Saudi women seek equal membership in sports clubs

Updated 25 March 2013
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Saudi women seek equal membership in sports clubs

The Youth Welfare Office is studying the issue of Saudi businesswomen supporting sports clubs and whether they should be given honorary or ordinary membership, according to Ahmed Rosie, director of the Youth Welfare Office in Jeddah.
There are no specific rules that prevent or allow women to be members in local sports clubs.
However, Rosie said that women should donate money until the issue is discussed properly.
“So far there is no specific system that prevents women from being sports club members in the country,” said Rosie. “There have never been women members. This means that women are entitled to provide the clubs with moral and financial support as donors. This will happen with the provision of certain services or facilities to the club without any official order, (and with the woman) knowing she does not have the right to obtain an honorary or regular membership.”
Lina Almaeena, cofounder and director of the Jeddah United Sports Company and captain of the Jeddah United basketball team, is optimistic about this news and believes donation is the first step forward on the issue.
“It’s not a gender issue,” Almaeena said. “I believe that anyone who is familiar with the game and the rules should qualify to be members of any club and not just football. There are a good number of women who are into sports and they should have the opportunity to invest and be part of the club.”
Women should wait for the privatization of all sports clubs, said Maher Bondakji, chairman of the board of directors of Al-Marabie and former candidate for the presidency of the Ittihad Saudi football team.
“There should be special and tailored rules for women sports club members that enables them to attend the meetings and visit the team. It is a great step for businesswomen and those women who have money in the bank.”
“To be honest our sports clubs need their opinions and suggestions because women have the right to join like men,” said Bondakji.
Hanan Al-Faisal, businesswoman and Al-Ahli football team fan, said: “This is a brilliant move for Saudi women and I believe many women would love to invest in their favorite clubs especially football teams. But why do they limit women to donate money only and not be decision makers.”


Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

Updated 23 May 2019
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Saudi Arabia, UAE to attend US-led Palestine investment meeting

  • The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting
  • Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the UAE will participate in a conference next month in Bahrain aimed at encouraging investment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as part of US President Donald Trump’s long–awaited Israel–Palestine peace plan. 

The Peace to Prosperity conference, to be hosted on June 25–26 in cooperation with the US, has already been rebuffed by Palestinian officials and business leaders, who want their political demands met by any proposed solution to the conflict.

The Palestine Liberation Organization and Islamist group Hamas have called for an Arab boycott of the meeting.

The Saudi minister of economy and planning, Mohammed bin Majid Al–Tuwaijri, will attend, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said Abu Dhabi would also send a delegation.

The Palestinian Authority has boycotted American peace efforts since late 2017, when Trump decided to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the latter as the capital of Israel, reversing decades of US policy.

The Trump administration has sought to enlist support from Arab governments.

But Saudi Arabia has assured Arab allies that it will not endorse any US plan that fails to meet key Palestinian demands, which include affirming East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, the right of return for refugees, and a freeze on Israeli settlement construction.