Young Saudis are ‘choosing self-sufficiency over settling down’

Young Saudis are ‘choosing self-sufficiency over settling down’
The younger generation, facing a world of uncertainty and family pressure to marry early, have begun to rethink this dynamic. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 19 August 2020

Young Saudis are ‘choosing self-sufficiency over settling down’

Young Saudis are ‘choosing self-sufficiency over settling down’
  • Traditional marriage patterns changing in Saudi Arabia as men and women are focusing on finances
  • Everything from different spending habits and financial goals to one spouse making considerably more money than the other, causing a power struggle, can strain a marriage to breaking point

JEDDAH: With money pressures weighing heavily on many young Saudis, some are stepping away from the tradition of marrying young until they achieve financial independence.

Financial stability plays a key role in ensuring long-term social and psychological needs are met in marriage, experts say.
The younger generation, facing a world of uncertainty and family pressure to marry early, have begun to rethink this dynamic.
Research claims that waiting until 25 to marry reduces the chance of divorce by up to 50 percent.
Theresa DiDonato, a social psychologist, said: “The idea that getting married older is less predictive of divorce also makes sense: It’s likely that couples are more financially stable and have a clearer sense of self and goals.”
Shellie Warren, a life coach writing for Marriage.com, said money problems are the second-most common cause of divorce after infidelity.
“Everything from different spending habits and financial goals to one spouse making considerably more money than the other, causing a power struggle, can strain a marriage to breaking point,” said Warren.
Many Saudis are now embracing this idea, choosing self-fulfillment and sufficiency over settling down early.
Amjad Al-Harthi, an IT specialist, told Arab News: “Self-sufficiency, fulfillment, financial stability and independence are important to both genders. My significant other isn’t Aladdin’s lamp to fulfill my wishes. I fulfill them myself.” Finances are not the responsibility of the husband alone, she added.
“If he is pressured by those responsibilities, the relationship will be affected.”
Al-Harthi said the material needs of the young generation have increased dramatically. With women having access to greater career and education opportunities, their desire for self-fulfillment has increased.

FASTFACTS

• Financial stability plays a key role in ensuring long-term social and psychological needs are met in marriage.

• Research claims that waiting until 25 to marry reduces the chance of divorce by up to 50 percent.

On top of that, Al-Harthi’s exposure to women who did not work and others who did let her see the pros and cons, and helped her grow past her childlike idea of marriage. “Emotional and financial availability are important. Once you’ve created everything for yourself then you can settle down. You can be financially stable, but not emotionally available, and that’s a really dangerous trap to fall into,” she said.
Hanaa Al-Abdali, 28, said compatibility in her marriage set them up for success.
“Having similar principles, lifestyle and background matters. I work in a very demanding, stressful job and it’s somewhat prestigious. I don’t like to admit but it matters to me to have a partner from a similar circle.”


Al-Abdali, who works at a managing consultancy in Jeddah, said that when she was younger, financial stability did not concern her.
She said people could be delaying marriage because they are unable to find the right person or have yet to meet the financial cost.
“Marriage is expensive. Once you’re past the wedding and all the expenses that come with it, the new responsibilities of rent, bills and so on are costly. Part of the population, especially males, are unwilling to let go of their previous lifestyle — living in their family home, free of bills and responsibilities — because it’s just not worth it for them.
“They could also be worried that a woman will not marry if the husband is not of a certain financial status,” she added.
Waad Abdullah, a 25-year-old account manager at a medical equipment firm, said women feel less inclined to marry early because there are more opportunities for self-sufficiency.
“Women are more involved than previous generations. They know what they want and what they have. They’re aware of their need for an independent income and their own stability,” she told Arab News.
Abdullah said her peers say they have seen the mistakes made by older generations.
“We’ve learned to separate marriage from financial issues. This generation prefers to be financially stable because we’ve witnessed the world economy go up and down. We know that no one is safe, and that some emergencies need us to be aware of our savings and future planning.”
The coronavirus pandemic has only added to that sentiment, with lockdown pressures and financial woes playing a big role in how younger people weigh up financial decisions, save and prepare for emergencies.
“I refer to marriage as a project/institution. In order for it to succeed, it needs all the pillars to be fully realized.
“I cannot commit to this project without knowing I am fully capable of dealing with emergencies and supporting another person emotionally, intellectually, socially and financially. If you’re feeling vulnerable and cannot support yourself, how will you support someone else?” Abdullah said.
Marriage requires both partners’ involvement in expenses, and realistic plans to avoid conflict and misunderstanding, she added.
Hussam Jaber, an IT manager in his early 40s, said financial stability is crucial in marriage, even if both partners come from wealth.
“A man must be independent from his family before he can start his own and save up for a life with his wife.
“Honestly, in this age, wherever you go, women are working. Not to say that women who don’t work can’t get married, but if I were to get married, I wouldn’t mind my wife working. Not to support me, but for herself.”
Times have changed and life has become more financially demanding.
“When I started my first job, I used to fill up my car tank for SR15 ($4). Now you pay up to SR120. Real estate is expensive and if you want to buy a house you need over SR1 million. Paying for that alone would break my back,” Jaber said.


