Qatar urges couples to say "I do" with free weddings

Qataris increasingly reluctant to tie knot in face of rising costs, says study

Young Qataris have complained that it has become expensive to get married as rental rates at existing venues are very high

Young Qataris have complained that it has become expensive to get married as rental rates at existing venues are very high

Following concerns from young Qataris that the cost of getting married had become too expensive, the Doha government has announced it will begin construction of 13 multi-purpose halls which can be used by nationals to host weddings, with some offering facilities free of charge.

The Social Development Center (SDC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, unveiled ‘Project Riymas’, which plans to build and maintain eight multi-purpose halls for large-scale events, particularly weddings.

The first hall will be built in the Al Rafaa area within the next two months and is expected to be completed by 2014, according to the Qatar News Agency (QNA).

In addition, Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has said five additional halls will be built and made available to Qatari couples “free of charge”, according to Doha News.

The move comes after it was reported young Qataris had complained that it had become expensive to get married as rental rates at existing venues had become very high.

A report in The Peninsula newspaper said there was currently around 18 wedding halls in Qatar and average rents varied from QAR70, 000 (US$19,226) to QAR150,000 (US$41,200) .

‘Project Riymas’ came about following market research carried out by Tanween Consultancy, on behalf of SDC, which found there was a need to establish a total of eight venues over the next five years.

“By providing the community with alternative and affordable venues for large-scale events like weddings, Riymas aims to enhance the quality of the events sector in Qatar,” said Munther Al-Dawood, Manager, Projects and Investments at SDC.

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