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Saudi Arabia Implements New ‘Decency’ Rules As it Opens For Tourists

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Saudi Arabia has issued new regulations related to public decency as the country is now ready to welcome foreign tourists, Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif approved the new rules which identified 19 offenses as punishable.

For starters, both genders are required to dress modestly and refrain from displaying affection publicly, also using profane language or gestures is completely prohibited.

While female tourists aren’t required to wear abayas, they are expected to wear a modest clothing that covers their shoulders and knees in public.

Acquiring alcohol is completely forbidden, and that includes purchasing or consuming it, bringing alcohol or any drugs into the country will be considered as an illegal action.

Breaking any of these regulations will result in paying fines and so in order to avoid this, Saudi Arabia is encouraging tourists to learn all the public decency laws.

Violations listed on the new visa website include littering, spitting, queue jumping, taking photographs and videos of people without permission, and playing music at prayer times.

Fines range from SR50 ($13) to SR6,000.

“The regulations are meant to ensure that visitors and tourists in the Kingdom are aware of the law relating to public behavior so that they comply with it,” said a government media statement, adding that Saudi police are responsible of monitoring any kind of violations and to impose fines immediately.

Anyone harmed by a violation can file for a lawsuit against the offender and claim their rights, and anyone facing a penalty has also the right to file a complaint before the Public Decency Circuit at the Specialized Court (Board of Grievances).

 

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Travel

Second Partial Lifting on the Suspension of International Flights To Happen in November

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Ready to fly away to more countries soon? It has been announced that new international destinations will be available for traveler starting next month.

Saudi’s airline made the announcement on its official Twitter account, adding that the total number of international destinations for permitted travelers will rise to 33.

This is considered to be the second partial lifting of the suspension of international flights, after the first one that took place on September 15th that permitted traveling to 20 destinations in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.

Destinations now include more cities in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa and extend to Beirut, Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Milan, Delhi, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Kochi, Lahore, Multan, Mumbai and Peshawar.

As for the full lifting of the suspension, the Kingdom plans on ending all restrictions as of next year on air, land and sea transport. An official date will be announced in December.

 

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Saudi Airlines Resume Flights to 20 Destinations in Asia, Europe and Middle East

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As life is slowly returning back to normal and countries are trying to safely cope with the pandemic, Saudi airlines has resumed its international flights to 20 destinations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

This step comes after a suspension that lasted for seven months and a disruption that the pandemic has caused. The airline is now ready to fly again to Amman, Dubai, Tunis, Cairo, Alexandria, Khartoum, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Paris, Washington, DC, Islamabad, Jakarta, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur and Manila.

A partial resumption for international flights started since September 15th, following a six-month strict suspension.

According to the Interior Ministry, all restrictions on air, land and sea transport will end after the first of January 2021, a specific date is yet to be announced in December. The airline normally flies to more than 85 destinations worldwide.

The General Directorate of Passports (GDP) is calling on all Saudis and expats traveling from Saudi Arabia to comply with all safety regulations and health requirements.

The directorate said that those requirements and procedures are constantly updated and without prior notice.

To learn about the travel documents’ regulations and instructions, they can visit the GDP’s official website.

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Saudi Summer: Newest Campaign to Encourage Domestic Tourism

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The Saudi Tourism Authority has launched a new campaign called ‘Saudi Summer’ to boost domestic tourism and encourage Saudis to explore the wonders of the Kingdom.

This follows the lifting of lockdown restrictions that lasted months, because of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

The campaign comes after the STA’s extensive research that showed that 57% of Saudis are still worried about traveling by plane, while 85% are still planning to spend a 10-day holiday, and 78% showed interest in exploring the country.

The summer campaign encourages residents to explore the different stunning locations of the Kingdom, and discover its historical, natural and cultural treasures.

“The campaign also contributes to enhancing efforts by the Ministry of Tourism to revive the tourism sector, which was most affected by the repercussions of the coronavirus crisis,” said Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the STA.

The campaign just launched today and will run until September 30th, it will be promoting ten locations across the nation. including: Jeddah and KAEC; Abha; Tabuk; Khobar, Dammam and Ahsa; Al Baha; Al Taif; Yanbu, Umluj; and Riyadh.

“The tourism sector resumes its activities with a renewed spirit and great hopes for moving forward at an accelerated pace, to achieve our aspirations in harmony with Saudi Vision 2030, which seeks to pursue economic diversification, attract investments, increase revenues and create job opportunities for citizens,” the minister added.

 

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