Saudi Arabia’s 1st dog cafe is here; Pet lovers are over the moon

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi pet cafe
The cafe also provides a pet grooming section.

Saudi Arabia has been surprising the world by bringing changes in social lives of the kingdom; from women driving to international music shows with Akon.

Now, the first dog-friendly cafe for pet owners have been opened in the country.

As per Islamic beliefs, dogs are considered as unhygienic animals and are restricted from public places in Saudi Arabia. But now, with this new cafe, changes are happening.

It was in June that the news regarding the opening of a cafe named The Barking Lot in the coastal city of Khobar started doing the rounds and for a country which has not many places to take pets outdoor, especially for dog owners, this news gave immense excitement.

The owner of the cafe Dalal Ahmed got this idea of a dog-friendly cafe on her previous visit to the country.

“I came to Saudi Arabia for a visit with my dog, but wasn’t allowed to walk on the beach with him,” she said. This incident made her want to create a space for the pet owners in the country.

At The Barking Lot, there are provisions for the pets to roam around and play while their parents can have refreshments. The cafe also has a grooming department where the canines are given a good wash and blow-dried as part of the services offered.

The country once faced notorious religious policing which banned the walking of pets in public but once the ban was lifted pets have become a very normal sight in the country.  This change has also motivated many people to start animal shelters in several cities giving opportunities for the adoption of stray animals.

All these reformations in the country are in line with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s “Vision 2030”, a planned mission to reduce the kingdom’s oil dependence, diversify its economy, to develop public service sectors and to promote a softer image of the country.