Saudi stadiums open to women for first time

Saudi stadiums open to women for first time

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's ambitious project to modernise the Saudi society and boost its economy.

Three Saudi Arabian stadiums - the King Abdullah Stadium, the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, and Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam - have been outfitted with special family sections for women to sit during matches.

Lamya Khaled Nasser, a 32-year-old football fan from Jeddah, told AFP she was proud and looked forward to the match.

The Saudi government said last week women would be allowed to attend a second match on Saturday and a third next Thursday.

"I am very excited".

A woman sits behind the wheel at the show in Jeddah
Image Many of the cars on show are fuel-efficient

At the Jiddah stadium Friday, young Saudi women wearing bright orange vests over their abayas were deployed to help with the female crowds.

As the two teams al-Ahli and al-Batin faced each other in the city of Jeddah, women showed up to their first public sporting event in the Kingdom to support the sides with their spouses, children and friends.

To prepare for the change, the kingdom has designated "family sections" in the stands for women.

"Today, you brought happiness to every Saudi family and woman who attended the first game", said Reema Bandar Al-Saud, a deputy at the General Sports Authority and part of the Saudi Royal family was quoted as saying by CNN.

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