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.
Riyadh Season Boulevard zone opens with spectacular parade
The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date
Updated 18 October 2019
RIYADH: More than 1,500 performers and 25 floats took part in a parade and carnival on Thursday night that officially launched Riyadh Season’s Boulevard zone. The crowds that gathered for the fun-packed event were also treated to motorcycle displays, fireworks and other surprises.
The Boulevard lit up at 9 p.m. for the start of the 90-minute event, which featured some of the international artists who will perform as part of Riyadh Season. Afterwards, the zone’s food and drink outlets, outdoor cinema and fountain shows officially opened.
The audience watched the parade, performances and displays from specially constructed stands. Food trucks offered a selection of tasty snacks, and organizers also provided prayer rooms, toilets, first-aid stations and other facilities.
In addition to the opening-night festivities, the Boulevard zone, which covers 400,000 square meters, will host a wide range of entertainment options and activities for all ages, including the outdoor cinema, restaurants, and sports, music and theatrical events. It has three main venues: The 22,000-seat Mohammed Abdu Theater, the 6,000-seat Abu Bakr Salem Theater, and the 2,000-seat Baker Al-Sheddi Theater.
The parade is just one of more than 100 events featuring local, regional and international performers taking place during the Riyadh Season festival, which continues until mid-December at 12 zones across the city: the Boulevard; the Front; Riyadh Car Show; Winter Wonderland; Riyadh Stadiums; the Diplomatic Quarter; Al-Muraba’a; Al-Malaz; Wadi Namar; Nabd Al-Riyadh; Riyadh Safari; and Riyadh Sahara. It has been organized with the support of Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the General Entertainment Authority and president of Riyadh Season.
The ambitious 2019 Saudi Seasons initiative, the first of its kind in the region, was launched in February and includes 11 local seasons covering most parts of the Kingdom. Designed to promote the fledgling Saudi entertainment sector and boost tourism, it is attracting some of the biggest names in world entertainment.
The Riyadh parade is thought to be the biggest parade in Kingdom to date. It follows a folklore parade at the Mawtni (My Nation) cultural event in Yanbu to mark Saudi National Day this year, and a parade during the Jeddah Season festivities in the city’s Obhur district.