DUBAI The number of marriages in Dubai has come down over the last couple of years, according to data released by the Dubai Statistics Centre. While a total of 5,090 marriages were registered in 2014, the number dropped to 4,851 in 2015 and 4,457 in 2016.
Residents say they are not exactly surprised.
Aamnah Hussain, marriage counselling psychologist at the German Neuroscience Centre in Dubai, says, “Cases where people are avoiding marriage usually have to do with their wanting to pursue higher studies, seeking more personal freedom or just waiting for the “right” person to come along.”
She said contrary to societal norms and beliefs, these youth cite studies that have found marriage having little effect on a person’s well-being.
Nita Maru, managing partner at TWS Legal Consultants, says delayed marriages are a sign of the times.
“If you look around in your social circle, you will find a lot of youngsters avoiding marriage or even the thought of it.”
According to her, “There are many factors that come in the way of a marriage such as uncertain jobs and income status, fear of unrealistic expectations post marriage and child-rearing issues.”
Maru said today’s youngsters are more vocal and ‘picky’ about what they want from a partner. “These days they don’t settle for someone their parents think is good enough, like it used to be 10-20 years ago. They are clear about who they may be able to live with and that is taking time to seal the deal.” Examples of bad marriages, with traumatic first-hand experiences sometimes, act as a deterrent. Ruchika Arneja, 28, who moved to Dubai two years ago after an ‘arranged’ marriage, says hers is a classic case of being “once-bitten-twice-shy”.
“I married a man who was my dad’s friend’s son. Little did I know that his family had issues with me working full time. Major issues crept up within 10 months of our marriage and I ended up filing for a divorce.
“Arranged marriages clearly don’t work anymore,” says the finance professional.
Evidently, the increasing cost of marriages is also resulting in delayed marriages.
Emirati Ibrahim Al Marzouqi, 29, says, “The demand for mahr has gone up in recent years and I need more time to save money for a good married life.”