Bridegrooms and brides are ready for their big day. The wedding preparations are in full swing, but there's a major hitch — where to host the ceremony?
Many wedding plans have gone awry this summer due to the unavailability of wedding halls. The demand for halls is due to the fact that most people prefer to conduct weddings, birthdays and other ceremonies during this season. There is no chance for getting a reservation in one of the three wedding venues existing in Doha Municipality. Accordingly, people are forced to book space in hotels which hike hall rentals during the wedding season to maximise profits.
"Almost 70 percent of the total cost of a marriage is spent on clothes, jewellery and banquet," said Mohamed Al Sulaiti. "Rentals of wedding halls have shot up from just QR25,000 some years ago to QR90,000. Owners of halls usually charge special rates for holding the wedding parties on dates like 08/08/2008 or 09/09/2009. Hassan Khalil, another citizen, feels that most people are becoming ostentatious as they are keen to host wedding parties in luxury hotels instead of doing it in simple halls charging reasonable prices. Middleclass families prefer to host their wedding parties in tents mounted in public areas and this costs QR20,000
Khalid Al Rumaihi said that the high rentals of halls forces many youth to either postpone their marriage plans or take huge loans. "We urge government intervention to solve this problem," said Al Rumaihi.
This issue was raised in the Central Municipal Council (CMC) for discussion last year. Saad bin Ali Al Nuaimi, CMC member representing Al Shamal constituency, said that CMC members agreed to the need of lobbying for more wedding halls in Doha and its outskirts.
Al Nuaimi added that renting a hall costs tens of thousands of riyals. And with hotels more or less dominating the market, expenses mount when catering and other aspects are taken into consideration.
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