A historic day for Saudi women, US presidential daughter Ivanka Trump says

US presidential daughter Ivanka Trump has congratulated Saudi women after King Salman’s order to allow them to drive. (Reuters)
Updated 27 September 2017
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A historic day for Saudi women, US presidential daughter Ivanka Trump says

DUBAI: US presidential daughter Ivanka Trump has congratulated Saudi Arabian women after King Salman issued an order allowing them to get behind the wheel.
“Today was a historic day for women in Saudi Arabia as a decree was announced to lift the ban on women drivers. #SaudiArabia,” Ivanka, who has 4.62 million followers, posted on Twitter.

King Salman’s decree orders the formation of a ministerial body to advise on the practicalities of the edict within 30 days and to ensure the full implementation of the order by June 2018.
The prohibition, long-considered as a social issue in the Kingdom, has been the center of extensive debate in government, media and social circles.
“This important step in the right direction! #SaudiArabia,” Ivanka tweeted.

Ivanka describes herself as an “advocate for the education & empowerment of women & girls” in her Twitter account.
UN-Secretary General Antonio Guterres, on his official Twitter account, also chimed in, and described the Kingdom’s decision to allow women as an “important step in the right direction.”


Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

Updated 16 June 2019
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Saudi sources deny ‘unsubstantiated’ reports of permitting alcohol

  • “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,”SCTH source tells Arab News
  • The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to allow the sale or public consumption of alcohol, a senior government source has told Arab News.

The official with access to relevant decision-makers categorically denied “unsubstantiated” media reports in some international and regional news outlets.

“If you read the fake news, you will notice it is all based on hearsay and tweets by accounts known to have a questionable agenda when talking about the Kingdom,” he said.

“As the country moves forward with its reform plans, we expect much speculation and attempts by critics to hold us back. And while people are allowed to speculate and criticize, their speculation should not be treated as the truth.”

A second source at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) also denied such reports. “The leadership has made it clear from day one; it is simply not happening,” he told Arab News. “I have not heard of any plans to allow alcohol in major cities, free zones or new projects.”

The SCTH is responsible for licensing and rating hotels and restaurants. Any plans for the sale or consumption of alcohol would have to go through the commission for implementation. 

Saudi Arabia has witnessed substantial social reforms over the past three years, such as the curbing of the previously unchecked power of the religious police, reopening cinemas and allowing women to drive.

There has also been a major shift on previously prohibited public entertainment and gender mixing. International artists including Mariah Carey, Yanni, Andrea Bocelli, Enrique Iglesias and Black Eyed Peas have all performed.

Tourism projects have included pop-up versions of international restaurants such as Signor Sassi, Nusr-Et and Nobu. None has served alcohol.

“Officials have repeatedly said all changes were and will always be in line with Islamic teachings and traditions,” the senior source told Arab News.