Update: Saudi Arabia is allowing foreign men and women to rent hotel rooms together without proving they are related, days after it launched a new tourist visa regime to attract holidaymakers.
Women, including Saudis, are also permitted to rent hotel rooms by themselves, in a break with previous regulations.
In an unprecedented move in a bid to boost tourism in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage has announced a new regulation: women, who arrive in Saudi Arabia for tourism, can stay in visitor accommodations without a Mahram, or male guardian.
The new directives, as reported in the Saudi Gazette, call for the woman to present her identity card or family register, while expat women must present their original passport at the tourism facility.
SCTH has asked hotels not to provide accommodation to women without ID, unless they are accompanied by a male relative, whose data must be registered.
The Kingdom recently launched a new visa regime for 49 countries to boost tourism.
- with inputs from Reuters