Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women riding motorbikes and bicycles

Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban preventing women from riding motorbikes and bicycles, it has emerged.

The kingdom's religious police are now allowing women to ride bikes in parks and recreational areas.

However, they have to be accompanied by a male relative and dressed in the full Islamic head-to-toe abaya.

An unnamed official from the powerful religious police told the Al-Yawm daily newspaper that women may not use the bikes for transportation but 'only for entertainment'.

He also said they should shun places where young men gather 'to avoid harassment'.