DFA urges Filipinos going to Saudi Arabia: Follow rules on public decency

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday, October 9, advised Filipinos traveling to Saudi Arabia to follow new regulations on public decency imposed by the Gulf state.

The new regulation covers rules on public behavior, immodest clothing, public display of affection, taking photos or videos of people without permission, and playing music at prayer times, among others.

The image below lists 19 public decency violations in Saudi Arabia and their corresponding fines. General provisions are also listed below.

Image from the Department of Foreign Affairs

The DFA said the Saudi police is the "sole authority" in charge of monitoring public decency offenses and imposing fines.

Offenders would have the right to submit a grievance claim and appeal any penalties before the Common Courtesy Department. Those harmed by offenders also have the right to file a lawsuit.

Saudi Arabia had announced on September 27 that it will be offering tourist visas for the first time, as part of a push to diversify its economy away from oil.

The kingdom previously only issued visas to Muslim pilgrims, foreign workers, and recently to spectators at sporting or cultural events. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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