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“It has a hard time accepting that women can compete in sports.”When Saudi Arabia sent female athletes to the Olympics for the first time, at London 2012, hardline clerics denounced the two competitors as “prostitutes”.
Women are not allowed to use public swimming pools available to men and can swim only in private ones or female-only gyms and spas.
Reuters editor Arlene Getz describes her experience of trying to use the gym and pool at an upmarket Riyadh hotel: “As a woman, I wasn’t even allowed to look at them (‘there are men in swimsuits there,’ a hotel staffer told me with horror) – let alone use them.”But even that is expected to change in the coming years, under the Crown Prince’s push to make Saudi Arabia more attractive to foreign visitors and investors.
You should respect local traditions, customs, laws and religions at all times and be aware of your actions to ensure that they do not offend, especially during the holy month of Ramadan or if you intend to visit religious areas.
It is forbidden to eat, drink or smoke in public during daylight hours during the month of Ramadan. In 2018, the holy month of Ramadan is expected to start on 15 May and finish on 14 June.
But this does not stop the religious police from harassing women for exposing what they consider to be too much flesh or wearing too much make-up.
Last year, a prominent cleric called for even more modesty, urging the nation’s “daughters” to avoid “any abaya that has any decorations… Two weeks later, a video circulated on social media showing an anonymous Saudi woman walking around a deserted fort north of Riyadh wearing a miniskirt, in seeming defiance of such strict regulations on women’s clothing.The move, forcefully resisted by the kingdom’s conservative religious authorities, “is part of a much-publicised liberalisation drive launched by powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he seeks to modernise the petro-state”, says The Daily Telegraph.Other reforms brought in by Bin Salman include the re-opening of public cinemas for the first time since the 1980s, the lifting of a ban on music concerts and plans to allow women into sports stadiums.Other more unusual restrictions on women’s lives include entering a cemetery and reading an uncensored fashion magazine.However, adds Dowd, everything in Saudi Arabia “operates on a sliding scale, depending on who you are, whom you know, whom you ask, whom you’re with, and where you are”. “Saudi Arabia is the world’s most gender-segregated nation, but amid changes now under way, multiple generations of women are debating how to be truly modern and truly Saudi,” says National Geographic.Part of his economic plan involves the development of tourist resorts along the Red Sea coast, says The Atlantic.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating