Retailers call on Saudi to lift weekend ban on single men at malls

Owners claim they’ll be forced to shutdown because of low sales during traditionally peak shopping hours

(Image is for illustrative purposes only).

(Image is for illustrative purposes only).

Saudi retailers are reportedly calling on authorities to lift a ban on single men shopping on weekends, with some claiming they will be forced to shutdown due to poor sales.

Men were originally prevented from going to malls on the weekend to avoid the centres becoming meeting points for single men and women, or women and families being hassled.

But according to Arab News businesses are complaining it has cost them sales, particularly in the lead up to the busy Ramadan season.

The owner of a male clothing shop at a Jeddah mall, Saleh Abdul Muhsen, told the newspaper weekends were the most ideal time for retailers because men had time off work, “but the ban on single men entering malls during weekends is causing huge losses and has triggered the shutting down of many men’s clothing stores”.

He said some shop owners had been forced to shutdown because they could no longer afford high rents amid a sharp decline in sales.

Adnan Al Banowi, a marketing official for a mobile sales company, said: “We have a large number of outlets in malls and preventing single men from entering these shops over the weekend has affected our sales badly.

“Therefore, the company is now focusing on women, who constitute more than 60 percent of our customers.

“[But] we can earn sizable profits only if our products reach all sections of society, including young men and women.”

Single men also are not allowed to meet at malls for a coffee or meal.

“Most young men come to spend their free time in the cafes,” Sharief Radwan, an employee of a shop at Flamengo Mall in Jeddah, told Arab News.

“They prefer weekends to visit these cafes, and they have just as much right as anyone else to enter the malls any day they want to. The authorities should find other ways to prevent young men from annoying women customers.”

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Everything you need to know about Qatar

Everything you need to know about Qatar

Former British protectorate has been ruled by the Al-Thani family...

The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

The Al Thanis are Qatar's power family

New research sheds light on the overwhelming influence of the...

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Raising the bar: DLA Piper plans fresh growth in the Gulf

Legal firm DLA Piper’s Middle East business recorded 10 percent...

Most Discussed