Saudi Arabia Abolishes Abaya Rule

Saudi Arabia Abolishes Abaya Rule

For the first time, Saudi Arabia has taken the step to open online visa applications to citizens of 49 countries. The ultra-conservative kingdom is starting to offer tourist visas for the first time in an effort to invite holiday-makers as part of it's push to diversify it's economy.  The move comes in the wake of the devastating attacks on it's oil production plants by Houthi rebels from Yemen.

The attacks had a major impact on global energy markets and raised fears of further conflict. It is a historic moment for the Saudi Kingdom and visitors are in for surprises. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has five UNESCO World Heritage sites, breathtaking natural beauty, rich bedouin heritage and a vibrant culture.

The kingdom said it will also ease dress code rules for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body shrouding ''abaya', a long robe that is mandatory for Saudi women to wear in public. Foreign women however, will be requested to wear 'modest' clothing.

Visas are currently restricted to expat workers, their dependents and Muslim pilgrims only, travelling to the Mecca and the Haj.  In a rare initiative last year, the kingdom issued temporary visas to visitors, to attend sports and tourism events in order to propel tourism.

For the first time, Saudi Arabia has taken the step to open online visa applications to citizens of 49 countries. The ultra-conservative kingdom is starting to offer tourist visas for the first time in an effort to invite holiday-makers as part of it's push to diversify it's economy.  The move comes in the wake of the devastating attacks on it's oil production plants by Houthi rebels from Yemen.

The attacks had a major impact on global energy markets and raised fears of further conflict. It is a historic moment for the Saudi Kingdom and visitors are in for surprises. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has five UNESCO World Heritage sites, breathtaking natural beauty, rich bedouin heritage and a vibrant culture.

The kingdom said it will also ease dress code rules for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body shrouding ''abaya', a long robe that is mandatory for Saudi women to wear in public. Foreign women however, will be requested to wear 'modest' clothing.

Visas are currently restricted to expat workers, their dependents and Muslim pilgrims only, travelling to the Mecca and the Haj.  In a rare initiative last year, the kingdom issued temporary visas to visitors, to attend sports and tourism events in order to propel tourism.

For the first time, Saudi Arabia has taken the step to open online visa applications to citizens of 49 countries. The ultra-conservative kingdom is starting to offer tourist visas for the first time in an effort to invite holiday-makers as part of it's push to diversify it's economy.  The move comes in the wake of the devastating attacks on it's oil production plants by Houthi rebels from Yemen.

The attacks had a major impact on global energy markets and raised fears of further conflict. It is a historic moment for the Saudi Kingdom and visitors are in for surprises. The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has five UNESCO World Heritage sites, breathtaking natural beauty, rich bedouin heritage and a vibrant culture.

The kingdom said it will also ease dress code rules for foreign women, allowing them to go without the body shrouding ''abaya', a long robe that is mandatory for Saudi women to wear in public. Foreign women however, will be requested to wear 'modest' clothing.

Visas are currently restricted to expat workers, their dependents and Muslim pilgrims only, travelling to the Mecca and the Haj.  In a rare initiative last year, the kingdom issued temporary visas to visitors, to attend sports and tourism events in order to propel tourism.