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In a shift, Saudi Arabia to 'welcome' LGBTQ tourists

The Saudi Tourism Authority said that authorities do not ask for personal details in this regard. The position follows social changes the kingdom is undergoing, though it is difficult to determine the exact status of LGBTQ people in the country.
 Protesters hold a giant rainbow flag as they march along Oxford St ahead of the pontifical requiem Mass for Cardinal George Pell on February 02, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. Cardinal George Pell, a former senior Catholic Church official who was accused of sexual violence in Australia and then cleared, died on 10 January 2023 aged 81 years old. His body was returned to Sydney after his funeral at the Vatican and will lie in state at St. Mary's Cathedral on Feb. 1 and 2. (Photo by Roni Bintang/Getty Images)

LGBTQ tourists can now visit Saudi Arabia, according to the kingdom's official tourism site. The shift follows a series of social and economic changes that the kingdom has made in recent years. Homosexuality, however, remains illegal in the country, though these laws are not always enforced.

The Saudi Tourism Authority’s website has an updated section under its Frequently Asked Questions page stating “Are LGBT visitors welcome to visit Saudi Arabia?” The answer to the question reads as follows:

“We don’t ask anyone to disclose personal details and never have. Everyone is welcome to visit our country.”

There was no announcement of the change but accounts on Twitter started circulating the news last Wednesday.

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