Saudi Arabia will now allow women to enter stadiums

Image via Alarabiya website

The Government of Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday that it will allow women to enter the stadiums and other sports facilities in the country starting 2018 as part of the country’s efforts towards a modern society.

Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority made the announcement Sunday, tweeting that preparations will begin to “accommodate families” in three stadiums in the major cities of Riyadh, Jiddah and Dammam.

Two of the stadiums, the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh and the King Abdullah Sports City in Jiddah, hold the highest seating capacity in the kingdom.

The decision is part of a plan by the crown prince, Mohamed bin Salmán, to introduce economic and social changes in the country. Last month, a royal decree announced that women will be able to drive starting June 2018.

Bin Salman himself promised a “moderate, open Islam” in the country, dominated by Wahhabism, an extremely conservative branch within Sunnism.

“We are going back to what we were, a country of moderate Islam that is open to all the religions of the world,” he said.