SR 50,000 for Virgin, SR 30,000 for Divorcee – Dowry Limits fixed in Saudi Arabia

In accordance with a study conducted recently the issue of Spinsterhood in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has reached new heights at an alarmingly fast rate. The number of unmarried girls facing the issue of spinsterhood was around 1.5 million back in 2010, however, today the numbers have reached upwards of 4 million. Experts on this matter and social workers claim that these high figures are mainly due to the extremely high rate of dowry along with all the other high expenses which are related to the wedding.[irp]

The Governor of Makkah and Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has made a new proposal in which the rate of dowry has been fixed as per law. The rate of dowry for an unmarried woman has been set at SAR 50,000 while the rate of dowry for a divorcee is set at SAR 30,000. The official account of the Makkah region on the social networking platform Twitter stated that Prince Khaled has directed the city governors in the Makkah region to hold meetings to prepare a document which would mention the dowry amounts as for and how instructed.

The proposal has however sparked various reactions from inside the Saudi community. Some women were unhappy with this new proposal saying that this will allow men to take their marriage for granted.  An anonymous Saudi woman stated that this new proposal has made men think of marriage as a nonseries matter.

She added that if a high amount of dowry had been set then the man would have to work hard for that amount and thus would not even think of replacing his wife. A Saudi Citizen, Nada M, stated that instead of decreasing the amount for the dowry, a proposal to increase jobs for the youth should have been made which would have significantly improved the lifestyle of the people of Saudi Arabia.

Another female Saudi Citizen stated that some of the families do not even ask for a dowry since they want to find out what the groom would offer and how much he can pay. In this way, the family has time to think whether to accept or reject him. A Saudi man, Fahd A. stated that the new proposal from the governor was highly appreciated and added that the proposal shows that the authorities are concerned about these alarmingly high costs of marriage which are in turn making spinsterhood increase in the Kingdom at a rapid rate.[irp]

Personally, I believe that the dowry system, if it is to be set, should be based on the man’s income range. Like income tax, while SAR 50,000 might seem like a lot of money to some, it may not be that much of a significant amount to someone else; hence it makes sense to make the dowry system according to income levels. By what I have heard about marriage proposals in the Kingdom, the salary of the groom is spoken about as it is.

Source: Arab News

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