How much longer will the cocktails in Saudi Arabia be virgin?
Bin Salman wants businesses to flourish and tourists to flock to grand Red Sea resorts he plans to build — will they serve booze, though?
Riyadh — The lights are dim and the game is on loud at a sports bar in downtown Riyadh. Women perched on bar stools sip blueberry mojitos in front of wall-to-wall screens, erupting in cheers when their soccer team scores.
This being Saudi Arabia, of course there’s one thing missing: alcohol. The drinks are virgin because the country bans booze. But as the kingdom goes through an intoxicating social transformation, Saudis are now starting to wonder — some with excitement, many with concern — if another hallmark of their country’s strict interpretation of Islam might start to disappear.