Exploring the challenges for women working in the event and festival sector in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

R. Almathami, C. Khoo, E.C.L. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the participation of women in many activities, including employment, is severely restricted and their continued exclusion from public life is a significant issue as KSA looks to improve its economic prosperity. Women’s underrepresentation in many economic sectors is a focus of the national ‘Saudi Vision 2030’ programme. By cultivating an understanding of the workplace challenges and employment limitations faced by women in KSA, government and industry can improve employment opportunities for Saudi women. The primary aim of this study is to explore the challenges for women working in the KSA event and festival sector. This research used a case study approach involving semi-structured interviews with personnel from within event and festival organisations and ministries in KSA. The study identified several challenges to Saudi women’s inclusion in the sector: cultural values, social network, workplace environment, education and training, gender diversity and regulation. Addressing these issues through evidence-based strategies can improve empowerment and inclusion of women in the event and festival sector. The lessons learned can also be applied to other employment sectors in KSA and extend our current knowledge of challenges to women’s empowerment by providing new perspectives arising from the context of KSA. © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-61
Number of pages15
JournalTourism Recreation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • empowering women
  • entertainment
  • event and festival
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Vision 2030
  • tourism


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