Saudi Arabia has lifted several restrictions in a bid to boost tourism in the country.
Women tourists would now be allowed to rent hotel rooms without the presence of a male guardian. Also, foreign men and women will be allowed to share a room without proof of marriage.
Saudi Arabia has eased several rules governing social interactions after launching its very first Tourist Visa. The country is making an effort to open up its gates to foreign tourists and diversify its economy, which is currently heavily reliant on oil.
The new rules were posted on Twitter by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage.
Female tourists will be able to rent hotel rooms with proof of identity. Ones who do not have an identity proof will need to be accompanied by a male guardian who has an identity proof.
Saudi Crown Prince, Mohd. Bin Salman has introduced several reforms in Saudi Arabia in the past year. Saudi Arabia no longer has a ban on cinemas. It is also lifted the ban on women driving.
Saudi Arabia recently introduced its Tourist Visa with the aim of increasing tourism. The kingdom hopes to push tourism’s contribution to GDP from the present 3% to 10%. During the launch of its Tourist Visa, the kingdom highlighted its UNESCO World Heritage sites, contemporary art sites and its natural sites like the Red Sea, deserts and mountains.
The new Tourist Visa is a multiple-entry visa with a validity of one year. You can stay for a maximum of 90 days in Saudi Arabia on the new Tourist Visa. Forty-nine countries are eligible to apply for the e-Visa or visa-on-arrival. Other countries may apply for the Tourist Visa at their nearest Saudi Embassy or Consulate.
As part of its reforms, the kingdom has also eased the strict dress code restrictions on female tourists. Female visitors do not need to wear the body-covering “Abaya”. However, they will still be required to dress modestly covering their knees and shoulders in public, as per The Guardian.
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