Riyadh (AFP)
Saudi Arabia will allow women into sports stadiums for the first time from next year, authorities said Sunday, in a landmark move opening up three previously male-only venues to families.

"Starting the preparation of three stadiums in Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman to be ready to accommodate families from early 2018," the General Sports Authority said on Twitter.

Restaurants, cafes and monitor screens would be set up inside the stadiums, the authority added.

Last month hundreds of women were allowed to enter a sports stadium in Riyadh, used mostly for football matches, for the first time to mark Saudi Arabia's national day.

Last month a royal decree said women would be allowed to drive.