Manama: Most Saudi women who married foreigners last year took Yemeni husbands, official figures indicate.
According to the data released by the justice ministry, 1,000 Saudi women married Yemeni men in one year.
At the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) level where Saudi women took 1,618 GCC husbands, Kuwait topped the list with 762 marriages, followed by Qatar with 554 weddings.
Saudi women married 246 UAE nationals, 36 Bahrainis and 20 Omanis, the ministry data showed.
Outside the GCC, Saudi women married 173 Egyptians, 78 Lebanese, 19 Iraqis and 14 Moroccans.
Elsewhere, Saudi women married 110 Pakistanis, 15 Burmese, 13 Americans, 10 Britons, seven Indians, five Thais, three Europeans and one Filipino, according to the data published by local daily Al Watan.
Family matters expert Hani Al Gamdi said there were no obstacles to Saudi women taking non-Saudi husbands as long as the marriage meets the religious requirements.
Under Islamic laws, Muslim women marry only Muslim men.
“Saudi families now accept that their daughters marry Gulf or Arab nationals instead of confining their choices to men from the same family or tribe,” he said.
Mohammad Saleh Sanaan, a marriage contractor, attributed the marriage of Saudi women with non-Saudi men to a “wish to live in a comfort zone that the husband can provide,”
He said that most of the families that accept their daughters marry Gulf nationals lived in the central or eastern provinces of the kingdom.