Saudi Arabia to allow women into sports stadiums from 2018
October 30, 2017

Turki Al-Asheikh, Chairman of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, on 29 October 2017 announced that Saudi women will now be able to attend sports events in stadiums starting from 2018.

In this regard, the authority will start the repair works at three main stadiums in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah to accommodate families starting in 2018. Restaurants, cafes and monitor screens will be set up inside the stadiums.

Though the country has several stadiums, but the government chose the biggest and most important ones. The stadiums are home to six teams in the Saudi Professional League and two of the stadiums included have the highest seating capacity in the kingdom.

The move is aimed at empowering and engaging women in the society as an integral part of the development process.

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Till now, Saudi Arabia barred women from entering sports stadiums due to strict rules on segregating males and females in public. In September 2017, the General Sports Authority allowed women to enter King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh for the first time to celebrate Saudi Arabia's National Day.

The announcement to allow women into sports stadiums comes just one month after Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman issued a decree allowing women to drive, ending a longstanding ban on female motorists in the ultra-conservative country.

All these changes support Saudi Arabia's “Vision 2030” plan for economic and social reforms.