In response to complaints from young people that getting married is just too expensive, Qatar plans to build a dozen large halls for weddings and other occasions in the next five years.
Yesterday, Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani commissioned five wedding halls to be built across Qatar for use by nationals “free of charge.”
Construction on the first hall, in the Al Rafaa area, is expected to commence within the next two months and be completed by 2014, QNA reports.
Separately, on Sunday, the Social Development Center announced “Project Riymas,” commissioning eight multi-purpose halls to be built “to suit the needs of local Qatari youth.”
Marriage rates among Qataris hit a 10-year low in 2010, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority, which cited higher levels of education among the female national population and the high cost of weddings as major factors.
The Peninsula reports:
Initiatives like Riymas enable SDC to further its main objective – promoting the role of the family unit in society, as well as maintaining its social and economic cohesion and stability. It also seeks to enhance the family role within society and improve its social and economic status, while providing job opportunities through developments and productive projects.
On Twitter, locals expressed gratitude for the halls, implying that they would use them when they become available.
Credit: Rendering of Al Rafaa hall courtesy of Mohammed Bin Ghanem