Bahrain's first 'sex shop' is about to expand with the opening of its second branch in Manama, the GDN has learned.
Khadija Fashion House has signed a three-year lease at Yateem Centre, located on the outskirts of the Manama suq, and could open its second outlet as early as next week.
Talks are also taking place that could see Bahraini owner Khadija Ahmed open a similar shop in Qatar, the 32-year-old mother-of-three told the GDN.
She said massive demand for her products, which are designed to spice up couples' private lives, was driving the expansion of her business - adding that perceptions of her trade were slowly changing.
"I personally feel that the mindset of people has definitely changed, but there are some people who have their objections," she said.
"The sheer fact that I am opening a second store in Bahrain means there is a clear demand for my products."
However, Ms Ahmed said it was unlikely that she would open a third shop in Bahrain - adding that much of her business came from neighbouring countries.
"I don't have any plans to go ahead with opening more outlets in Bahrain as the customer base is not strong," she said.
"Most of my products are sold in neighbouring Gulf states where customers place bulk orders."
Ms Ahmed launched her first shop in Tubli in 2008, offering 1,800 different items from lingerie to lubricants.
Since then, her business has gone from strength to strength and she is now receiving 20 to 30 shipments a month from suppliers overseas.
"It's been tough and I even had to spend a night in jail, but I have ensured that my products, imported from the US, are not illegal and are sold to genuine couples whether in Bahrain or Saudi Arabia," she said.
Ms Ahmed claimed she spent a night "locked up with prostitutes" on May 6 after a row with a Customs official landed her in hot water.
She later appeared before the Lower Criminal Court accused of insulting the officer, but revealed the case against her had since been dropped after an amicable solution was reached.
Although she admitted she was braced for some opposition from conservative quarters over her new shop, she maintained she was doing nothing wrong.
"I have not done anything wrong and am only helping couples lead happy lives," she said.
"My shop sells a wide range of products both for men and women, which are popular in neighbouring Gulf states.
"I hope to continue and expand my business through this new outlet at the Yateem Centre."
She added her next business move could be to open a similar sex shop in Qatar, revealing that she was already in talks with an investor to open a store in Doha.
"I have been approached by investors from Lebanon, Dubai and Qatar who want me to open outlets in their countries," said Ms Ahmed.
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