Saudi to set marriage dowry at Dh50,000

Saudi Arabia is planning to limit marriage dowries to SR50,000 (Dh50,000) following a surge in wedding expenses that led to a sharp rise in spinsters in the conservative Muslim Gulf Kingdom, newspapers reported on Wednesday.

Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Emir of the Western province of Makkah, said the new dowry would be approved by a Royal decree and asked tribal leaders through the country to meet and endorse the plan.

“The Prince said in a letter to the tribal leaders that they should meet and agree on the new dowries. He said that the plan came after a sharp rise in dowries, which resulted in a big increase in the number of spinster,” ‘Sabq’ daily said.

Citing official data, it said the number of spinsters in Saudi Arabia surged from around 1.5 million at the end of 2010 to more than four million in June this year.

Dowry, money paid by the groom to his bride under Islamic law, could exceed $1 million in some cases in Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Gulf countries.

The new dowry is for virgin brides, while SR30,000 (Dh30,000) will be fixed for brides who have lost their virginity in previous marriages, the report said.

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