First dog cafe opens in Saudi Arabia

Dog owners in Saudi Arabia can now enjoy a cup of coffee alongside their beloved pets at a new cafe – a first for the ultra-conservative kingdom.

In Islam, dogs are considered unclean animals – unlike cats – and are generally banned from public places in Saudi Arabia.

But The Barking Lot, which opened its doors in June in the coastal city of Khobar, has delighted animal lovers in a country where there are few places to take pets outside the home.
The country’s once-notorious religious police used to ban the walking of pets, saying men were using it as a means to make passes at women.

But the ban was widely flouted and pets are becoming an increasingly common sight.

The adoption of strays has become more popular in the kingdom, which is trying to modernise as part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ‘Vision 2030’ plan.

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