Tourist visa approval for women traveling alone indicative of Saudi progress, says SIS


KUALA LUMPUR: The Saudi government's amendment of its tourist visa policy to allow women to enter the country without a mahram (male chaperone) is proof that the country's administration is improving its stand on women's rights.

Sisters in Islam, in welcoming the move, said it is indicative of the Saudi government showing signs of progressing.

“Sisters in Islam welcomes the step taken by the Saudi Arabia Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) to allow women over 25-years-old to travel to Saudi Arabia alone on a tourist visa.

“Although an exception still applies to working, visit, Hajj and Umrah visas, the change in policy shows the Saudi Kingdom is progressing and allowing mobility for women to travel and visit the country. Before this, the country had restricted women from entering the country without a mahram or male or female companion,” a spokesman for the organisation said.

Yesterday, an Arab News report quoted a Saudi official as saying that single women over the age of 25, are able to travel to the country without a chaperone with the issuance of the tourist visa. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd