Concept of Internet Marriages Catching on Among Expats

RIYADH – Does cyber romance last only for the time you are online? Not so, according to the findings from a recent survey conducted by Arab News. Three Internet marriages have taken place recently after boys living in Riyadh met their prospective brides online and this eventually led them to tie the conjugal knot.

An Indian couple Anwar Sharif, 29, and Rugayya Abedin, 26, married recently after chatting on Internet. The couple met, while surfing on, which is a US-based matrimonial website especially made for individuals who are living in the Middle East, India, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States and some European countries.

“Special focus is on single Indian expatriates, but a number of Saudis and other nationals are also surfing this site,99 said Sharif, who is a software expert working for a private company here. “ makes it possible for members to communicate safely with matching profiles,” said Sharif.

Increasing numbers of singles in Saudi Arabia are surfing the Net with the potential of more marriages in store.

Syed Salem Raza Ali Rizvi, an Indian executive, found a boy for his sister on the Internet.’ “They recently married after talking frequently in the chatroom,” ‘ said Sajjad Ahmad, a friend of Saleem.

There is a growing trend in Internet marriage in Saudi Arabia. Saeed Mirza, a Pakistani bachelor, met his prospective wife on the Internet a couple of years back. Both of them are living in Riyadh.

Thousands of boys and girls in Saudi Arabia prefer to log on to, which is a Muslim matrimonial site.

“At you don’t just contact your future partner but you contact with style,” said one. Membership is free with a comprehensive search option and 100 percent anonymity with a multilingual option.

Most of the people contacted said that the marriages are largely successful. They said that at least, those who surf meet potential boyfriends or girlfriends.

Meetings take place in chatrooms first or in e-mails after meeting on websites. After a while the chat partners name a place and time to meet without exchanging phone numbers or real names.

“The big benefit of the Internet is that you are nameless, free to come and go with your real name concealed,” they said. It is a perfect environment for people to bond and to marry.

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