DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has announced plans to build a “semi-autonomous” visa-free travel destination along its northwestern Red Sea coast.

The Red Sea area will include diving attractions and a nature reserve and there are suggestions that the kingdom’s strict rules on women’s veils and gender segregation could be waived in the tourist haven.

The resort area will be developed with seed capital from the country’s Public Investment Fund.

The fund said on Monday the project will be built along 200 kilometres of coastline and is tailored toward global luxury travellers and those seeking wellness travel, a genre of tourism associated with personal well-being and health.

The Saudi Commission for Tourism did not immediately respond to a request for more details on the rules.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2017

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