Women in Saudi Arabia may ride bikes

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SAUDI Arabia’s religious police are to allow women to ride motorbikes and bicycles – but only in restricted, recreational areas.

The Al-Yawm daily yesterday cited an official from the powerful religious police as saying women can ride bikes in parks and recreational areas, but they have to be accompanied by a male relative and be dressed in the full Islamic head-to-toe dress known as the abaya. Bikes may not be used for transportation.

Saudi Arabia follows an ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam and bans women from driving. Women are also banned from riding motorcycles or bicycles in public places.