Saudi Arabia ends restrictions on women traveling: Royal Decree 

The decree is written in a gender-neutral manner, and does not state any restrictions specific to women. (Shutterstock)
Updated 02 August 2019

Saudi Arabia ends restrictions on women traveling: Royal Decree 

  • The amendments are “designed to elevate the status of Saudi women within our society, including granting them the right to apply for passports and travel independently”
  • The decree is written in a gender-neutral manner, and does not state any restrictions specific to women

JEDDAH: Saudi women no longer require a permission from a “male guardian” to travel or obtain a passport, a decree signed by King Salman bin Abdulaziz indicates. 

According to the document — seen and verified by Arab News — the decree, issued three days ago, clearly stresses the right of every Saudi citizen to obtain a passport, and limits the need for a guardian’s approval to minors only. 

The decree is written in a gender-neutral manner, and does not state any restrictions specific to women.

Since the launch of Saudi Vision 2030, the Saudi authorities have addressed all flaws in the system that prevented women from living their lives securely and free from unnecessary hassles.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US said she was “elated” to confirm the new changes to the country’s labor and civil law. 

Princess Reema bint Bandar said the amendments are “designed to elevate the status of Saudi women within our society, including granting them the right to apply for passports and travel independently.”

These developments have been a long time coming. From the inclusion of women in the consultative council to issuing driving licenses to women, our leadership has proved its unequivocal commitment to gender equality. 

“These new regulations are history in the making. They call for the equal engagement of women and men in our society. It is a holistic approach to gender equality that will unquestionably create real change for Saudi women,” she added.

“Women have always played an integral role in our country’s development, and they will continue to do so moving forward on equal footing with their male counterparts,” said the diplomat in a series of tweets early Friday. 

The issue was under discussion in the Shoura Council for quite some time. Dr. Eqbal Darandari, a member of the Shoura Council, had spoken about the necessity of revoking the requirement of a guardian’s permission for Saudi women to travel.

The Shoura Council member strongly felt this step was in the right direction as it tallied with the decree to allow women to drive. The two — in her opinion — were interminably connected.

“I am for justice, and there’s a lot of injustice against some women due to misconstrued traditions and practices, and limited religious outlooks, putting women in harm’s way as a result.”

A number of international media outlets reported earlier this year that the decision to remove all restrictions on women traveling was being discussed at the highest levels of government and was due to be implemented before the end of this year.


Umrah Forum and Exhibition kicks off on Monday

Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal. (SPA)
Updated 26 August 2019

Umrah Forum and Exhibition kicks off on Monday

  • The exhibition is expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors

JEDDAH: The Umrah Forum and Exhibition, organized by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, will commence on Monday in Jeddah under the sponsorship of Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal.
The event will last for three days at the Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Center.
Deputy Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Abdul Fattah Mashat said that the Umrah Forum and Exhibition will hold more than 22 workshops and training seminars carried out by pilgrim services experts. 160 companies and service operators in the sector will showcase their latest innovations and products offered to worshippers.
Mashat added that the Umrah Forum and Exhibition will involve partnership agreements between providers of logistic services and Umrah service companies.
He said that the event aims to meet the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan by providing the best services to pilgrims.
The exhibition is expected to attract more than 20,000 visitors.