The man who was not named accepted the challenge and after his friends went ahead inside, he followed them riding a bicycle into the hall where relatives and guests were waiting for the start of the formal ceremony Image Credit: Credit: youtube

Manama: A Saudi man won the challenge of his life when he accepted to ride a bicycle into the hall where his family and new in-laws would witness him sign his marriage contract.

Friends told the prospective groom that they were willing to pay the entire dowry he is scheduled to present to his bride if he accepted to ride a bicycle into the hall instead of walking with them.

The man who was not named accepted the challenge and after his friends went ahead inside, he followed them riding a bicycle into the hall where relatives and guests were waiting for the start of the formal ceremony, Kuwaiti daily Al Anba reported on Tuesday.

Lifting his traditional thobe to be able to move his legs easily and making sure his ghutra (headdress) did not obstruct his view, he pedalled the bicycle for two rounds before exiting from another door under the wide-open eyes of some guests and the loud laughter of his friends who recorded the scene on their mobile cameras.

Comments on social networks where the video clip was widely circulated were mostly sympathetic with the young man, with many praising him for his courage and sense of humour while solving the often challenging issue of the dowry.

High costs of dowries and ceremonies in prestige-conscious Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have often delayed marriages among young people in the early years of their professional lives.

Campaigns launched by the state and religious groups to lower costs and adopt more sensible approaches by families have often been resisted by deep-rooted social traditions.