The people here are polite and friendly; the food is amazing. I'm told that the finest dates in the world come from Saudi Arabia. My own small sample would seem to confirm that. But for a country that celebrates friendship and good food to such a degree, I don't at all get this paranoia about relations between men and women--part and parcel and a natural extension of the experience and celebration of our life on this earth. Family, friendships and food...there is nothing more to this existence IMHO.
Apparently red objects associated with Valentines Day are banned here, leading up to a black market for these same objects because men will be men, and women will be women, and no amount of religious piety can overcome basic human needs and desires. I guess it's easy to make light of the situation, but in Saudi it's real, and it sucks for lots of unmarried young men who think of women 95% of the time and for women who want to be treated like equals 100% of the time.
I don't believe that this is a Muslim thing, because there are plenty of Christians who believe that a womans place is in the home. All religions are distorted by extremists. I guess Saudi is what happens when the disagreeable guys are ahead.