DUBAI // When she agreed to marry Ayman Al Saadi, Anoud Al Qahtani did not want expensive jewels or heaps of cash.
Instead, the Emirati bride wanted something far more valuable for her dowry. Mr Al Saadi agreed to pay for the cost of raising two orphans, a dowry that earned the couple an honour from the Dubai Courts this week.
"The money is not what is important in life," said Mrs Al Qahtani. "It comes and goes. Human relations are way more important. What could be better to start my married life but a deed of good?"
The couple were one of two honoured this week by the Dubai Courts for their small dowries, as part of a drive to reduce the burden of marriage.
The other couple's dowry was just Dh1.
"God blesses in such a dowry," said the bride AA, whose grandfather started her family tradition of asking only for a small sum.
"An inexpensive dowry does not make me a cheap bride. I feel very wealthy."
Mohammed Abdul Rahman, the head of the executive committee of the Dubai Courts' Club, called on parents to limit their spending on wedding ceremonies and concerts.
The highest allowed amount for a dowry is set at Dh50,000.