A new beach resort by the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia will allow women who vacation there to wear bikinis. This came to light after Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled plans for the luxury resort, part of his bigger initiative to modernise the Saudi economy.
The project will turn 50 islands into luxury resorts and aims to attract domestic and foreign tourists. The government has said that the resort will be ‘governed by laws on par with international standards’.
Most foreign tourists will also be allowed to fly straight into the resort without a visa.
Even though the resort will be governed by international standards, the rules in Saudi Arabia remain oppressive towards women. Women are forced to cover themselves. They are not allowed to drive, and can even be jailed at the request of their male guardians for offences as simple as disobedience.
Prince Salman is heir to the throne and plans to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economy as per his Vision 2030.
The resort's construction will begin in 2019 and the first phase of the project will be completed by 2022, according to the announcement. The project hopes to host a million visitors a year by 2035.
It will be competition for the nearby Egyptian holiday beach resorts which have been affected by a number of attacks in the last few years, including the bombing of a Russian plane in 2015.