Saudis Open Women-Owned, Women-Run, Women-Only Hotel - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-21-2008, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7305549.stm
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The Middle East's first women-only hotel has opened in Saudi Arabia.

It will cater primarily to businesswomen, who work completely covered from head to toe in public and have to observe strict segregation.

The hotel, in Riyadh, has 25 rooms and boasts fine dining and conference facilities, as well as a range of health and beauty treatments.

Its executive director said the response to the idea of a hotel just for women had been overwhelming.

The Luthan Hotel & Spa is owned by a group of 20 Saudi princesses and businesswomen.
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Luthan Hotel & Spa executive director Lorraine Coutinho said: "Inside this physical structure, we are all women. We even have bell-women. We are women-owned, women-managed and women-run."
I think this sounds very cool. I the fact that all of the investors are women too!

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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Old 03-21-2008, 04:41 PM
 
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I want to say they've done that in the US, as well. Or something similar (maybe segregation by floor?). Not just for religious purposes...safety concerns as well...

Off to find the article...

ETA: Aye, it's by floor in the US. Apparently, it's really annoying some women that there are female-only floors.

http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll...T13/707140310/
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I want to say they've done that in the US, as well. Or something similar (maybe segregation by floor?). Not just for religious purposes...safety concerns as well...

Off to find the article...
I remember that... I think it was by floor. I actually liked the idea because I remember traveling alone for business and feeling a bit weird in certain hotels. To me, the revolutionary thing is that this is all women-owned. I don't think that was the case with the US hotel.

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Old 03-21-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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My only concern is that this is so upscale it seems only available to wealthy women. Something like this for all classes would be wonderful. Like a YWCA with different activites, pools, exercise areas, etc

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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I was reading another related article (since you've got me looking at this stuff now about the women-only hotels in the Middle East, and the article stated that women have had to sleep in taxi cabs because if they don't have "permission" letters from their husbands/fathers/etc. they're not allowed to stay in a regular hotel alone...the taxicab one was a woman and her two daughters, and her husband was in the hospital, and she was turned away from the hotels and rental apartments...I'll post that link, too.

Apparently, there's a real need. Very cool that it's female investors, as well.

There's the article
http://www.arabnews.com/?page=1&sect...=13&m=5&y=2007

it does state concern that this will lead to further segregation...ideas?
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Old 03-21-2008, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My only concern is that this is so upscale it seems only available to wealthy women. Something like this for all classes would be wonderful. Like a YWCA with different activites, pools, exercise areas, etc
Yes. I hope that if this place is successful, maybe it will spawn a line of imitators at all price-points.

I know Egypt now has women-only resorts on the Mediterranean at a variety of price points, which I think is cool.

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Old 03-21-2008, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was reading another related article (since you've got me looking at this stuff now about the women-only hotels in the Middle East, and the article stated that women have had to sleep in taxi cabs because if they don't have "permission" letters from their husbands/fathers/etc. they're not allowed to stay in a regular hotel alone...
This was the case. Saudi Arabia just passed a law in January that stops this...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7201643.stm

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The authorities in Saudi Arabia have decided to end a ban on unaccompanied women staying in the country's hotels.

A woman can now stay in a hotel alone as long as she carries identification.

Based on a royal decree, the move marks a break from religious codes requiring women to be accompanied by a male guardian at all times.

The decree allowed the Ministry of Trade to outline new regulations simply requiring women to show photographic ID to hotel managers.

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Old 03-21-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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My only concern is that this is so upscale it seems only available to wealthy women. Something like this for all classes would be wonderful. Like a YWCA with different activites, pools, exercise areas, etc
There are quite a few centers throughout the Gulf area that have facilities for women's swimming and sports and things, it's quite common to find them.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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My only concern is that this is so upscale it seems only available to wealthy women. Something like this for all classes would be wonderful. Like a YWCA with different activites, pools, exercise areas, etc
SA already have several of those..including women only shopping malls,hospitals, etc etc etc
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:48 PM
 
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I think that this is a great idea, personally. Although I am not a fan of societies segregated by sex, I think that given the current situation for women in Saudi Arabia this is a much-needed accommodation.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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Old 03-21-2008, 09:06 PM
 
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There are quite a few centers throughout the Gulf area that have facilities for women's swimming and sports and things, it's quite common to find them.
Here in Sharjah (In the Emirates) we have a ladies only park. I've never tried it out though.. And we have a ladies club! It's awesome: private beach, ice rink, etc. I think young boys are allowed. I'm not sure. I've never gone because I don't normally go to places without my husband. Although I should because it is probably the one place I would feel safe going without him. Though it does have a membership fee, not sure what it is. But you can take classes there and all sorts of things I think. We do have women only colleges and universities as well. But I don't find that strange.

