KSA bans massage services in all but high-end venues

Venues that are permitted to provide massage services must obtain statutory licenses. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 02 September 2018

KSA bans massage services in all but high-end venues

  • Venues that are permitted to provide massage services need to obtain statutory licenses from relevant government agencies

JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) recently confirmed that in-house massage services have been banned in hotels, furnished apartments and other tourist accommodation, except those that have a four-star rating or higher.

“The commission has issued a circular for the operators of tourist accommodation facilities to ban massage services in such facilities, with the exception of five-star or four-star hotels and their spas, according to specific requirements and clear criteria in the fields of safety and discipline,” said SCTH spokesman Majed Alshadeed.

Venues that are permitted to provide massage services must obtain statutory licenses from the relevant government agencies to do so, he added.

Omar bin Abdul Aziz Al-Mubarak, the director-general of the general department of licensing at the SCTH, said the decision was based on tourism regulations, which stress the importance of organizing tourist facilities and services to ensure fair competition.

Any violations, which can be reported through the Tourism Communication Center, will be subject to the penalties stipulated in tourism regulations, he said. 


Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

Updated 21 August 2019

Fraud alert over cryptocurrency falsely linked to Saudi Arabia

  • The website of a cryptocurrency company is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal
  • The Singapore-based company uses the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree

JEDDAH: Fraudsters are trying to lure victims into investing in a “virtual currency” with false claims that it is linked to the Saudi riyal and will be used to finance key projects, the Saudi Ministry of Finance warned on Tuesday.

The website of a cryptocurrency company in Singapore is promoting what it calls the CryptoRiyal and SmartRiyal, using the Saudi emblem of two crossed swords and a palm tree. Its “ultimate goal” is to finance NEOM, the smart city and tourist destination being built in the north of the Kingdom, the company claims.

“Any use of the KSA name, national currency or national emblem by any entity for virtual or digital currencies marketing will be subject to legal action by the competent authorities in the Kingdom,” the ministry said on Tuesday.

The fraudsters were exploiting ignorance of how virtual currencies work, cryptocurrency expert Dr. Assad Rizq told Arab News.

“A lot of tricks can be played,” he said. “Some of these companies are not regulated, they have no assets, and even their prospectus is sometimes copied from other projects.

“They hype and pump their project so the price goes up. Inexpert investors, afraid of missing out, jump in, which spikes the price even higher. Then the owners sell up and make tons of money.

“Cryptocurrencies are a risky investment for two reasons. First, the sector is not yet fully regulated and a lot of projects use fake names and identities, such as countries’ names or flags, to manipulate investors.

“Second, you have to do your homework, learn about the technology. And if you still want to invest, consider your country’s rules and regulations.”