Jeddah: One of the Starbucks in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, had a sign with the phrase, “Please no entrance for ladies.” Until recently. But now it has clarified that the ban on women’s entry was only temporary and that the coffee shop will be opened to them soon after a separation wall is erected.
The coffee shop has posted an announcement in Arabic and English, saying , “PLEASE NO ENTRY FOR LADIES ONLY SEND YOUR DRIVER TO ORDER THANK YOU.”
This notice has gone viral on social media One woman tweeted that: “Starbucks store in Riyadh refused to serve me because I’m a woman and asked me to send a man instead.”
Starbucks said that members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia) ordered its management to ban women from entering after they found a wall collapsed which separates men and women.
Starbucks issued the following statement : “At Starbucks, we adhere to the local customs of Saudi Arabia by providing separate entrances for families as well as single people. In addition, all our stores provide equal amenities, service, menu, and seating to men, women and families.”
The statement continues: “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.” It added. “Starbucks
welcomes all customers, including women and families, to enjoy the Starbucks experience. We have worked with local
authorities to obtain approval to refurbish one of our stores in Jarir, which was originally built without a gender wall. That
meant it could only accommodate men in accordance with local law.”
Adel Shukri, a worker in a coffee shop, said.
“Coffee shops must provide a proper environment for families to be encouraged to visit these places. The new preferable place to spend leisure time is coffee shops. Most women do not prefer places that have no separation walls for men and women.”