Saudi Arabia facilitates tourist accommodation for women

Saudi Arabia facilitates tourist accommodation for women
Saudi Arabia dispense with the mahram requirement

The SaudiCommission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH)in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has approved a number of amendments to the listof tourist accommodation facilities.

TheOfficial Gazette published the details of the decision of the Board of Directorsof the SCTH which contains amendments to the list of touristaccommodation facilities.

Oneof the most prominent amendments approved by SCTH was to allow women tolive without a mahram (an unmarriageable kin with whom marriage or sexualintercourse would be considered illegal in Islam, or people before whom hijabis not obligatory, or legal escorts of a woman during journey longer than 24hours), after presenting her original proof of identity.

The SCTH'sBoard of Directors approved amendments to the list by adding two paragraphs tothe Clause (Second: Requirements for the issuance of the license) of Article 4of the list of tourist accommodation facilities.

Theamendments provided for the licensee's commitment to connect directly with SCTHto provide it with data and information through the National Tourism MonitoringPlatform.

Itstipulates that the licensee shall respond to the SCTH upon requestingany additional information or data through any means it deems appropriate,within a maximum period of 48 hours from the time of its request.

The SCTH'sdecision included amending paragraph (22) of Article 20 of the list of touristaccommodation facilities.

Theamendments included, with regard to housing in tourist accommodationfacilities, the need to alert the applicant (man or woman) to show the originalproof of identity (national identity or family register of citizens, residenceof the resident, passport of foreign visitor or tourist).

Theamendments emphasized that women should not be refrained from housing without amahram, but after submitting the original proof of identity.

Theamendments indicated that the licensee must be obliged not to house a woman whodoes not have proof of identity unless she is accompanied by one of herrelatives.

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