October 7, 2019

BABY STEPS: Saudi Arabia to allow foreign couples to rent hotel rooms. “Saudi women can rent hotel rooms and foreign unmarried couples can share a room as restrictions eased to boost tourism.”

The easing of stringent regulations governing social interactions comes after Riyadh launched its first tourist visa scheme, as part of efforts to open up the country to foreign visitors and diversify its oil-reliant economy.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage posted the new requirements on Twitter on Sunday, confirming a Friday report by the Saudi daily Okaz.

The commission said women will be allowed to rent hotel rooms with proof of identity – an ID card for Saudi women, residency card for foreign residents living in the kingdom or passport for tourists.

The same would be required of foreign couples, without the need for them to present a marriage certificate. Previously women needed permission from a male guardian to rent a hotel room.

Plus: “Unmarried Saudi couples will still need to provide proof of a marital relationship.”

To each other?

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