As part of the new visa scheme of Saudi Arabia to pave way for more tourists, foreign unmarried couples will now be allowed to rent hotel rooms.
This religiously conservative kingdom will also allow women to stay inside the hotel all by themselves as a way to soften Saudi Arabia’s image in the eyes of visitors.
It can be recalled that couples need to prove first that they are legally married because they can get a hotel room. The new adjustment aims to grow the tourism industry of the country.
Saudi Arabia is known as one of the strictest countries in the world. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aims to improve this image from being an ultra-conservative kingdom.
Additionally, women are given the authority to travel independently as the ban on female drivers finally ended. This way, women can travel without a male companion or permission.
Senior Travel editor at The Independent Simon Calder thinks that the unstiffening of visa regulations will lead to more people visiting the Kingdom.
“Vastly simplifying the bureaucracy of obtaining a visa should lead to an immediate surge in visitor numbers – initially, I imagine, from those with an interest in the Arab world and its heritage,” says Calder.