Manama: Qatar is building a multipurpose wedding hall that Qatari couples can use free of charge for their celebrations and receptions.
The move by Crown Prince Shaikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, is part of the state’s drive to encourage Qatari men and women to marry their fellow citizens and to meet increasing wedding expenses.
The building with a traditional architectural style will consist of five halls that can accommodate 500 guests each. However, they can be turned, according to needs, into a hall capable of accommodating 2,500 guests, making it the largest in Qatar, local Arabic daily Al Raya reported on Tuesday.
All the halls will have special acoustics and advanced audio-video technology facilities.
The hall compound with a total area of 260,000 square kilometres will include special storage and changing rooms, a garden and large parking areas.
According to officials, work on the hall will begin within two months and the compound is expected to be ready in 2014.
Qataris said that the construction of the hall would help young people by easing some of the financial difficulties in paying for expensive wedding halls.
Qatar reportedly has 18 wedding halls, but their rents generally range between 70,000 riyals (Dh70,541) and 150,000 riyals.
The Central Municipal Council last year said that it wanted to revive a plan to have the state construct wedding halls that could be used for less “offensive” fees.
Reports in Qatari media this year sounded the alarm about the status of single women in the country, saying that around 24 per cent of Qatari women were single.
The reports said that more local men, unable to meet the rising expenses of marriage, opted to take Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) or Arab or Asian wives.
Attempts mainly by religious groups to bring exorbitant dowries demanded by the bride’s family and a major cause of high wedding costs to more sensible standards have failed to win over a largely status-conscious society.