NAT 181215 Mass Wedding17
UAE traditional dance performance during a mass wedding in Sharjah Expo Center. Photo for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Gulf News/archive

Sharjah: Emirati wedding costs and expenses related to pre-wedding events will be surveyed in a new study in Sharjah covering UAE nationals aged 18 to 60, officials said on Sunday.

Sharjah’s Department of Statistics and Community Development (DSCD) has launched the study titled ‘Attitudes of Sharjah nationals towards spending on marriage’. It will be undertaken in collaboration with the Sharjah Consultative Council (SCC) and the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sharjah.

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Monthlong survey

For a duration of four weeks starting on Monday, DSCD will survey married and single citizens to uncover how couples are spending and celebrating on weddings in the emirate. As conventional traditions give way to more creative ways of tying the knot, the study will also measure the impact of these costs, including wedding loans, on the newly-weds and their families.

Aims of the study

The study aims to provide accurate data and analysis of the culture of weddings among the Emirati community of Sharjah and identify the main elements influencing and escalating costs while also studying its impact on families. The results of the study will be shared with the competent authorities to take the necessary measures and actions.

Role of partners

DSCD will design the survey, undertake data collection, and generate the results, while the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sharjah will study the outcomes and analyse the data. SCC will put forward recommendations and strategies that tie in with the goals of the study. DSCD will collect data by conducting phone calls to the target audience by means of an electronic survey in its call centre.

‘Rationalised spending culture’

DSCD chairman Shaikh Mohammad Bin Humaid Al Qasimi said: “This study has immense importance as it will give us clear indicators about the prevailing culture of spending on weddings which, in turn, will assist the competent authorities in formulating awareness and educational programmes on savings, and instill a culture of rationalised spending on weddings in the future. Furthermore, the study will lay the foundation for similar studies in future.”

Confidential information

He urged citizens to take part in the study and assist the department by providing accurate and comprehensive information that will help DSCD attain the goals of the study. He assured that all the information shared would remain confidential.

SCC chairperson Ali Mehd Al Suwaidi said the study is the latest in a series of initiatives by SCC that is aimed at understanding the views and opinions of the community on important social issues that impact Emirati society. He stated that the joint study would help identify citizens’ views and attitudes towards expenditure on wedding ceremonies and will inform awareness campaigns to cut down on extravagant celebrations to assist in building a cohesive and debt-free Emirati society.

‘Costs are a serious issue’

He noted that the rising cost of wedding celebrations is a serious issue forcing youth to defer or delay marriage, and may lead to stress, family problems, divorce, and higher rates of marriage with non-citizens. He added that through the study, SCC will work on educating citizens on the need to restrict extravagant celebrations, the importance of getting married at the right age and encouraging institutional intervention, including monitoring of wedding caterers.

Professor Hamid Al Naimiy, Chancellor, University of Sharjah, said: “We are keen on studying and analysing social issues to help decision-makers and institutions address them successfully to ensure comprehensive social development.”