Qatar Marriage Rate Falls: Weddings Cost Too Much
Government steps in to help strapped grooms foot the bill
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 26, 2013 7:18 PM CDT
The skyline of Doha, Qatar.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – The government of Qatar is worried about the nation's falling marriage rate, and one of the reasons it cites for the decline isn't your standard fare: Weddings have become so expensive that would-be grooms—who traditionally foot the bill—are balking. How expensive? Al-Jazeera talks to one guy who says he saved nine years to pay for his $123,000 wedding. He's now getting a divorce, and officials think too many other couples are buckling under similar financial strain.

The government last week began rolling out a series of initiatives, including financial help for newlyweds, free wedding tents, and the construction of wedding halls that can be used at no charge, all "in a bid to reduce marriage expenses and help preserve the institution of marriage," says the national news agency. One Qatari explains the pressure: "People are expecting you to invite them to your wedding. It is not an option to say, 'I want to have a small wedding.' Because if you wanted to have a small wedding, people might be insulted."

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Mar 27, 2013 9:12 AM CDT
I thought everything in Qatar cost a quarter. LOL
Mar 27, 2013 8:02 AM CDT
That orange building in the middle looks like a giant crank.
Mar 27, 2013 1:58 AM CDT
This doesn't surprise me at all. The expectations for weddings in the Middle East are ridiculous. Young people are generally just looking to get married, but their parents want the party to be an outrageously extravagant affair, completely disregarding the fact that EVERYTHING costs more than it did when they were young. I remember reading something about how people's inability to marry in Libya motivated men to join up with the resistance; not only were they mad at the government for not taking care of them, but, with high unemployment rates and no families, they really had nothing else going on.