In UAE, marriage is seen as the key to national identity

Ola Galal; 17/7/09

Widad Samawi is a woman with a mission – to encourage Emiratis to marry and also urge local couples to try to rescue failing marriages in a country where just one in seven is a UAE native. This is because she also believes that getting married and staying married is a way of preserving national identity in the United Arab Emirates.Marriage in the Gulf state, with its majority expatriate population and myriad cultures, is key to keeping national identity alive, according to the Abu Dhabi Campaign for Social Cohesion, in which Samawi is a leading light. “The United Arab Emirates is now a global country,” said Samawi, chief executive of Al Tawasel Centre for Training and Consultancy which is co-organiser of the campaign along with several government bodies.