The Saudi authorities are considering to remove the condition for women to accompanied by a male guardian for performing Hajj or Umrah.
The state-owned newspaper, Arab News, has quoted the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah saying that they are conducting studies by issuing visit visas for both tourism and the Umrah process. It stated that a positive outcome of the process might pave the way for women to visit Saudi Arabia without the need of a mahram (male guardian).
The initiative is part of the recent developments the Kingdom has introduced in the Hajj and Umrah sector.
Under the current law, women are not allowed to travel to the Kingdom without a male guardian. The law, however, enables any woman over 45 to travel with an organized tour group.
The restriction was recently relieved for tourists under the new visa regime. However, they are not allowed to visit the holy cities.
Under its new visa regime, the Kingdom has relaxed Abaya conditions for foreign travelers as well.
According to new rules, female foreign tourists in the country will no longer be required to wear all-covering robes or Abayas. However, the ban on alcoholic beverages remains intact.