Saudi Arabia has banned new cafés and beauty salons from being built near each other in a bid to reduce gender mixing, a local newspaper has reported.
New women’s hairdressing and beauty salons will not be allowed to open near cafés – typically only frequented by men – public parks and sporting stadiums, while new coffee shops will be banned from opening near women’s stores or having windows overlooking such shops, Arabic daily Ajel reported.
The conservative Islamic kingdom restricts interaction between unrelated men and women, particularly those who are not married.
Under King Abdullah, Saudi women have gradually been allowed to work in female stores such as lingerie shops and beauty salons, under strict rules that include a partition between male and female staff members’ working areas.
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