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Youth perform a traditional dance in a wedding ceremony in Doha.
DOHA: Banks and financial services companies giving special loans for marriages is one of the several factors behind the soaring costs of weddings in the Qatari community.
A marriage on an average costs half-a-million riyals and it is the groom or his family that must bear all expenses, Al Sharq reported yesterday.
In the 1990s, banks began the trend of disbursing ‘wedding’ loans to Qatari men and that pushed marriage costs up. Financial services firms joined the race later.
Marriage costs involve renting halls, paying dowry to the bride, buying expensive jewellery for her, hosting banquets and spending on the honeymoon for which dream destinations are Europe, the US or the Far East.
In a marriage, normally, two types of invitation cards are printed: ordinary and VIP — the latter costing anything between QR100 and QR500 apiece. These luxury cards are meant to be given to government dignitaries and others with high social status.
A card printer told the daily that families usually order 300 to 700 ordinary invitation cards for the marriage and every such card costs between QR5 and QR30. Obviously, only few VIP invitation cards are printed.
Earlier, Qatari weddings took place at homes, but the trend of renting halls began in the 1980s with halls being built exclusively for women. Men gathered in tents.
In the 1990s began the trend of men also using halls and that added to marriage costs. In the days gone by, the families of grooms and brides shared marriage costs but as days passed by and people became more affluent, bearing the entire expense of a wedding the sole responsibility of the groom or his family, said the daily. The Peninsula