Women free to wear bikinis at Saudi Arabia Red Sea giga-project
Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project (now known as Red Sea) will not impose any restrictions on women within the destination, according to one of the project’s top travel chiefs.
Red Sea Global‘s senior travel trade director Loredana Pettinati hosted a briefing about the project in the UAE at SLS Dubai Hotel & Residences for a room of press, designers and architects.
After a description of the destination and how it will develop, Pettinati took questions from the crowd.
After answering questions about the Red Sea’s sustainability credentials she was asked by one of the people in the room about any of the current regulations in the Kingdom that might change to achieve the country’s tourism goals.
To answer the question, Pettinati said: “As a European person I can tell you, I feel very comfortable. There will not be restrictions for women. Across Saudi Arabia, we do not have to wear an abaya; women are allowed to drive. There will be no distinction between women and men entering any facility, anywhere.
“Staying in hotels, if you’re not married will not be a problem. We will not ask a man and woman booking a hotel if they’re married or not.
“You will be able to wear bikinis at the Red Sea.”
Saudi Red Sea Authority
In December 2021, a dedicated Saudi Red Sea Authority (SRSA) was formed to regulate the Red Sea. Chaired by Ahmed Al Khateeb, the Minister of Tourism, SRSA’s activities will play an important role in stimulating the creation of a “prosperous local tourism economy along Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coastline, while preserving and protecting the sea’s pristine environment”.
The Authority also puts the Red Sea in its own economic zone, a typical practice for giving areas different laws and regulations to the wider country.
Red Sea hotels
Upon completion in 2030, the site will host 50 hotels offering up to 8,000 hotel rooms and approximately 1,000 residential properties across 22 islands and six inland sites.
The Red Sea Project’s first phase of development is on track for completion by the end of 2023. This involves a total of 16 hotels set to offer 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites.
At the time of writing, 13 of the 16 hotels have been announced. They are:
Faena, The Red Sea
Nujama, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Miraval The Red Sea
Rosewood Red Sea
SLS Red Sea
The Red Sea EDITION
St. Regis The Red Sea
Jumeirah The Red Sea
Grand Hyatt The Red Sea
InterContinental Resort Red Sea
Raffles Red Sea
Fairmont Red Sea
Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea
Source: Hotelier Middle East