Saudi Arabia to finally allow establishment of female gyms

Competitive activities such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis are still banned


News Desk February 14, 2017
Princess Reema bint Bandar has announced the creation of female-only gyms in Saudi Arabia after a policy change which will allow people to apply for special licences . PHOTO: GETTY

Saudi Arabia is planning to grant licenses to women only gyms. According to reports, the target is to open gyms in every district to allow women easy access to recreational activities.

The move was announced by Princess Reema bint Bandar, who is the Vice President for women's affairs at the General Authority of Sports.

According to the policy, the gyms must focus on improving fitness and encouraging weight loss. Licenses will only be given to gyms that offer swimming, running and bodybuilding. Competitive activities such as football, volleyball, basketball and tennis are still banned.

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Speaking to Arab News, Princess Bandar said, "It is not my role to convince the society, but my role is limited to opening the doors for our girls to live a healthy lifestyle away from diseases that result from obesity and lack of movement."

The Labour, Rural Affairs and Commerce ministries will be involved in the process of establishing these gyms.

The Authority of Sports is also trying to find solutions with the Ministry of Commerce for the high cost of women's gyms. They plan on involving entreprenuers in a scheme known as 'micro business'.
This article first appeared in Arab News

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