In these days, many problems appear in the Middle East because of hard conditions that may face any citizen especially after the economic crisis that has affected every single person around the world. Some of these problems had been solved and some are still exist among us. In gulf countries many important issues appears before many years and become a serious problems after the economic crises. One of these serious issues is high cost of marriage ceremony that has caused other troubles for men, women, families and the entire society.
Wedding ceremony varies from one culture to another all depends on the norms and traditions of that culture. For example; in some cultures, the prides family pay for the wedding expenses in countries like India and Pakistan, where this would be a much unknown trait in countries like UAE, Jordan and other GCC countries were the groom have to pay for every single detail of the wedding! On the other hand, other cultures, like Europe and North America where both side can normally share the expenses of their own wedding. In conclusion; the different in human cultures and culture values created a great difference in the wedding traditions and ceremonies.
Marriage in the past
In the past, marriage was very simple, a normal traditional issue and required vary simple requirements. And it didn’t cause a big problem for the community. After all agreed on, pride’s mother invites all females member of her family and neighborhood to her house to drink some coffee and show them pride’s cloths, gold and what did the groom bought for his pride. On the other hand, groom invites his family and friends to attend the engagement party in groom house or in town house, the served food in these parties was fruits and some sweets. After that, the groom stands in front of the door to be greeted by his relative and friends. After the party finished, groom goes to pride’s family to greet them only, and sometimes he is not allowed to see his pride before the wedding party. During the wedding party, pride prepares for her wedding by putting some henna on her hands, dress a very simple dress and braid her hair. Then all families and friends were invited to groom’s house to celebrate and have their lunch. The served food was rice and meat. Moreover, after all these parties, couple used to have their honeymoon in one of their relative’s house by visiting them only.
In the past, family of the pride used to ask only for simple and low dowries from groom or what can he get of gold, weapons or even animals. Also they didn’t use to ask the groom to get separate house or villa for his wife, pride used to live with groom and his family.
Now days, everything changed and become very complicated and life requirements become very hard to get. The most important property of marriage is getting new house. It’s normal to have separate house to live alone with your wife and start a new life by waiting for new family, but when the new marriage couple want to have huge luxury house, it will lead to serious issue that may face any citizen.
Many marriage issues that constraint the marriage process in our society, we can mention some of the main ones as the following;
Society pressure for marrying from the same family as the known norm of the family or the tribe.
The increasing cost of the dowry which is related to the family name or the beauty of the pride.
Finding the best accommodation in terms of price, location and size. This in turn increase the initial marriage cost to a very high trend that may reach hundreds of thousands of Dirham or maybe millions which is not affordable for most of the young generation.
The requirement of buying a high and jewelries which the prides family’s asks for. This cost is always increasing by comparison with other weddings happened with another wealthy family.
The cost of furnishing the new house is also increasing. The requirement of the top of line new furniture and best brand home appliances.
The cost of renting the best wedding hall. This could be either a well known wedding hall or a well known hotel. The cost of the wedding activities of hiring a band and a good catering restaurant will add a dramatic increase to the cost of the wedding.
The cost of the pride dress is also noticeably increasing. In some cases, a wedding dress has reached to over hundreds of thousands Dirham.
Huge quantities of food also a negative behavior that make the wedding party cost more.
The cost of the hair salon where the pride and her mates are doing their full make up and preparation for the wedding. A cost that may reach tens of thousands of Dirham.
“Abdullah Ahmad Abdullah, a 30-year-old UAE national from Al Ain, has been married for six years and has three children.”It’s becoming increasingly difficult to bear the rising costs of living, especially house rent,” he said.”
“Mir Murtaza Yaseen Ali, 29, a Pakistani banker, would like a wife who works to help shoulder the costs of running a household.”I would want my wife to work because it’s unhealthy for a person to be unproductive and a working wife would help maintain a good standard of living,” he said.”
“Hussein Al Numeiri, 22, a UAE national graduate, wants to finish higher studies.”An educated couple is better than an uneducated couple,” he said.”
In our religion, Islam, woman has many rights; one of them is to have her simple dowry for her own self. But when the cost of dowries become very high and over the normal percentage of original dowries and the purpose of wedding party become a show off party among the people in the society many negative results will appear and a lot of social problems will increase.
Moreover, High dowries, high cost of living requirements, high cost of wedding party and other unimportant requirements that make the groom spend millions of dirham may lead to series of hug problem which effect badly on men, women and maybe both.
