‘UAE marriage laboratory’ calls for interest-free loans, affordable venue halls to reduce wedding costs

Organised by Ministry of Community Development, event discusses why the youth are reluctant to get married

by

Sahim Salim

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Published: Tue 28 Feb 2023, 12:26 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Feb 2023, 3:00 PM

A ‘marriage laboratory’ in the UAE discussed the reluctance of the youth to get married due to the high costs associated with weddings. Organised by the Ministry of Community Development, the lab aimed to encourage marriages and brainstormed ideas to reduce associated costs.

The lab heard that Emirati youths were reluctant to get married as lavish wedding ceremonies left them in debt. They talked about the interference of parents in determining the value of the dowry and planning ceremonies; and the high prices of wedding halls.

Another reason deterring couples is the increase in divorce cases, especially in the early years of marriages.

The lab also heard that youths were unsure if they would be able to provide marital well-being to their spouses. They referred to the lack of studies on challenges facing the youth.

Recommendations and solutions

Participants recommended that banks provide of interest-free loans for a specific period. They proposed that loans be offered both for wedding ceremonies and home furnishing.

Participants suggested that businessmen contribute to offering financial aid to encourage marriages. They spoke of the need to design an integrated programme that financially supports the youth. Participants called for motivating more entities to support the youth by bearing some marriage costs.

They recommended setting up special wedding halls for Emiratis funded by the private sector and supervised by the government.

The lab called for awareness campaigns for parents and the youth to reduce marriage costs. It also called for supporting female mass weddings.

The lab also called for integrating a programme in the school curriculum to stress the importance of marriage.

Why surveys need to be conducted

The participants stressed the need to conduct field studies and surveys on: Youth awareness on the importance of forming a healthy family; the delay in the age of marriage and reasons that lead to this; causes and impact of marriage of citizens to non-citizens; and low fertility rates and high divorce rates among newlyweds.

The Ministry of Community Development said the marriage laboratory saw participation from federal and local government sectors; students from various academic institutions (HCT, Dubai Police Academy, and Sharjah Police Academy); a number of non-profit public associations, and social counsellors.

The ministry affirmed its keenness to implement the recommendations of the marriage lab in collaboration and partnership with the relevant participating government and private authorities.

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