Riyadh: Conservative Muslim Kingdom Saudi Arabia is westernizing under Crown Prince Mohammed Salman’s leadership.
With the launch of new tourist visa regime to attract tourists, against the previous rules, the Kingdom has now allowed foreign men and women to rent hotel rooms together without proving they are related, HT reports.
Not only foreign nationals but women, including Saudis, are also permitted to rent hotel rooms by themselves.
This move appears to pave the way for unaccompanied women, unmarried foreign women to mingle and stay with male partners together in the country.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage 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.”
Meanwhile, Alcohol remains banned in the nation as Saudi Arabia threw open its doors last week to foreign tourists from 49 countries.
The kingdom now has reformed rules against the previous ones. It has also decreed that visitors need not wear all-covering black robes but should dress modestly.
The Muslim Kingdom had strict social codes which now have been deleted or reformed as a part of adopting western culture.
All the changes are part of de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ambitious economic and social reform agenda.
Until now, foreigners travelling to Saudi Arabia have been largely restricted to resident workers and their dependents, business travellers, and Muslim pilgrims who are given special visas to visit the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.