Women Not Allowed In A Saudi Arabia Starbucks

| by Nicholas Roberts
Starbucks in DubaiStarbucks in Dubai

A Starbucks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has barred all women from entering the coffee shop.

The country's religious police said women were not allowed to enter the branch after repeated "customer stampedes" reportedly destroyed a wooden wall in the cafe that separates customers by gender, Emirates 24/7 reports.

The order to not allow women into the cafe was given by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most influential law enforcement body in the country, according to Emirates 24/7.

The gender partitions are present in all Saudi Arabian dining establishments, whether it be a mall food court or a full-service restaurant, Eater reports. Some restaurants have tried to go further and ban women from entering altogether.  

A Starbucks representative reported on Feb. 2 that the gender partition had not been destroyed by "stampedes" but was in fact undergoing renovations, according to Eater. The coffee shop adheres to the local customs of Riyadh, and issued the following statement in response:

Starbucks in Saudi Arabia adheres to the local customs by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people. All our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu, and seating to men, women and families. We are working as quickly as possible as we refurbish our Jarir store, so that we may again welcome all customers in accordance with local customs.

Sources: Emirates 24/7, Eater / Photo credit: Meg & Rahul/Flickr

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