According to the National UAE, the Marriage Fund announced that marriage grants of more than Dh57 million (around $15 million) were given to more than 1,500 Emiratis in the first 6 months of this year.
According to data from the fund, 8 group marriages have occurred around the country as many as there were in all of 2012.
Habiba Eissa Al Hosani, deputy general manager of the Marriage Fund, thanked Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, for leading by example this year when members of his family participated in a group marriage.
Salem bin Huwaidan, a member of the Federal National Council from Sharjah, said group marriages have since been accepted by tribal leaders.
In March, Sheikh Dhiyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed, married the daughter of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region.
The 2nd royal wedding was between Sheikh Zayed bin Saeed bin Zayed and the daughter of Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed, the National Security Adviser.
A source at the fund said the royal families paid for the weddings in full, adding that a group wedding would usually cost more than Dh150,000 ($40,837). One of most expensive weddings they have seen cost more than Dh800,000 ($217,799).
However, wedding costs are declining now, as participants are eliminating buffets, following the example of the royal weddings.
“The Marriage Fund worked to reach its goals in the 20 years since it was formed, showing the importance of improving social attitude towards marriage and its problems and the importance of everyone working to reduce costs of marriage,” the fund said.
“The marriage fund aims to help Emiratis start a life away from debts and loans, and these weddings show the importance the leadership has placed on them.”