Michael gushed about his soon-to-be-wife.

"We are complete opposites. I’m a risk taker; she’s a wise soul. I love to sing and dance, and she loves to read and meditate. But from the day I met her, I finally found someone who made me feel grounded, and she found a dreamer to brighten up her day."

Saying 'yes' in Dubai

At the concert, Michael held the ring tightly as he eagerly waited for Ed Sheeran to play Perfect - the final step to his plan.

"One by one, he played songs, and I was getting more and more nervous. It got to the point where I wasn’t even able to enjoy the music because I was waiting in apprehension for the song to play."

Then all of a sudden he heard him play the first romantic song of the evening, which was Thinking Out Loud. "I got all mixed up and confused it for Perfect," said Michael.

The crowd around them instantly caught on to their intimate moment and made a big circle, giving them space. Next thing he knew, Ekaterina was kneeling on the floor, embracing him. Her answer? A heartfelt 'yes' as tears streaked down her face.

For Michael, despite the proposal not going as planned and as 'perfect', he resonated with a different song in that moment. "Like the lyrics of the song Thinking Out Loud ‘under the light of a thousand stars, we found love right where we were.’ And that place was Dubai."

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