Essay: The Marriage Fund in the UAE

This is a cause and effect essay on the United Arab Emirate’s Marriage Fund, which is a special fund the government provides to young Emirati couples who want to marry.

What the reasons behind the establishment of the the UAE Marriage Fund, and what have been its effects?

Getting married in the UAE can be very expensive. To help solve this problem, the Marriage Fund organization was set up by the UAE government to help Emiratis get married and to try to reduce the number of marriages to non-nationals. This essay will describe why it was set up and how effective it has been.

There are two main reasons why the government decided to spend money on weddings in the UAE. The first reason is expense. A typical wedding can cost hundreds of thousands of dirhams for receptions, jewellery, wardrobe, and money paid to the bride’s family. As a result, many young couples are in debt, or have huge bank loans, and this in turn can lead to stress and strain in the marriage. At one time, almost 80% of loans in the UAE were for marriage expenses.

More worrying for the government than the expense was the fact that Emirati men were marrying non-nationals. This was because of lower costs, but it lead to cultural problems within the marriage. Many Emiratis felt such marriages weakened their society.

The Marriage Fund has been quite effective. Over 44,000 weddings have taken place since 1992. The percentage of marriage to non-nationals dropped from 64% to 26%, which has also decreased the number of unmarried Emirati women. More importantly, marriages have started more securely, without the pressure of huge borrowings.

Overall, although weddings are still expensive affairs in the UAE, the Marriage Fund has been very successful in reducing costs and in strengthening traditional family bonds.

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