Why are Saudi weddings so expensive?

Mostly Saudis enjoy coming together during good times and they want their wedding celebration to be memorable, and to bring joy to the bride and groom — and their guests as well.
Updated 03 February 2018
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Why are Saudi weddings so expensive?

JEDDAH: Saudis embarking on the journey of marriage are often concerned with the cost of it all. Wedding halls are expensive; a large number of guests means spending even more, not to mention the pressure from the need to throw an unforgettable party.
Weddings in Saudi are costly, and many associate that with the need for families to show off that they are better and richer than the rest; “the bigger your wedding is, the better.” Others succumb to peer pressure from their families, whether it be the groom or the bride’s, to satisfy societal expectations.
But mostly Saudis enjoy coming together during good times and they want their wedding celebration to be memorable, and to bring joy to the bride and groom — and their guests as well.
Ahmad Al-Saidlani, a financial analyst who was recently married, had much to say about his experience. “My initial budget was around SR100,000-120,000 ($26,664-$31,996), and that includes the wedding, dowry, pre-wedding celebration (melka), apartment rent, furniture and honeymoon expenses. It reality hit me later, of course, with many details that I couldn’t have calculated, and my marriage cost me more than SR200,000.”
“My wife-to-be and I had agreed to minimize our spending when it came to the celebration, because we could be spending that money building our life together instead.” The couple agreed on inviting those closest to them, amounting to 100 guests.
“That plan basically fell apart, however, when our families found out we had mutually agreed on cutting costs and that meant doing less for the wedding, inviting fewer relatives and friends, and not going all out with complementary details, with decoration, a singer, and the like.”
“The pressure she and I faced from both our families was extreme. My family wanted to celebrate and be able to invite many of our people; her family believed me to be controlling her and using her feelings for me to my advantage — and I understood that they only wanted the best for their daughter and for her to never feel lesser than her friends and siblings. But that took a complete toll on us, psychologically and financially, when all we wanted was to not end up drowning in debt as we’re just beginning to build the foundation of our life together.”
Amal Turkistani, retired mother of five, told Arab News: “I can assure you, at least in my case, it wasn’t to impress anybody. The point of celebrating lavishly was to show how happy I am for my daughter and to send her off lovingly. There are also societal aspects to keep in mind, of sharing that joy with others who have included me in their celebrations before.”
Nora Al-Nahi, an administrative assistant, spoke about the wedding her parents threw for her elder brother.
“My parents spent a fortune on his wedding, at least SR200,000; female guests topped 400 because my mom was overjoyed. They realized later on that a simpler wedding would’ve sufficed, and since then their extravagant wedding frenzy has ceased. My sisters and I agreed we’d never buy expensive dresses again — you end up never wearing them after that one night.”


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”