The UAE’s “marriage laboratory” explored how young people are reluctant to get married because of the significant costs involved. The Ministry of Community Development hosted a lab with the goal of promoting marriage and coming up with solutions to lower associated costs.
According to information obtained by the lab, Emirati adolescents were hesitant to get married since expensive weddings left them in debt. They discussed the high costs of wedding rooms, the parents’ interference in deciding the amount of the dowry, and organising festivities.
Federal and local government sectors, non-profit public organizations, social counselors, and various academic institutions, including the Dubai Police Academy and Sharjah Police Academy, participated in the marriage lab. The rise in divorce proceedings, particularly in the early years of marriage, is another factor discouraging couples.
The lab also revealed that young people were sceptical about their ability to support their partners’ marriages. They made reference to the paucity of research on issues affecting youth. Participants suggested that banks offer loans with no interest for a predetermined time. They proposed that loans be offered both for wedding ceremonies and home furnishings.
Participants suggested that businessmen contribute by offering financial aid to encourage marriages. They discussed the importance of developing an integrated programme to financially support youth. Participants called for motivating more entities to support the youth by bearing some marriage costs.
They suggested creating exclusive wedding venues for Emiratis that would be supported by the private sector and supervised by the government.
In order to lower the expense of marriage, the lab recommended awareness programmes for parents and youth. Also, it urged support for large-scale female weddings. The lab recommended incorporating a programme to emphasis the value of marriage into the school curriculum as well.