I've heard of plenty female only floors or buildings. Don't dorms do that??? I know not all, but I know some do. I personally wouldn't mind it, especially if I was a business woman travelling alone. The Middle East especially can be a scary place for women, sexual assaults are very common and nobody will do much about them.

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Old 03-21-2008, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here in Sharjah (In the Emirates) we have a ladies only park. I've never tried it out though.. And we have a ladies club! It's awesome: private beach, ice rink, etc. I think young boys are allowed. I'm not sure.
In the places I'm familiar with, young boys under 10 are usually allowed (along with girls of any age) in women's facilities. There may be a different age cut-off there, no idea.

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Old 03-22-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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In the places I'm familiar with, young boys under 10 are usually allowed (along with girls of any age) in women's facilities. There may be a different age cut-off there, no idea.
That's what I think, I can't say for sure because I've never actually gone into such a place. I just know there are no men allowed.

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Old 03-22-2008, 07:45 AM
 
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My Scandinavian mind starts to see red when I read about things like this.

What is here to celebrate? Forced Segragation is a horrible, inhumane and disgusting thing.

I have absolutely nothing against volunteer 'only men'/'only women' happenings (like gym hours for only men - only women )or areas but there is no comparisation in this case.

Segragating people just because what is(or isn't)between their legs is as bad as segragating people by their colour or race. Of course SA is still happily segrating people by race, religion and other things too. After all we are talking about country who forbid slavery only few decades ago(well, it's only a leter in the law, slavery is very much practised there still).

And of course this hotel is only for rich. The poor(read slaves)could never afford anything like this.

When reading things like this it is hard to believe we are living the year 2008, it feels more like 1008.
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Old 03-22-2008, 10:35 AM
 
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glad you espoused your feelings about the issue....but your Scandinavian. Not Saudi Arabian, and probably not Muslim.

So it is clear many women don't feel what you do. Market forces are driving this badboy. The first rule is if there is a need, there is a business. To say the least many women want & need this type of facility, hence its birth.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:53 AM
 
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glad you espoused your feelings about the issue....but your Scandinavian. Not Saudi Arabian, and probably not Muslim.
But I am a woman and human being.

Oh but I forgot - being a woman does not count in SA.

Sorry.

I know it is not political correct to speak up about the rights of women - not even here on MDC. But I cannot stay quiet.

Of course it is common all over the world have women only/men only places, in gyms and where ever - as long as it is volunteer and there are other options available.

In SA there are no options.

And when reading human rights reports , reports made by few brave SA women - not all are happy that women are treated that way.

But hey - they are just women so who cares. At least I have no right to care since I am not muslim. So I should just turn my head away from abuse.

Obviously I must now stop at once collecting clothes to Russian kids living on streets since I am not Russian(and not Orthodox)and oh better stop writing about Tibetan issues since I am not Tibetan and not buddhist - though - I like buddhism, does that count?

Well I would like to know who am I allowed to care?
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:00 AM
 
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You post implies that I don't personally care about human rights issues. Which is the furthest from the case. The fact that SA women do not have the ability to vote, to travel (generally) without a man's permission, her inability to drive, honor killings and punishment, all of these issues disturb me greatly.

However, I am merely noting that market forces are driving this particular project. And that perhaps you are not privy to the entirety of the issue because you are neither Saudi Arabian, or a Muslim.

It should be noted not every SA woman, or Muslim for that matter, is oppressed or "abused". That is a very common mistake, and you should revisit it if you truly care and want to make a difference.

It might not have been intended but your posts reeks of "I know better than you do." It echoes a George Bush mentality, and as we can see from his brilliant administration it is the clearest path to not making a difference.

Personally, I find the tone not only offensive, but I believe it only serves to shut down the pathways of dialogs, instead of open them up.
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:36 PM
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I am not Muslim, but as an American female who has been sexually assaulted twice, I really like the idea of women only gatherings, hotels, etc.
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