Friday, 22 November, 2019

Saudi Arabia: Unmarried foreign couples can now share hotel rooms

The kingdom had previously only issued visas to Muslim pilgrims foreign workers and recently to spectators at sporting or cultural events File The kingdom had previously only issued visas to Muslim pilgrims foreign workers and recently to spectators at sporting or cultural events. SXC
Patty Aguilar | 08 October, 2019, 16:20

Unmarried foreign couples will now be allowed to rent hotel rooms together in Saudi Arabia as part of a new visa regime announced by the religiously conservative kingdom.

The move also includes Saudi women, in a break with previous regulations that demanded that they be accompanied by guardians who are related to them. Under which they are now allowed to stay in the hotel room.

The tourism authority said in a statement published on Twitter that Saudi women travelling alone would also be able to check into a hotel by presenting valid ID. As part of this move, the Muslim country has declared that tourists are no longer required to wear burqas, but they must wear decent clothes.

This comes following the Kingdom's opening up of its doors to worldwide tourists for the first time, with launching the electronic-tourist visa for 49 countries from September 27 onwards. Visitors will need to dress modestly, and alcohol remains banned.

The introduction of the Saudi E-Visa for 49 countries is an attempt to diversify the country's economy and to prepare it for a post-oil future.

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The kingdom, relatively closed off for decades, has in recent years relaxed strict social codes, including segregating men and women in public places.

The dominion ended a heavily criticised ban on females riding closing One year and in August granted females contemporary rights to hurry in a single other country, chipping away at a guardianship device that assigns every woman a male relative to approve crucial choices all over their lives.

It must be noted that only resident workers, business partners, and Muslim pilgrims with special visas to Mecca and Medina were allowed to visit the country till date, stated a report.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently made some substantial changes in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

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