You wouldn’t believe it. but amongst arabs itself its very common and its not viewed as sexual. Latest travel advice for Saudi Arabia, ... Information on important laws and etiquette around dress codes is available to visitors on the Visit Saudi website. For decades the authorities enforced a strict dress code on women that required them to wear abayas in public, as well as a headscarf if they were Muslim. I’m going to share an incident that happened to me on 4th January 2019. Your email address will not be published. Disclosure: As a traveler, I use all the companies I recommend and you should know that, if you buy any service through any of these links, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Everywhere I went I felt extremely safe. Female visitors, as well as foreign residents holding a Saudi Arabia visa, are under prevailing laws, required to mandatorily have their respective sponsors meet all such visitors on arrival at a Saudi point of entry into the Kingdom. The new rule allows women over the age of 21 to apply for a passport without authorisation, as part of … It was a grey day in Manchester that ignited the first flames of Nouf Alosaimi's future career.. Having moved from her home in Saudi Arabia, she was in the UK studying tourism management. @esraarayes – Saudi Saudi Arabia got you covered with black, brown and red sand dunes! Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian's approval Read more The Saudi regime has relied on a narrow interpretation of walayah (guardianship) in Islamic theology to … WOMEN in Saudi Arabia are now able to freely travel abroad without male permission. You can read about a female reporter’s experience in Saudi Arabia here. While in the city, all you need is decent and long outerwear. What works in Riyadh or Jeddah won’t work everywhere. The northernmost part of the country has similarities to the Levant Arab countries, like Palestine and Jordan, while the southernmost part of the country resembles Yemen so much that it makes me feel like home! The strict segregation of the sexes and the need for a male chaperone leads to obvious limitations on freedom of movement. Whether it’s in the city or remote areas, unrelated men and women, basically, a group of mixed gender, can mingle and hang out whenever, and wherever. Your email address will not be published. When I was posting all the photos and videos from my visit to Saudi Arabia on my Instagram Stories, people were actually amazed at all the places I visited and the people I met, as they were so many miles away from all the stereotypes the media has been showing us during the last decade. Do we need to wear an abya? I travel around independently all the time and, definitely, without a guardian. , aside the ticket and iqama. The great way to store the documents is through the travel organizers while on the journey. Are banking hours restricted for women? I want to take my daughter now in case G forbid things change and we are unable to go. Female travel to Saudi Arabia is undeniably difficult and full of barriers that we are not used to in the West. By law, women must wear an abaya (full-length robe). Three policemen came to me one by one, asking where my guardian was and how could I travel without one. This summer, I am planning to take my 17 year old daughter on a trip to Saudi Arabia. This common misconception needs to be eradicated as soon as possible. In any case, if you wanna go to Saudi, you will have to subject to their rules. It was a grey day in Manchester that ignited the first flames of Nouf Alosaimi's future career.. Having moved from her home in Saudi Arabia, she was in the UK studying tourism management. Saudi Arabia announced that women are now eligible to organize tours across the Kingdom, a decision that is being hailed as part of the nation’s ongoing efforts to empower women by providing employment in the tourism sector and by allowing them to make their mark on this ever-growing industry. I have been to Egypt in 1989 and traveled with my son and daughter to Morocco in the summer of 2018. Solo Female Tips for Traveling to Saudi Arabia. The best thing to do is to just ignore them and continue doing your thing. Those images really triggered the interest of many travelers who would have never thought of going there, and that included many women as well. Women or men that go with women need to sit in the family section. Ideally, it's her husband. However, since Saudi is known for being an extremely patriarchal country, I received more questions than I had ever received before, some of them asking about safety, while others if it was even possible to go travel to Saudi Arabia as a woman alone. Tips and how to travel to Saudi Arabia in 2019. Do I need a special driver’s license to drive in Saudi Arabia? I am not saying they are close minded but it is a scene they are not used to. The ‘guardian thing’ is more of a cultural thing, not the law. The bizarre guardianship system is pervasive in Saudi Arabia. According to Omar Al Mubarak, the director general of licensing department of Saudi Arabia's Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, the tourist visa will be a single-entry visa that is valid for a maximum of 30 days . Read: How to find the right VPN for Saudi Arabia. Female visitors, as well as foreign residents holding a Saudi Arabia visa, are under prevailing laws, required to mandatorily have their respective sponsors meet all such visitors on arrival at a Saudi point of entry into the Kingdom. