Marriage Fund lending a helping hand to nationals

ABU DHABI - The Marriage Fund has earmarked a total amount of Dh15.6 million for grants to UAE nationals who wish to marry national women, according to an official.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Sun 19 Oct 2003, 12:06 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 11:38 PM

Dr Jamal bin Obeid Al Bah, Assistant Under-Secretary and General Manager of the Fund, told Khaleej Times yesterday that 285 applicants will be able to avail of the allocated amount, which will be disbursed effective next month.

"The step comes as a result of the continuous efforts exerted by the Fund to meet the increasing demands for marriage grants and to avoid delay in processing applications," said Mr Bah.

He explained that in Abu Dhabi Dh5.88 million will be granted to 103 applicants while in Dubai 51 applicants will avail of Dh2.62 million and that 70 other applicants will be granted a total of Dh3.37 million. He said that in Ajman Dh600,000 will go to 12 applicants, 32 nationals in Ras Al Khaimah will avail of Dh2.05 million while in Fujairah 17 applicants will benefit from Dh1.08 million of the allotted money.

Mr Bah reiterated that mass wedding is seeing significant increase every year in different parts of the country and that this positive social practice has become one of the prominent features of the country.

He disclosed that the Fund will organise in early January 2004 a mass wedding where more than 50 couples will tie the knot, pointing out that the Fund had so far succeeded in organising more than 20 mass weddings during the current year.

He also revealed that the Fund is chalking out new strategies to further develop the procedures adopted by it for disbursing the marriage grant and to keep up with the increasing demands. He said the Fund would make all efforts to get the approval from higher authorities to raise its budget from Dh250 million, but it had not yet been approved by the Ministry of Finance and Industry. The fund had already forwarded a proposal to the Ministerial Council to increase the budget to Dh500 million.

Meanwhile, according to a report issued by the Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Auqaf, legal courts registered 8,529 marriage cases last year with an increase of 856 cases compared to the year 2001. Nationals accounted for 51 per cent of these marriages while expatriates represented 27 per cent.

The report also said that 2,804 divorce cases were reported in 2002 with an increase of 85 cases compared to 2001. It said nationals accounted for 1,279 cases at 46 per cent while divorce cases registered among expatriates were 810, representing 29 per cent.

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