Home Trends and Week Report Saudi Arabia Shops Are A Sea Of Red– But Don’t Say “Valentine’s”

Saudi Arabia Shops Are A Sea Of Red– But Don’t Say “Valentine’s”

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Saudi Arabia: Red clothing is displayed in Saudi shopfronts


Saudi shopfronts display red clothing and underwear. However, the Valentine’s Day promotions have a problem: they don’t mention the festival’s name.

While Valentine’s Day gifts are more popular among the young Saudi population, sales continue to rise. “Valentine’s”It is nowhere to be found.

“Management has asked us to decorate the window display with red lingerie… but without mentioning anywhere Valentine’s Day,”One Riyadh salesperson said, mallThe woman, who declined to be identified because she was not authorized to speak to the media, was not willing to be named.

These displays represent change in Saudi Arabia. In the past, stick-toting religious officers used to crackdown on Valentine’s Day paraphernalia sales. They also cracked down on red-wearing people during the February 14th festival.

Valentine’s Day is a vaguely rooted tradition that dates back to Roman times when many Christian martyrs were named Valentine. The celebration of lovers, which is celebrated all over the globe, was strictly forbidden in the ultraconservative kingdom, which would only recognize Muslim holidays and its September national holiday.

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Saudi Arabia has been going through social change to try and present a more attractive image, as well as diversify its oil-dependent economy.

It has allowed women more freedoms and curtailed the fear of being subject to religious police. They can now drive and add colour to their clothes beyond the plain black abaya. These changes have been made alongside a crackdown against dissent that has seen women’s rights activists and clerics detained.

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A jarring site

“We can now put red clothes on view comfortably and even put them on the window display,”Grenada Mall, east Riyadh, spoke anonymously.

“There are many customers requesting red lingerie during Valentine’s Day,”She added. “We have discounts during this time, but we don’t call them Valentine’s Day offers.”

Some people are uncomfortable with their underwear being on. showIt is a shocking sight to see after so many decades of keeping such items behind closed doors.

“I don’t want to see these things,”One woman said it, fully covered except for her eyes in black. She didn’t want to give her first name.

“They bother me, but there are people who like it and this is their freedom of choice.”

However, times are changing and many people in Saudi Arabia, where more than half of the population is below 35, are now celebrating Valentine’s Day.

“People did not celebrate Valentine’s Day, but now many Saudis do,”Khuloud (36), a Saudi-saleswoman, declined to give her lastname.

“There is a huge demand on clothes during this time, and customers are often asking for the colour red and profits have also been huge.”

According to the saleswomen, red lingerie is in high demand during Valentine’s Day.

Shops also offered discounts for perfume and makeup, while gift shops put red hearts in the windows, but not Valentine’s.

One shopper, Reem al-Qahtani, 22, said Saudi society is “gradually”Accepting Valentine’s Day is a good idea, even though it is still unnamed for now.

“Right now, we celebrate quietly in cafes and restaurants, but we hope that it gains traction in the coming years,”She said.

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(This story is not edited by NDTV staff.

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