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a level 4 Travel Health Notice for Saudi Arabia due to COVID … With the recent series of measures aimed at empowering women and opening Saudi society, Saudi Arabia finds itself on the global map. I really appreciate your support :), Use Booking.com for hotels and guesthouses, Check on Hostelworld for for backpacker hostels, 1 – IATI Insurance (5% discount) – Cheapest travel insurance and for travelers above 70, 2 – True Traveller – Best backpacking insurance (only Europeans), Trekking equipment, books, etc, check on Amazon, If you want to know all the companies I use to plan my trips, check my travel resources page. But I don’t really know what would be the limits here. The regulation will be … There are many unexplored caves, unclimbed mountains, and stunning valleys! Yes, females can wear bikinis in Saudi when you are on a boat trip or at any of the private beaches. Zafigo’s Quick Guide to Riyadh for Women Travelling Alone or with Family and Friends. It’s that simple. Today both tourism and female business travel to Saudi Arabia is accepted. No part of this site may be reproduced without our written permission. Your age must be 25 or above to travel without a mahram. (CNN) Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be allowed to hold passports and travel abroad without the consent of a male … There are some risks for women traveling to Saudi Arabia, especially if they're not respecting their codes of morality, like wearing an abaya at all times. 1000 times yes. I got in one, slept comfortably throughout the journey until we reached the checkpoint to enter Riyadh. I am not sure about specific-visa requirements for Indians, but just follow the tips from the visa section, Hii solo female women in offbeat destinations! Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian's approval. With all of the conflicting information, I need to know if I am able to rent a car and drive between the two cities? In the past, international women travelers had to be accompanied by a man in public if they were under 45 years old. I have been to Jordan, and I found it quite normal, too. @redseacitizen – Saudi. The Saudi Arabia Ministry of Information confirmed the same in an official statement on Friday. @nirvana.abdul – Yemeni married to a Saudi Yes, we can. Seven European human rights ambassadors criticized Saudi Arabia on Sunday over the continued detention of at least five women's rights activists, including Loujain al … If you are a UK resident, you can get a tourist visa to perform Umrah. In fact, Saudi girls I met were telling me that one of the reasons they wouldn’t want to live elsewhere was because in Saudi they can go on the street in the middle of the night and feel safe, which isn’t a norm in other spots, US included. This week’s Women Beyond Borders episode is all about taking a dive into the unknown. Read: Places to visit in Saudi Arabia, a 15-day itinerary. You can also follow and contact her on Instagram and Facebook. 2 – I need to get a burqa aka ninja cover and a headscarf, During the questioning I mentioned in point 1, the policemen asked me to cover my hair and, of course, I did not cover my hair because, one, it’s, 3 – I need to be covered to avoid harassment. Now, if they see two White men holding hands in the city where a few Saudis know and are fully aware of western culture and how western culture views holding hands as ‘gay’, then it could raise some eyebrows. Everywhere I went I felt extremely safe. Saudi IS for EVERYONE. Saudi Arabia has issued new laws to allow women to obtain passports and travel abroad without consent from a male guardian. Harassment is an unfortunate worldwide issue that is specific to the person, not the country or culture. Being a woman, I need a male guardian to move around Saudi Your age must be 25 or above to travel without a mahram. Women in Saudi Arabia can now travel abroad without a male guardian's permission, royal decrees say. Indeed, this development will see a key shift in Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector, Moreover, I have not seen religious police in the last 2 years. It’s a personal choice. Mahrams also have a huge impact on how you get around as a female.Women also are not allowed to drive, so you will need to have a male companion if you are female. @saraomar_travels – Saudi However, in 2019, Saudi