Saudi Arabia’s relaxation of regulations has a sting in its tail for expats

Published:  21 Oct at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Following Saudi Arabia’s easing up of some regulations affecting expats, it’s now cracking down on so-called public misbehaviour offences.

‘Give a little, take a little’ seems to be the new Saudi attitude towards foreign visitors and its expat community, with the introduction of new laws against public behaviour. Ten new rules are now in the statute books, with fines of up to $1,333 to be levied on non-compliance. Starting with physical or verbal acts of violence or any other acts which cause fear, damage or threats to public safety, and continuing with using offensive language, creating graffiti and demolishing public transport or property, the long list ends with ‘dressing respectfully’ – a legal requirement which tourists as well as expats might well find confusing to their extreme detriment.

The new regulations are to mainly apply to beaches, malls, parks, hotels and restaurants and are, according to the Saudi Cabinet, aimed at strengthening and upholding the identity, principles and values of Saudi society, although several recent anonymous forum posts seem to suggest they’re more about making the right noises whilst continuing with the status quo. Others suggest it’ll all blow over, with a few wondering how many tourists will unknowingly expose themselves to huge fines or even imprisonment or deportation.

Interestingly, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE are now planning a joint hosting bid for the FIFA U20 World Cup, a bid which, if successful, would result in many millions of football supporters descending on the three states, with at least a large proportion presumably misbehaving in their usual manner. Should the bid win, perhaps it's time for Saudi and its two co-applicants to consider building new, larger prisons on the complex….
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive