The Najiz portal of the Saudi Ministry of Justice, offering online marriage contracts, has attracted couples in Riyadh eager to tie the knot amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown.
The ministry revealed on Monday that 542 online marriage contracts had been filed via the portal since the suspension of work on March 16.
The service aims to expedite the process by facilitating the completion of marriage procedures and obtaining ministerial approval for couples without necessitating their physical presence in court. It also allows users to check medical examinations online without the need to physically visit a hospital and to record a marriage electronically in the Ministerial Agency of Civil Affairs.
The portal also gives beneficiaries the ability to make appointments electronically, prepare contract data and review the conditions before the appointment.
Abdul Aziz Mohammed welcomed this step. He considers his marriage contract to be enough of a wedding celebration and plans to move in with his new wife immediately.
“We weren’t planning on having a big wedding anyway, and this makes it easier on all of us. The money we would have spent on a wedding can go into savings instead, and no one will be at risk of catching the virus from our party,” he said.
“We both agreed that we could always have a big celebration on our first anniversary,” Mohammed added.
However, those wanting to celebrate their weddings with parties and gatherings will have to wait much longer, especially with no cure for COVID-19 in the foreseeable future.
Bride-to-be and university student Reem H. is taking no chances with the virus and postponing all celebrations until things settle down again.
“We were supposed to have a big engagement party a week after the actual lockdown. My fiancé’s family suggested holding a small party in our home with very close family and friends. However, my father was against it because of the government’s instructions and asked to postpone our engagement party until the coast is clear and the pandemic is over,” she said.
“We want to enjoy this momentous time with the people we love, knowing that we are all safe,” Reem added.