No more gender segregated entrances in Saudi Restaurants, but the new rule not “Compulsory” says Ministry

Riyadh – Saudi ministry of rural affairs announced on Sunday that restautants, eateries and cafes would no longer require gender segregated entrances, however the new rule is not compulsory and the owners have freedom to choose what they wish.

It was mandatory in Saudi Arabia for the restaurants, eateries, cafes, and conference halls to have gender segregated entrances, with “Single Only” and “Family Only” sections.

However, with the new rule the owners are provided ease of choice to keep segregated entrances or single entrance, a spokesman for the ministry told London-based newsagency Reuters.

Dr. Khaled Al-Jammaz, undersecretary for technical affairs at the ministry said that, “the move was part of a number of amendments that included 103 regulations, requirements, manuals, models, standards and applications for acitivities of all kinds.”

Mayor of Makkah Mohammed Abdullah Al-Quwihis told local media that, “the amendments are aimed to make life easier for investors, citizens and entrepreneurs.”

“They will be positive and will ease many conditions and restrictions, but they wil not affect the core of the work in terms of public health and food, and this decision will incease the flow of investment and the number and vareity of restaurants,” Al-Quwaihis said.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman promised to bring back Saudi Arabia to the period what it was before 1979, where men, women and children had freedom and liberty. Hence, the Kingdom is currently going through a major cultural shift which aims at easing cultural norms while abiding by the moderate Islamic teachings.

Image courtesy Walls Street Journal.