An Emirati father of six daughters has asked grooms for just a cup of Arabic coffee and a date as a dowry, in a country where pre-marriage payments can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A much-shared post on social media says the man from Al-Ain took the step in order to ease the financial burden on grooms. He said wedding costs in the UAE are too high, preventing many Emirati men from marrying – or pushing them toward marrying non-local women.
A decree by the late UAE President Sheikh Zayed caps dowry amounts at a maximum of around $5,400, with a further $8,100 put aside in case of divorce.
Yet many families pay significantly more — sometimes up to $200,000 for the dowry alone — under private arrangements, said Al Arabiya.
Similar concerns are raised over the costs of lavish weddings.
A wedding industry professional told media in 2012 that Emirati families spent $82,000 on a wedding on average, compared to Western expats who spent $20,000.
Less than two in ten people residing in the UAE are nationals.
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