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MBS’ New Plans For Red Sea Resort Draws Controversy

Photo: Middle East Eye

The plans of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), for a new luxury Red Sea resort with special laws, which allows women to wear bikini has been criticized, as it is opposed to the usual strict dress requirements in the country.

Many of them expressed their views on social media and urged Saudi Arabia to provide women with right, rather than allowing the swimwear.

Some even considered this as an insult to women, who are yet to have the basic rights in the country including freedom of movement and the right to drive.


The luxury resort which will be situated on the country’s northwest coast, is a part of an attempt to modernise the kingdom’s economy.

The government said that the resort will be “governed by laws on par with international standards”.

A government statement said the resort “will be an extremely safe and secure environment that will ensure the protection of all visitors in accordance with the highest international best practice”.


Other users referred to comments made by the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, who had suggested that Saudi supported secularism in the Middle East.

“If you ask UAE, Saudi, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain what kind of Middle East they want to see 10 years from now it will be fundamentally opposed to what Qatar wants to see,” Otaiba said.

“What we would like to see is more secular, stable, prosperous, empowered, strong governments.”

Saudi Arabia is yet to emerge as a hot tourist destination in spite of attractive beaches and archaeological sites, because of its strict dress codes and rules on alcohol and other conservative laws do not attract Western holiday makers.

Saudi Arabia has some of the world’s most repressive laws on women, being the only country in which women are not allowed to drive and travel without a male relative’s permission is banned.

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