The first result that may exist in society is making barrier between man and his wife by spread hostility and hatred between them because after spending a big amount of money on wedding party, groom will face economic crisis and start to suffer and work a lot trying to pay his debts which had spent it on unimportant things. The purpose of marriage is happiness among families and among married couples not misery for them.
The second result of having unbelievable high cost of wedding ceremonies is it creates a tendency among the local single generation to find an alternative of marrying in the local society and search for a cheaper options from other countries. Single men move toward a foreign pride as a cheaper option and more affordable. The consequences are negative on the society as more maiden population is increasing and more girls are not able to find someone to marry. This is a negative phenomenon that is spreading in our society and the main reason for it is the rising cost of wedding ceremonies.
Third result of the increasing cost of marriage is creating a negative psychological effect on the young generation which help establish many psychic problems; depression, stress, despair and sadness. Also it will push the younger generation to find an alternative solution through illegal relationship and affairs that is unacceptable by neither the norms nor the religion.
“The percentage of Dubai residents who never got married went up from 24 per cent in 1993 to 27 per cent in 2005, and of those who got married down from 74 per cent to 70 per cent.”
We should emphasize on the issue and the effect of the high cost of marriage in our society and the dangerous results of delaying and post pond the marriage plans for the younger generation. We would like to view the religion point view of this issue and remained all parents and our families that Islamic religion is against such high cost requirements for marriage ceremonies. As matter of fact, the Islamic religion direct all families to ease the process of marriage for both parties and encourage the young generation to get married at an early age. The impact in that will be extremely positive from all aspects; the young generation will enter the social life in a welcome phase which will be easier for them to continue forward in their life of building their own families and contribute to the society. Early marriage will also prevent the society from the danger of spreading negative norms like illegal affairs and spreading of diseases through these kinds of affairs. The Islamic religion encourages all parents to find the value in the groom personality and ethics, which will guarantee a better life for their loved daughter. If the groom is not suitable for the pride, or the pride is not approving him for a reason, then it’s more appropriate to stop the marriage. The Islamic religion encourages all levels of society to marry and produce families and grow the society in numbers and values.
His highness Sheikh Khalifa did issue some regulations in attempt to control this high cost marriage phenomena in our society. The new regulation states that all the wedding parties should not exceed the period of one day only that will reduce the cost of any wedding and make it easier on all grooms to get it done. Sheikh Khalifa also ordered more details in regard of the wedding; one party is allowed for the men side and a maximum one party for the women side. The amount of the served food from the camels’ meat is limited to 9 camels maximum per wedding. And anyone who exceeds any of these regulations will phase a 500000 Dirham penalty, this way it will force any groom to avoid any cost exaggeration or protect him from any high cost requirements from the prides family.
The effort are taking to correct the situation of this phenomena of high wedding cost which is new to our society, from government regulations to educating all families in our society about the negative effect of high cost weddings will help fight and tackle this problem to eliminate it from our culture. The efforts have to be taken from all sides and the consequences and benefits will reach everyone among our people. The young generation will be encouraged to get married early and then enter the social life with less debt and more freedom, which will make them more contributing individuals in our society and a better individual in our communities. It will also help increase the local population and help correct the unstable demographic distribution in our society. It’s a win situation.
Conclusion and recommendation:
Extravagant weddings is one of important issues that make a big amount of people agree with it after realizing that the wedding party comes only ones in the whole life, and it must be a perfect party to be a special day to remember, so all of these spent money will not be spent again. This issue will not affect the bride or the invited people; it will make bad sequences on the groom after lending thousand of dirham which makes him feel guilty after each person go back to his home.
In my opinion, wedding party is a very special day that each girl dreams about it, and it should be a unique happy day, but it is better to have a simple wedding party without spending huge amount of money, because there are other important things to do in your starting to begin a new life in a new home waiting for new family. Also, it is very hard to all Youth to spend thousands of dirham in unnecessary things especially after finishing their studies and starting to build their life; they need partner to help them to start responsible life. Our society have to fight the increasing costs of weddings by educating families and single people, and by working together against any continuous behavior from any of the families. We should enlighten the people that wedding day is a truly very important day in any one’s life, but we have to remember that life will not stop at that day and reality will hit the new family afterward, with debt and much money lost. We should restructure our way of thinking and encourage people to go back to simplicity For a better future, and for a better life.