Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Marriage Guidance at the Mall

It's summer in Abu Dhabi and it's hot outside (over 45 degrees C today!) so one goes to the mall to relax after work, read a newspaper, chill with friends at Chocolat, or take the kids out to play (in the airconditioned play area). Now, people can also get marriage guidance at the mall...

The campaign, sponsored by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, is an attempt to reach people who might otherwise not seek support when faced with marriage or family problems.

The campaign, called “He has put between you affection and mercy”, a reference to a Quranic verse, aims to encourage parents, couples and those about to marry to seek professional guidance and counselling in a bid to reduce divorce rates. According to one survey published by the Marriage Fund, the country’s divorce rate has reached 40 per cent, the highest in the Arab world.

Also yesterday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, ordered that all new shopping centres in the emirate must have mosques and health clinics.

“We decided to do this in a mall in order to reach out to people who would normally be too bashful to enter an official building and ask for help,” said Yousra al Qaoud, the head of religious advisory at the department.

“When the place is comfortable and casual, people relax and open up, and it’s free including the coffee and tea."

I don't know about you but I'd be more embarrassed going to the mall for marriage counselling than going to say, a private clinic...  

 A recent survey by the department showed the most common cause of marital problems was infidelity.

“Especially online infidelity,” said Ms al Muhajeri, who will soon publish a book about online trends in Emirati society and their effect on the family.

“We’ve been hearing about it so much lately. Women especially come to us complaining that
their husband spends too much time chatting with women online, or that he visits pornographic sites.

You can read the rest of the article here.


  1. if he visits porny sounds maybe you can take that as a hint :D lol

    jus kiddin :D

    interesting tho... marriage counselling is always a good idea :)

  2. Lol, it's just that the whole concept is so strange...

  3. but if i read it properly i think its a very popular concept around the world !

  4. I suppose so... but I sort of wouldn't expect it in a Muslim/Arab country and most definitely not at the mall!

  5. haawww...

    why not ?

    are arab/muslim marriages perfect?

  6. lol, no, of course not! but the concept is still hush hush in most countries as opposed to being out in the open. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but this approach is well, unconventional!