Tourists in Saudi Arabia won’t need to prove they’re married to book a hotel room together
Saudi Arabia is opening its doors for tourists, even as the holy cities of Mecca and Medina will remain restricted, and alcohol will still be banned.
But Singaporeans are invited, with each visa costing US$80 (S$111).
In case that doesn’t quite entice you to make holiday plans right away, the kingdom has another incentive.
No proof of marriage required
Men and women who visit Saudi Arabia will not have to prove they are married in order to rent the same hotel room together.
According to Reuters, women can also rent a room by themselves, in a break with previous regulations.
Sex outside of marriage is banned in the conservative country.
The Saudi Commission for Tourism and Natural Heritage said:
“All Saudi nationals are asked to show family ID or proof of relationship on checking into hotels. This is not required of foreign tourists. All women, including Saudis, can book and stay in hotels alone, providing ID on check-in.”
The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s effort to promote tourism in the kingdom as an alternate source of revenue, other than oil.
His revenue diversification efforts are part of an overall masterplan known as Vision 2030
The Crown Prince has loosened certain social restrictions, such as allowing women to drive and hosting professional wrestling shows.
However, his link to the murder of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the grinding war in Yemen has overshadowed his other policies.