Hefty wedding expenses force Saudis to go for foreign brides

The hefty wedding costs associated with marrying Saudi women prompted over 2,100 Saudi men to go hitched to non-Saudi women last year , according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Justice.

A copy of the study obtained by Arab News on Wednesday revealed that Yemeni women were the most popular with Saudi men, with 1,017 marriage contracts approved by Shariah courts across the Kingdom in 2009.

Higher dowries in Saudi Arabia and the difference in the standard of living between the countries are some of the factors behind the higher frequency of Yemeni women marrying Saudi men, according to the reserch.

For Saudis, marrying Yemini women is less expensive, the report added. There were 164 marriages involving Syrian women and Saudi men,145 involking Pakistani women and 104 involving Palestinian women.

Saudi males have also either married or searched for potential wives from other Asian  and Western countries , Germany,Canada , Spain and Indonesia, as well as Gulf states.

On the flipside , Saudi women marrying foreign men last year represented only 1.4 percent of marriage contracts concluded in the courts in the Kingdom, according to the study.

The research claimed that yemen together with a few othercountries have become a heaven for Arab menseekking their partners.

However, the rising numbers of Saudi men going to foreign countries to get married has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of Saudi spinsters, said the study.

There are an estimated 1.5 million unmarried women in Saudi Arabia at the moment.

The refusal of fathers to give their daughters away on the basis of ”tribal incompatibility” was another reason for many Saudi men seeking foreign wives, said the study.

The research also claimed some fathers would not allow their working daughters to marrybecause they wanted control over their salaries.

Moreover , the report says the system in Saudi Arabia does not allow women citizens to marry on their own initiative, whereas men have more freedom.

There are also a large number of famalies of  Yemeni origin who have Saudi pasports and have been living in Yemen, revealed the study.

Prominent sociologist Hamoud Al-Awdi has called on Arab countries , including the Kingdom, to limit dowries an make marriage easier for young men and women.

He said that a large number of marriages conducted in secracy have left homeless or in powerty over 1,500 women and children abandoned by Saudis in 19 countries across the world.

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