Saudi Arabia eases restrictions on women taking hotel rooms

The easing of stringent regulations governing social interactions in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom comes after Riyadh launched its first tourist visa scheme, as part of efforts to diversify the country’s oil-reliant economy.

6 October 2019 | 14:01

Source: Associated Press

  • Source: Associated Press
  • Last update: 6 October 2019 | 14:01

In this Oct. 23, 2018 file photo, Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, smiles as he attends the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (AP Photo)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Saudi Arabia’s tourism authority has issued new guidelines allowing women to rent hotel rooms without a male guardian’s presence, and foreign men and women to share a room without proof of marriage.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage posted the new requirements on Twitter Sunday.

The easing of stringent regulations governing social interactions in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom comes after Riyadh launched its first tourist visa scheme, as part of efforts to diversify the country’s oil-reliant economy.

Under the new regulations, women will be allowed to rent hotel rooms with proof of identity — an ID card for Saudi women, residency card for foreign residents or passport for tourists. The same would be required of foreign couples, without the need for them to present a marriage certificate.

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