DOHA: A huge complex being built by the government, with at least five large marriage halls to be allotted to Qatari youths for free during their wedding, is nearing completion.
The upcoming complex on Al Rafa Road on way to Dukhan is expected to be ready next year. National Day revelry is held on Al Rafa Road every year.
The halls have a capacity of 500 people each and can be temporarily linked to be used for a large wedding. The centrally air-conditioned halls will be fully furnished. The complex will boast huge parking lots, and other facilities.
The upcoming complex has been designed in keeping with Qatari architecture. This is phase one of a cluster of such complexes the government has plans to build across the country.
The halls are being built in keeping with Emiri directives to help and encourage Qatari youth to marry. Young Qataris had long been complaining of back-breaking wedding expenses, much of which went on renting private marriage halls or those in star hotels. This prevented a large number of limited-income young Qataris from tying the knot. And those who nonetheless married were caught in bank debt traps and would spend years repaying the loans.
Financial strains sometimes led to marital discords and even divorce. Some families are so particular about the wedding venue that they tell the groom’s side to hold banquets in select places.
The complex housing the marriage halls will be spread over an area of 260,000 square metres.
So high are marriage hall rents (about a third of the total expense) that a civil society group last year announced plans to build some eight large wedding venues to be rented out to needy Qataris on reasonable charges.
The Social Development Centre (SDC) in June 2012 even said it would raise funds for the purpose from the Qatari community through an initial public offering (IPO). Qatari columnists have been raising the issue for quite some time saying that high marriage expenses were a social curse in their community.
Public representative body, the Central Municipal Council (CMC), also took up the matter and made recommendations to the civic ministry to build such facilities for Qatari youth.