This is the first spa hotel available to women all the time, pools in other hotels are only open to women on certain fixed days or hours. And in a country where women are required by law to cover themselves in Islamic dress when in public it's a huge bonus that inside the hotel they can move around uncovered as if they were at home. As the manager put it, it's like being anywhere else in the world.
Saudi tourism officials who attended the launch of the hotel have encouraged other women to invest in similar hotels across the Kingdom. Women-only hotels already exist in America, Berlin and the former Yugoslavia. And Britain. for example. has a hotel offering a floor exclusively for women while Tehran and Bombay have women only taxi services.
Frances Harrison, BBC Religious Affairs reporter