Saudi Arabia and France discuss digital transformation, space cooperation

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha met the French Ambassador for Digital Affairs Henri Verdier. (SPA)
Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha met the French Ambassador for Digital Affairs Henri Verdier. (SPA)
Updated 30 min 35 sec ago

Saudi Arabia and France discuss digital transformation, space cooperation

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha met the French Ambassador for Digital Affairs Henri Verdier. (SPA)
  • Al-Swaha met COO of French National Center for Space Studies to discuss potential for partnerships in the research and scientific fields

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah bin Amer Al-Swaha met the French Ambassador for Digital Affairs Henri Verdier in Paris on Monday.
Acting CEO of the Saudi Space Commission Dr. Mohammed Al-Tamimi and President of King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) Dr. Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki also attended the meeting, along with a number of Saudi and French officials.
The two parties spoke about enhancing bilateral cooperation between the Kingdom and France in technical and digital transformation, space and innovation.
The meeting outlined stimulating the growth of the digital economy and the innovation system. It discussed accelerating the adoption of modern technologies in the Middle East and North Africa by relying on the digital and logistical platform provided by the Kingdom as a hub connecting continents, in addition to the Saudi Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), which was recently inaugurated in Riyadh.
Al-Swaha, also the chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Space Commission, met Lionel Suchet, the chief operating officer of the French National Center for Space Studies, in Paris.
They discussed cooperation in the space sector and its technologies, including the potential for partnerships in the research and scientific fields.
They also talked about technical cooperation and ways to stimulate innovation and investment in the space sector, which is experiencing significant growth globally, along with the development of human capital and capacity building.
This meeting took place during a tour by Al-Swaha that includes visits to institutions and companies involved in the space sector in the UK and France. It aims to enhance the work of the Saudi Space Authority and its cooperation with international bodies specializing in space and its technologies.


Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made a phone call on Monday to the his Algerian counterpart Ramdane Lamamra, during which he congratulated him on assuming his post.
Prince Faisal said he looked forward to working with him in strengthening relations between the two countries, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.
During the call, they reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them to achieve the interests of both countries, in addition to discussing regional and international developments of common concern.


4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk
Updated 02 August 2021

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk
  • Initial legal measures have been taken against them and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution

RIYADH: Saudi authorities on Monday arrested four nationals for trying to distribute a large quantity of drugs.
“Security monitoring of the activities of criminal networks that promote narcotics resulted in the arrest of four citizens in the Qassim and Tabuk regions for promoting narcotic substances,” said Maj. Mohammed Al-Nujaidi, spokesman for the General Directorate of Narcotics Control.
He added that officials seized 75,855 amphetamine tablets, 38 kg of hashish, 9,160 pills subject to the regulation of medical circulation, 74 grams of shabu (methamphetamine), a firearm, ammunition and cash.
Al-Nujaidi said the initial legal measures have been taken against the four nationals, and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution.


Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 27.3m vaccines given to date

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 27.3m vaccines given to date

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
  • A total of 8,259 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far
  • 5 mosques reopened in 3 regions after being sterilized after some people tested positive for COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 10 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,063 new infections on Monday.

Of the new cases, 244 were recorded in Makkah, 217 in Riyadh, 152 in the Eastern Province, 108 in Asir, 88 in Jazan, 70  in Madinah, 45 in Najran, 44 in Hail, 20 in the Northern Borders region, 18 in Tabuk, 17 in Al-Baha, and five in Al-Jouf.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,063 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 527, people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 10,624 remain active and 1,3434 in critical condition.

Of the new cases, 244 were recorded in Makkah, 217 in Riyadh, 152 in the Eastern Province, 108 in Asir, 88 in Jazan, 70  in Madinah, 45 in Najran, 44 in Hail, 20 in the Northern Borders region, 18 in Tabuk, 17 in Al-Baha, and five in Al-Jouf.

The health ministry also announced that 1,620 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 527,877.
Over 27.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.

The ministry urged all students to quickly take the first dose of the vaccine so they may take the second dose before the start of the academic year.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened five mosques in three regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,928 within 177 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 199 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.24 million.


Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches
  • Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation

RIYADH: The Saudi Public Prosecution office has warned it will impose fines of up to SR500,000 ($133,323) on passengers breaching travel ban restrictions by boarding flights to countries hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation.

In a tweet on Sunday, officials added that severe punitive measures would be taken against travelers who failed to disclose they had visited any countries listed on the Kingdom’s COVID-19 travel ban list.