Women will be able to book hotel rooms independently, provided they have proof of their identity
9 October 2019| Last updated on 10 October 2019
Male and female tourists to Saudi Arabia will soon be able to book and share a hotel room regardless of marital status
After Saudi Arabia launched its first tourist visa, the kingdom's tourism authority has announced that regulations concerning men and women booking hotel rooms have been loosened.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) has recently lifted the restrictions on short-stay rentals for women, allowing them to secure accommodations without the permission of a male guardian (father, husband, or other relatives) or a "mahram" (a person whom the woman cannot marry).
Women looking to book a hotel stay while in Saudi Arabia will only need to provide their own identification papers such as a national identity card. However, if they do not possess any identification papers, female hotel guests must be accompanied by a male relative whose information is registered and can present his own identification at the hotel.
The hotel or short-stay facility must be linked with SCTH in order to provide accommodation to Saudi nationals, expats, foreign visitors, or tourists.
Saudi's growing tourism
The move joins other deep reforms made in the last year by Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who has also lifted the ban on movie theatres in the country, the ban on women driving in KSA, and women applying for official documents.
Saudi's first tourist visa was announced with the aim to develop and boost tourism, and move the kingdom's dependence on an oil economy. In line with this goal, several major recreational, holiday, and media projects have been launched including an entertainment city, the world's tallest rollercoaster with Six Flags, a holiday destination by the beautiful Red Sea, and more.