Customer Service

This is a candid shot of several customer service representatives at one of the beautiful modern new malls here in Jeddah, and they are all men. Women are not allowed to work in any malls, except as janitors in the females restrooms, and you would NEVER find an actual Saudi woman working in this capacity. The men are all attired in the traditional Saudi dress. The long crispy white dress is called a thobe. The white scarf used as a head covering is called ghuttra, while the red and white checked one is called shemagh. The black loop over the headscarf is called an egal and it holds the scarf in place. I’m not sure what services are offered at the mall, but as you can see, they do provide wheelchairs.

About SusieOfArabia

American woman now living in hubby's homeland of Saudi Arabia
This entry was posted in Buildings, Clothing, Culture, Life, Middle East, Photo, Saudi Arabia, Shopping and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Customer Service

  1. blue says:

    actually, there are certain areas in malls where you would find saudi women working. the arcade/play area, some “women only” lengerie stores, beauty parlors, women and family photography studios, the “women only” lounges, tailors and some boutiques, makeup (M.A.C & makeup forever for example). there’s a jewlery store in Tahlia Street (Fetaihi) the has saudi women working there. a law has been passed and will be active soon where lengerie shops and women intimates would replace the male employees with females. there are some cities like riyadh that provide an entire floor of a mall only for women.
    as a jeddawi woman my self i have to say that this idea you have about saudi women not talking to men in stores and treating them as if they don’t exist is far from what i know and have been living with my entire life. we talk, not only about the store, products or prices…we engage in small talk and even joke with them…at least in my city jeddah (btw, thats how people in other saudi cities know that these women are from jeddah…we do not avoid eye contac and have our men do all the talking for us even when they’re right there next to us)

  2. Sabaa says:

    @ arctic dreamer, yes these busy men do oblige.
    Susie, what is quite strange is the lingerie shops where there are only men available to serve the customers.

  3. Jack from Boston says:

    Great stuff, Susie. I’m coming to Jeddah for business next week, and I found your pictures and comments very informative. Never been to that part of the world before, so I’m thankful that you’ve given me a peek at the city.

  4. What would happen if a woman in all sincerity had a question about the services in the mall? Would one of these very busy men oblige?

  5. Judy says:

    Even this scene looks so exotic to me.

  6. babooshka says:

    We take so much for granted in the west, especially female working freedom. Really does make me stop and think about my world sopping by here

  7. Elaine says:

    I can’t imagine an adult life without free agency. I have to remind myself how lucky I am, even when a day at the office doesn’t go as I would like.

  8. Geogypsy says:

    So unusual to think of no women working in the mall.

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