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Western brands are erecting “gender walls” to conform to Saudi Arabia’s strict gender rules

This article is more than 2 years old.

Walk into almost any Starbucks in Saudi Arabia, and you’ll find signs guiding you to queue up based on your gender and marital status.

Most restaurants in Saudi Arabia have “gender walls” that separate women and families from single male customers. These walls are merely the cost of doing business in the country. Starbucks says it’s ”adhering to local customs” in Saudi Arabia by erecting such barriers in its stores. And as malls throughout the country show, many western brands are also eager to accommodate so they can tap into Saudi consumers’ high level of disposable income.

Watch the video above to see how restaurants and stores, including Pinkberry, Guess, and Mac Cosmetics, are set up differently in Saudi Arabia.

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