Things have changed, new freedoms are introduced – But only for foreigners!
In a move to entice foreign travellers, The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has recently approved a new regulation that allows unmarried couples to share a hotel accommodation. Another change lets women book a hotel room by themselves.
With the changes, authorities hope to draw in 100 million annual visits by 2030.
The Kingdom officially necessitates a strict interpretation of Islam, which forbids sex outside marriage. “All Saudi nationals are asked to show family ID or proof of relationship on checking into hotels,” the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage said in a statement. “This is not required of foreign tourists. All women, including Saudis, can book and stay in hotels alone, providing ID on check-in.”
Earlier, the Kingdom lifted off a ban on women that now allows them to drive last year. In August, women were granted new rights to travel abroad, ridding them off the strict guardianship system that assigns each woman a male relative to approve important decisions.