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Saudi Arabia Seeks to Liberalize Kingdom under Prince Salman’s Rule

Saudi Arabia just opened a liquor store in the district of the diplomatic area. According to AP, “While restricted to non-Muslim diplomats, the store in Riyadh comes as Saudi Arabia’s assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman aims to make the kingdom a tourism and business destination as part of ambitious plans,” and that he has a plan for the transition of the crude oil export to the hot spot of the tourism and economic center.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia finally legalized women driving without male guardians, and since then thousands of women have begun seeking employment in the industry, including becoming mechanics or taxi drivers.

In 2019, Saudi women aged 21 and over were legally allowed to apply for a passport to travel abroad without male guardians. Before then Saudi women had to have a male guardian: husband, father, or other male relatives. In the same year, Saudi Arabia opened for tourism and welcomed tourists from around the globe.

In 2024, Saudi Arabia opened a liquor store for the diplomatic and tried to change its image from being seen as a backward ultraconservative to a more open and liberal state.

Nonetheless, many remain skeptical and see the reforms as being too little and too slow. Many wary eyes are focused on Saudi Arabia and its liberalization.

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