Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wedding Halls

A few times on this blog I've mentioned how despite appearances not all Qataris are wealthy, in fact most of them are in debt. Compounding the issue is a young man trying to get married. Traditionally the groom and his family must pay for the wedding, and after that there is a house to build, expenses to raise a family, and so on. The costs for the wedding alone can be substantial, especially since there are two receptions (one for men and one for women), and these days for a Qatari man to get married he’s probably looking at spending at least $150,000 for the whole thing, and for most it is much more than that.

The costs are starting to have significant implications on Qatari society. Many men are delaying getting married due to the costs, and starting a marriage off in debt can lead to all sorts of problems -- financial issues are one of the main causes of divorce.

The Qatari Government has been trying to resolve these issues and have come up with one way to help reduce the cost of getting married. The Government has opened a new complex with five wedding halls that Qataris can use. The Prime Minister was there for the opening, showing how important the Government feels about the problem of wedding expenses.

The total cost for a Qatari to use the hall for a wedding: QAR 2,500 (~$700). That is way, way cheaper than what they would have to pay to rent a wedding tent (I've been told at least QAR 40,000 or more), or to rent halls at a hotel (QAR 200,000+). Costs have been skyrocketing in the last few years and due to demand private halls charge huge amounts to rent them.

I think more Government wedding halls are under construction. It’s an excellent idea and I hope it will also help to reduce the exorbitant amounts charged by hotels and other hall owners.

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