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United Arab Emirates Creates 'Marriage Fund' after Universities Show 60% of Women Unmarried

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A survey jointly undertaken by four universities in the United Arab Emirates has found that 60% of the country's women of marriageable age are single. Government officials have been disturbed by the figures and have established a marriage fund to encourage young men and women to wed. The fund gives USD 19000 to young couples provided both are citizens of the UAE and the man earns less than USD 2500 per month. But for one local woman money is not the most important issue. Local single Fadia: "What is the most important quality for a guy? Of course it's personality, and he should have vision and good character. I am not saying money is not important, because it is the basis of life. However, as one Arabic idiom goes, 'money is like water, which comes and goes'. So, personality counts the most." The low marriage rate is also partly attributable to Emirati men's preference for marrying foreign women. According to government statistics, around 20% of men in the UAE who married in 2010 chose foreign women as their brides. Local single Fadia: "We can say that this made things simpler because foreign women have lower requirements." The UAE's ruling body the Federal National Council is hoping its new programme of financial incentives will prove effective in the campaign to encourage more weddings in the Gulf emirates.
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