Twitter fury as Starbucks appears to join the no-women-allowed club in Saudi Arabia

Published February 3rd, 2016 - 02:26 GMT
A branch of the popular coffee shop in Riyadh has been accused of not letting women in. (AFP/File)
A branch of the popular coffee shop in Riyadh has been accused of not letting women in. (AFP/File)

Starbucks has come under fire from angry Twitter users after a Riyadh branch was accused of barring women from entry. This comes at a time when pictures of signs banning women from certain stores have been cropping up on social media, leading to condemnation and increased debate surrounding gender discrimination in the kingdom.

One Twitter user directly accused a Starbucks branch in Riyadh of not letting her in, stating that she was told to send a man into the coffee shop instead.


In a country which does not allow women to drive and enforces a pretty serious gender barrier, this may not come as a surprise. Indeed, it is not at all unusual for coffee shops and other public spaces to forbid entry to single women or men, or even women altogether.

However this case appears to be more controversial due to the fact that it involves Starbucks, a major international brand.

The company said in a statement that the store in question is undergoing renovations to build a wall to accommodate single people as well as families, according to Cosmopolitan.

“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,” the company said in a statement, according to Cosmopolitan.  

However, this did not stop them facing the wrath of Twitter users.

© 2000 - 2023 Al Bawaba (

You may also like


Sign up to our newsletter for exclusive updates and enhanced content