Saudi Arabia is known for its conservative image across the world. But under the Saudi Vision 2030, the country is aiming to modernize its society and bring major changes in its rules and regulations to shift its economy from oil to tourism by facilitating the tourists in the ultra-conservative society. From giving the women the authority to drive, and move across without abayas and hijab to having concerts and other fun activities including cultural, art and sports events in the country.
The new order from the higher authorities is in line with their aim of 2030. What is the new law? How modernize it will make Saudi Arabia? To know all about it in detail, read the article below.
No more separate doors for entrance in restaurants
According to the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MMRA), Restaurants in Saudi Arabia will no longer be obliged to designate separate entrances for families and single men. The decades-old segregation condition for licensing restaurants has been called off officially according to the reports of the country’s official news agency SPA, on Sunday, approved these different updates in the rules and regulations in different sectors.
The aim of calling off gender segregation in restaurants
This calling off of gender segregation is a part of updated technical regulations with respect to other activities in the kingdom such as wedding halls, cinemas, petrol stations, and private schools. The spokesperson of the ministry said,
“The move was part of several amendments that included 103 regulations, requirements, manuals, models, standards and applications for activities of all kinds. The aim is to improve the beneficiaries’ experience, increasing opportunities for investment and regulate urban development,”
The response of restaurant owners on this new law
- One of the owners of the soon-to-be-opened Chaoua coffee shop said,
“The ending of the requirement to have separate sections for males and families was an excellent decision, especially since we are facing a problem with increasing costs because we are obligated to make two counters for the two sections, and now with this amendment, the ministry has helped us to start working and reduce costs. This will benefit us because we will take advantage of the space, and the area will look better,”
- Another owner of a restaurant remarked on the amendment saying,
“It’s a waste of money to open two sections for males and families because this segregation will do nothing when both sides meet outside the restaurant’s doors. Family sections are usually crowded. You often can’t find a place to sit while male sections are always empty because they don’t go to restaurants as much as females,”
Al-Harbi observed the change in the society soon before the law was officially amended in the official website. According to her,
“I have entered several restaurants that had only one section and it was fine to sit and eat there.”
- The response of architects on the current relaxation
Abdulrahman Al-Harbi, an architect, said,
“A good designer can provide clever solutions to offer privacy for customers in different ways; it doesn’t have to be by blocking the place with big walls,”
- Thoughts of analysts on the amendment in the segregation law
Dareen Rajeh, who is a compliance analyst, said,
“Many people in Saudi Arabia needed to get used to the existence of both sexes in the same place without becoming confused or uncomfortable. We need to open our horizons and focus on more important issues.”
Source: Saudi Gazette