Saudi girls hike their dowry demands

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Dubai, Jul 18: It is getting tough for Saudi boys to get their bride of choice as the girls are putting stringent demands, sometimes unrealistic too, for marriage like Riyals 100,000, a car with a driver or even a villa in their name.

Saudi girls are turning wiser before wedlock demanding high dowries so that the growing divorce tendencies do not leave them in dire financial straits. They are also placing impracticable conditions in their marriage contracts so that it is more difficult to break up a marriage, the Saudi daily Al-Watan reported. The fact is that a Muslim woman has the right to set her terms in a marriage contract and that this right cannot be denied, Ahmed Al-Amri, marriage official and Imam and Khateeb of Al-Sa'adah Grand Mosque in Jeddah, told the paper.

But he cautioned that the unrealistic conditions could lead to problems between couples and eventually lead to divorce.

Some place a condition of SR 100,000 (Rs one million) as deferred dowry (mu'akhar sadaaq) to guarantee that their husbands do not leave them, said Mr Al-Amri.

Others ask for a villa in their name, an amount of money in their bank account, and a car with a driver. Hence only financially capable suitors will be able to agree to conditions.

Some women also put a condition that the man must not marry another woman although Allah has permitted polygamy for men, the Imam added.

Mr Al-Amri's job includes registering marriage contracts. He said the highest dowry he had registered was SR 1 million and the least was a copy of the Holy Quran.

He however added that some girls set ordinary terms and only sought a good married life.


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