Time: April 16, 2018
The super-conservative country is planning to open a Red Sea beach resort along its northwestern coast
PACKING a bikini for a beach holiday in Saudi Arabia has always been about as necessary as taking a puffa jacket to Mexico – until now.
The super-conservative country is planning to open a huge resort along its northwestern coast where women can wear whatever they like.
The Red Sea resort will be a place where strict laws on women’s dress and gender segregation could be relaxed.
Tourists also won’t need a visa to travel to the “semi-autonomous” destination, where activities like parachuting, trekking and rock climbing will be on offer.
The government said the area – which will stretch for 125 miles along the coastline – will be “governed by laws on par with international standards”.
It is hoped that the resort will transform the country into a tourism hotspot, much like Dubai has done, and dramatically increase the number of visitors to the Middle Eastern country.
Currently, few British holidaymakers head to Saudi Arabia, choosing the more relaxed Dubai – where you are allowed to wear bikinis on the beach instead.
The Red Sea project will include diving attractions and a nature reserve, with some areas resembling the luxury hotels, islands and lagoons of the Maldives.
Aimed at luxury and wellness travellers, it will also feature protected coral reefs and dormant volcanoes.
Visitors will also be able to spot rare wildlife like Arabian leopards and falcons at a nature reserve and see the ancient ruins of Mada’in Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage site.