Arabia allowed women to travel abroad, register a divorce or a marriage, and apply for official documents without male guardian permission. Get a fair trial. Visas - All nationals are required to get a visa in order to enter Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is rightly considered one of the most difficult countries in which to travel if you're a woman by yourself. Furthermore, it would be impossible to find places to eat or sleep, as most restaurants outside of big towns are men-only affairs, and hotels in these areas will be reluctant to rent a room to a woman by herself. You’re speaking of the Alabama of Saudi Arabia. © 2020 Lonely Planet. (I have traveled extensively around the world, but for the purposes of this e-mail, only my trips to Moslem countries is important.) The religious police do not have any authority, hence they cannot act on anything without being accompanied by the officials. 1000 times yes. This is just the culture he has in his house. you may probably require the items below for the journey to Saudi Arabia 1. Some rules you need to follow when you travel to Saudi Arabia. As it is a Moslem country how easy can credit cards be used? This translates to a … I plan to stay with my daughter at an apartment hotel in Ridyah and Jetta so we can do our own cooking and ask for the hotel to arrange for day guides for us. Because we have been to Israel, it was impossible for us to travel to Saudi Arabia until now. Saudi Arabia will allow women to travel without permission from a male guardian, the government has announced, rolling back the country’s controversial guardianship laws … !” I get that a lot too. Here’s a … Are we allowed to go to the Riyadh zoo by ourselves? Women in Saudi Arabia will finally be allowed to hold passports and travel abroad without the consent of a male guardian, a significant loosening of the Kingdom's notorious restrictions on women. Again, this is a culture, not the law. kissing on the lips is a no-no – both between gays and straights. It is very significant to keep the travel documents organized well and put them in a safe place while travelling. Despite a legacy of human rights atrocities in Saudi Arabia, the controversial kingdom is making great strides to lure tourists. The traditions and cultures within the region itself are also very diverse. The worst one I get these days is someone coming up to me and slowly whispering “Mumken Snapchat?” which means “Can I have your Snapchat?”. The strict segregation of the sexes and the need for a male chaperone leads to obvious limitations on freedom of movement. The laws also grant the women the eligibility for the guardianship of minor children. I did not do anything. At this point only 4% of the workforce in Saudi Arabia is female. Don’t be surprised when strangers come up to you and ask “Where did you get the abaya from? You may also be interested in: Is it ethical to visit Saudi Arabia as a tourist? And there are much more than just the desert and the sea. It is common that your sponsor holds your passport during your stay. Update: Saudi Arabia is allowing foreign men and women to rent hotel rooms together without proving they are related, days after it launched a new tourist visa regime to attract holidaymakers. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you think you have a nice experience to tell! Hello,I am from India It’s HUGE! The guardian has duties to, and rights over, the woman in many aspects of civic life. Women in Saudi Arabia aged 21 or older do not need male permission any longer to apply for a passport or travel abroad independently. The testimony of a woman is only worth half a man’s in Saudi Arabia’s legal system. Lay of the land. Since I am a man, all my articles tend to be kind of male-oriented, not on purpose though, but it is just that, sometimes, I forget that the experience for women may be totally different. I’ll be alone for sure, do I need anything to present at the airport? Women Travellers. @blueabaya – Finnish married to a Saudi and living in Saudi While things are changing in the big cities in provincial areas it’s another matter. The new laws by Saudi Arabia are being implemented with hopes of bringing in 100 million tourists annually, both international and domestic, by 2030. It’s just too restrictive at the end of the day. Yes, a woman can go to Saudi Arabia alone for Umrah. The police insisted that was an issue, so they wanted to hand me in and report me. Seven European human rights ambassadors criticized Saudi Arabia on Sunday over the continued detention of at least five women's rights activists, including Loujain al … In a supermarket in Buraydah, and some sights, such as the zoo and the for. Things are opening up and changing, this is just the culture he has in his.. Common misconception needs to be accompanied by the officials another matter looked after enough to say that you... 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