Saudi Arabia said on Saturday it might matter penalties for 19 offenses associated with public decency, for example, immodest apparel and public displays of affection, since the Muslim kingdom opens to foreign tourists.
The Interior Ministry decision follows the launching of a visa program allowing holidaymakers out of 49 countries to see among the planet’s most closed-off nations. Until now, most people are Muslim pilgrims and business individuals.
Violations recorded in the new visa site also have littering, spitting, queue jumping, shooting photos and videos of individuals without consent and enjoying audio in prayer times.
“The regulations are supposed to make sure that tourists and visitors in the realm are mindful of the law concerning public behavior to ensure they comply with it,” a government press announcement said.
It said Saudi authorities had the sole responsibility for tracking offenses and imposing penalties, a remark that seemed to marginalize the kingdom’s spiritual anti-vice squads whose capability to pursue suspects or create arrests was suppressed in 2016.
The spiritual force, called the mutawa, utilized to make sure folks prayed five times per day consistent with Muslim teachings and women covered their heads. Also, they enforced bans on alcohol, music, gender-mixing and girls driving cars.
Alcohol stays prohibited, which might discourage some tourists. Also, it remains unclear if unmarried foreign women and men are allowed to share a hotel room.
However, the ban on women driving continues to be raised and public amusement, including once prohibited cinemas, has thrived. Many cafes and restaurants have eliminated physical barriers separating genders and no more stop serving clients at times.
Some girls now wear more vibrant abayas, the loose-fitting robes worn within their garments which are usually black, or no more wear the robes in any way.
The changes are seen at home and overseas as evidence of a revolutionary trend, although limitations stay and there have been no moves towards establishing a system that has maintained the ruling Al Saud family firmly in control of governmental power.
The police have arrested women’s rights activists for the last year amid a wider crackdown on dissent.