Saudi Arabia's luxury beach resort could allow women to wear bikinis

Saudi Arabia's luxury beach resort could allow women to wear bikinis

The stringent laws in the country prohibit women from driving, stepping out of their houses without a hijab, and applying for a passport without the permission of a male guardian.

The Telegraph report claimed that Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wants to modernise the Saudi economic structure, has constructed projects such as luxury beach resorts for women.

Construction, including a new airport, is set to begin in 2019, while the resort will be "governed by laws on par with worldwide standards", said the government.

An array of marine-oriented resort developments will allow for unparalleled scuba diving among stunning coral reefs.

Situated between the cities of Umluj and Al Wajh, "The Red Sea" aims to capitalize on the region's natural and cultural merits, as well as developing world class leisure and entertainment facilities, to become a destination of choice for as many as 1 million visitors per year in less than two decades.

"It will set new standards for sustainable development and bring about the next generation of luxury travel to put Saudi Arabia on the worldwide tourism map", the fund said.

Al-Qassabi said the project "is the first of its kind", adding that it "will provide great investment opportunities and open the way for partnerships with the world's leading companies in the tourism sector, boosting the national economy according to Vision 2030".

Even though some foreign investors have applauded the young prince, others are of the opinion that the plan is unlikely to succeed.

To ensure the highest standard of environmental conservation, the number of visitors annually will be capped and heritage sites will be restored.

With the hope that the resort will attract overseas visitors, the law which forces women to wear an abaya - a full-length robe - could be changed to allow women to wear bikinis instead of covering up their skin.

Prince Mohammed was elevated to the role of crown prince in June after his older uncle, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, was stripped of the role.

A spokesman for the public investment fund did not respond to a request for comment.

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