New Weekend Dates Leads to Rise in Saudi Wedding Costs

New Weekend Dates Leads to Rise in Saudi Wedding Costs
Fri 28-06-2013

According to Arab News, wedding halls in Saudi Arabia are charging Saudis extra for changing the dates of their weddings resulting from the new weekend.

The change has also resulted in many Saudis delaying their weddings.

Hanadi Al-Shareef was preparing for her wedding to fall on her birthday, which was on a weekend. "Now I have to change this very special date, which was not on a workday. This sudden change has disrupted my plans, especially now that we had paid the charges for renting the hall, and made flight reservations for some family members who live in the UAE, Riyadh and Cairo," she said.

"What made matters worse is that the hall owner refused to change our reservation to a Friday or Saturday. He insisted that if we want to change the date, we have to pay the difference," she said.

Muhammad Al-Mansour, a party contractor, told Arab News "most halls are usually reserved many months in advance, sometimes even a year in advance. So it is very difficult to find vacancies, especially since most people prefer weekends to guarantee larger numbers of attendees," he said.
"So of course there will be confusion. And some greedy wedding hall owners will jump at the opportunity to charge much higher fees," he added.

Ahmadain Abd Al-Haqq, a manager of a wedding-hall, said. "As soon as the news spread in the media, people started coming to us seeking a date change for their events. About 70 percent of them postponed their events, hoping to find a vacancy falling on a weekend," he said.
"So there were some problems. Some customers demanded the return of their down payment. Others demanded all the money they paid for the reservation," he said.

Asked about why they increased their fees, he said: "In the end this is a market. And markets are governed by the laws of supply and demand."