Qatar to open 1st women-only cinema in Middle East

The first women`s only cinema is set to open in the Qatari capital Doha later this week.

Doha: A Qatar sports centre says it plans a women-only cinema that would be the latest no-men-allowed venture in the Gulf.

The Aspire Zone Foundation says the 154-seat movie theatre will open on Thursday in a section of the government-backed sports complex reserved for women’s events.

An extra film will be screened on Saturday for children who will have to be accompanied by a female relative.

Films to be screened will be known two weeks in advance. However, the presentation schedule will change according to the popularity of a particular film.

The announcement on Monday is another example of businesses catering to traditional gender segregation in the Gulf, which attracts millions of workers from around the world.

In Dubai, the state-run taxi company has women-only cabs with female drivers and sets aside some cars in its metro rail system for women. Saudi Arabia follows strict Islamic customs that keep the sexes from mingling, but its smaller Gulf neighbours have far more Western-style social rules.

Bureau Report

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