Will Women Be Allowed to Wear Bikinis in Saudi Arabia?
In his ambitious Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman announced plans for a beach resort, where special laws will allow women to wear bikinis instead of having to cover up. Knowing that foreign visitors are unlikely to come to beaches where women are forced to cover up in an abaya, the government said the resort will be “governed by laws on par with international standards”.
Alcohol is also banned in Saudi Arabia and it is unlikely to be served in the resort, but nothing is clear yet. Construction is set to begin in 2019 and the first phase of the project will be completed by 2022, according to the announcement. It hopes to host a million visitors a year by 2035.
The Saudi statement stressed that the project “will be an extremely safe and secure environment that will ensure the protection of all visitors in accordance with the highest international best practice”. Most foreigners will be able to fly straight into the tourism zone without a visa, another easing of Saudi law designed to make the resort more attractive.