Friday, 14 April 2017

Pure Fun In Paradise

The news that Saudi Arabia is going to build an 'entertainment city' right on the edge of the capital Riyadh, and which apparently will be 50 times the size of Gibraltar, or about a fifth of the area of Riyadh in size, made me laugh. The idea is to "achieve a healthy and harmonious life, and provide more entertainment, joy and fun"

Religious Police Check Women's Dress On The First Ride.

Can you think of anywhere on earth as unlikely for joy and fun? ... well ignoring North Korea and the numerous other Islamic paradises on earth such as Somalia?

This especially, when considering that theme parks in Saudi Arabia up until now, have been aimed at children, because their society has a few pathological issues with how one half the population are allowed to enjoy themselves.
  1. Can women drive the rides alone?
  2. Are women to be segregated in cinemas and other media.
  3. Are beards compulsory?
  4. Will the concourses be policed by the religious police (Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice), to keep sexes apart?
  5. Can women enter unescorted by a male relative?
  6. Can foreigners use it, and will foreign women have to abide by Islamic rules?
  7. Is it for Muslims only?
Back Seat Driving Only For Saudi Women .....

Its the latest development announced as a part of the 2030 program to modernise the economy. Its not clear whether this will be a Six Flags type amusement park, or whether the Saudis have something else in mind, given the skewed nature of their society.

Still a bit of fun in paradise is something to look forward to for the happy denizens of the country. 


  1. If beards are compulsory, will there be a stall outside selling false beards? In any event I won't be going anywhere near this theme park, I don't even like our ones.

    1. Well they have given no more details but I suspect that non believers will be Haram. Thanks for the comment.

    2. In a reverse of the usual segregation in KSA many shopping malls won't allow young men in them unless accompanied by a female. This is to prevent them pestering or mixing with teenage girls or married women.

      A recent poll of 18-25 year olds in KSA found that up to 30% of both sexes agreed with a statement asking for KSA to change to less conservative policies.

      They see how the rest of the world is on TV and the Internet. They all know that many Saudi Royals enjoy those lifestyles when outside KSA. They also know that they are ruled by men over the age of 70 while the majority of the country is aged under 30.

      Change might happen in a more democratic society but not KSA. I lived there until just 2 yrs ago. They only risk saying anything if you know them very well as its very risky to say much due to blasphemy and lese-majeste laws.

    3. Its hard to imagine their society changing to become more liberal. In fact rather the reverse, as the Wahhabi zealots are the most likely to take control in any regime change or collapse. The House of Saud backed the wrong horse in the long term when they adopted that form of Islam for the country.

      Like the Roman Emperors who found their bodyguards, The Praetorian Guard, were often more dangerous than a support, so the House of Saud are both supported and threatened by the religious in Saudi Arabia.

      Thanks for your interesting comment.


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