Saudi sources: Miniskirt model Kholoud released without charges

Model Kholoud from the controversial Snapchat clip. (video grab)
Updated 21 July 2017
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Saudi sources: Miniskirt model Kholoud released without charges

JEDDAH: A 27-year-old aspiring model from Saudi Arabia who was taken into police custody on Tuesday has been released.
The release of the woman — identified only as Kholoud — was confirmed by a statement issued on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Information and by a source at the Riyadh police that Arab News spoke to.
She was released on the same day she was arrested and a spokesperson on behalf of the police claimed she was never detained but merely brought in for questioning.
A statement released by Saudi Arabia's Center for International Communication, which is overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Information, confirmed that the police released the woman after several hours of questioning and the video was published without her knowledge.
The story developed over the past few days, when a short video of the woman wearing a black miniskirt and sleeveless crop top in a public Saudi historical landmark went viral. Women residing in Saudi Arabia are expected to wear a loose, black, full-length garment known as an abaya whenever they are in a public place.

Within hours of the video going viral, a police investigation was initiated, and early on Tuesday the Riyadh Police issued a statement indicating that the woman had been identified and questioned. The story made international headlines after it was first reported in local daily Okaz.
On social media many Saudis posted messages of support to the woman, saying that there was nothing wrong with what she had done, particularly since she had not offended anyone, since there was nobody at the site when she visited.
Others took a more conservative view, calling for the woman to be punished for promoting sin, stating that her actions violate the Kingdom’s cultural and religious traditions.


Saudi Arabia plays host to major Indonesian tourism campaign

Updated 15 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia plays host to major Indonesian tourism campaign

  • More than 165,000 Saudis visited the Southeast Asian country in 2018, and officials there are aiming to increase that number to 200,000 as part of a global visitor target of 20 million for this year
  • Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands famed for their beaches, wildlife and natural beauty

JEDDAH: Tourism chiefs have been taking part in a major five-day Saudi campaign to help promote Indonesia as a top international holiday destination.
More than 165,000 Saudis visited the Southeast Asian country in 2018, and officials there are aiming to increase that number to 200,000 as part of a global visitor target of 20 million for this year.
From Feb. 11-15, the Indonesian Tourism Ministry has been working with its Consulate General in Jeddah to run a series of events in the Kingdom in a bid to boost the country’s tourist attractions.
Seventeen agencies representing Indonesia’s hotel, airline and travel industries participated in a business get-together with local Saudi tour operators, and around 70 prominent media figures were invited to the Pullman Hotel in Jeddah for a day of briefings on key Indonesian visitor destinations.
The last three days of the promotional program saw the Tourism Ministry and officials from top local destinations, take part in the Jeddah International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (JTTX), held at the Hilton Hotel.
Indonesia was one of the main sponsors of the event which has now been running for nine years.
Mohamad Hery Saripudin, the consul-general of Indonesia in Jeddah, said numerous innovative promotional breakthroughs had been made toward attracting more Saudi tourists to his country.
Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands famed for their beaches, wildlife and natural beauty.
Garuda, the national airline of Indonesia, has helped with the running of familiarization trips for journalists to several tourist hotspots, and other initiatives have seen free Indonesian language courses being offered to Saudis and expatriates.
R. Sigit Witjaksono, the director of tourism marketing for South and Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa, said Indonesia aimed to play host to 20 million visitors from throughout the world during 2019.
He noted that Indonesia welcomed 165,862 Saudi visitors in 2018, the highest total of any country in the Middle East.
As well as its natural delights, Indonesia is Islam-friendly, having thousands of mosques and offering products which are Shariah-compliant.