Opening up Restrictions: Summer 2018/Fall 2018, the new Saudi Vision 2030
Ladies allowed to drive! No more segregated eating areas! Saudi ladies can wear colors other than black!
We moved to Saudi a few months after the new decree was established that allow women the freedom to drive vehicles. There are some restrictions, however from then until now Summer 2020, there are many women drivers. Driving solo, with other ladies, with kids, with husbands. It is easy to see that the country has put more vehicles on the road. Before if women needed or wanted to go out, they would rely on a male relative, or a driver.
Segregated Seating: Singles Only—Family Only
What this meant:
Singles Only are areas just for men. It doesn’t mean only if you are single status in your life. If you are a married man out for lunch and unaccompanied by your family, you must use the Singles Only section. Generally men keep company with men.
Family Only areas are for families, and women who may be out alone or with female friends or relatives. Usually dads don’t go out just with the kids.
When we arrived, shopping and eating here was a little different from what we were used to. We needed to get used to “Singles Only” and “Family Only areas”. These segregated areas were in restaurants and stores, as well as public eating areas like mall food courts. Restaurants had separate entrances under those signs.
Stores in malls like lingerie or makeup stores will say “Family Only” even now. They want to discourage single men shopping in a ladies’ type store. It is more comfortable for single ladies and families.
Culture and Entertainment
There are now avenues for culture and entertainment that are new. Sporting events, music concerts and exercise are being promoted and encouraged in the major cities.
To read more about coming changes in the kingdom, KSA’s Vision 2030 Plan, you can access the link below to read about all of the achievements the country is working to attain by 2030.