Saudi Arabia facilitates tourist accommodation for women

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

The Official Gazette published the details of the decision of the Board of Directors of the SCTH which contains amendments to the list of tourist accommodation facilities.

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

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

The amendments provided for the licensee’s commitment to connect directly with SCTH to provide it with data and information through the National Tourism Monitoring Platform.

It stipulates that the licensee shall respond to the SCTH upon requesting any 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‘s decision included amending paragraph (22) of Article 20 of the list of tourist accommodation facilities.

The amendments included, with regard to housing in tourist accommodation facilities, the need to alert the applicant (man or woman) to show the original proof of identity (national identity or family register of citizens, residence of the resident, passport of foreign visitor or tourist).

The amendments emphasized that women should not be refrained from housing without a mahram, but after submitting the original proof of identity.

The amendments indicated that the licensee must be obliged not to house a woman who does not have proof of identity unless she is accompanied by one of her relatives.

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