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Saudi Arabia Allows Women to Stay in Hotel Rooms by Themselves

Saudi Arabia Allows Women to Stay in Hotel Rooms by Themselves

Saturday, 5 October, 2019 - 08:00
A car passes in front of the main entrance of Al Koot Heritage Hotel in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, July 8, 2018. (Reuters)

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage announced Friday that women can rent hotel rooms by themselves.

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.

The Commission confirmed a report on Friday by Arabic-language newspaper Okaz, adding: “All Saudi nationals are asked to show family ID or proof of relationship on checking into hotels. This is not required of foreign tourists.”

“All women, including Saudis, can book and stay in hotels alone, providing ID on check-in.”

The Kingdom threw open its doors last week to foreign tourists from 49 countries as it tries to grow that sector and diversify its economy away from oil exports.

As part of the move, it decreed that visitors need not wear all-covering black robes but should dress modestly.

Authorities are aiming for 100 million annual visits by 2030.

Until now, foreigners traveling to Saudi Arabia have been largely restricted to resident workers and their dependents, business travelers, and Muslim pilgrims who are given special visas to visit the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

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