Saudi bachelors have eyes on the prize...and it's NOT a wife

Published January 26th, 2014 - 06:03 GMT

A large number of young men in Makkah blamed the scarcity of jobs, customs and traditions and high cost of living as the main deterrent to marriage.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette interviewed a number of young men in the city and they talked about their dreams and problems.

Most acknowledged that they are waiting to get the right job that will help them realize their ambitions, as they do not want to remain dependent on their families.

Some were stuck in thankless jobs with no future, while many even said they felt ashamed taking money from their parents.

Abdulrahman said he wanted to get married but was unable to because the father of the girl he liked, asked for a very high dowry.

“I’ve lost interest in marriage despite my mother’s and brothers’ insistence.

I get a small salary that is barely enough to cover my needs. At times, I have to borrow money from others just so I can get by for the rest of the month.”

Issam Al-Zahrani said youths’ reluctance to marry is due to the scarcity of jobs.

“They wait until they get a job and are financially stable because marriage conditions become easier to meet this way,” he said.

But Safwan A-Tuwairqi said youths’ reluctance to marry is due to the high cost of living, dowry demands and the cost of the wedding itself.

“Providing housing, paying dowry and covering the costs of the entire wedding all falls on the guy. This prevents many young men from marrying and they wait years until their financial situation improves.”

Consultant at the Reconciliation Committee in Makkah, Amaal Abu Al-Ula, said the general reluctance among young men to marry, results in a situation where they become comfortable and accustomed to bachelorhood.

“There is little to encourage them to come out of bachelor status. Furthermore, many are afraid to bear responsibility and face family problems.

In many cases, marriage becomes a sort of fearful challenge,” she said while adding that families shouldn’t force their kids to adhere to old traditions such as marrying one’s first cousin.

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