Arab countries in the Gulf region cracked down on cafes selling coffee and other drinks in baby bottles, leading to a ban on the trend within weeks of its start in March.
It all started when a popular Dubai cafe with branches across the Gulf region decided to use baby bottles to serve drinks, the Associated Press reported. The move proved to be extremely popular, as long lines formed in front of the cafe. Some people even brought their own baby bottles to be filled, the outlet reported. The trend spread across the Gulf, leading to outright bans by a number of local governments.
“Everyone wanted to buy it, people called all day, telling us they’re coming with their friends, they’re coming with their father and mother,” the cafe owner told the AP. She added that people said “horrible” things, such as that the trendy items were a shame to the Islamic culture.
Dubai Economy bans serving drinks in baby bottles in view of COVID-19 and need to preserve local customs pic.twitter.com/IsUJl2QtRA
— اقتصادية دبي (@Dubai_DED) March 6, 2021
In light of the trend, the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection sector in Dubai Economy tweeted that such use of baby bottles is “not only against local traditions but mishandling the bottle could contribute to the spread of COVID.”
Similarly, Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have all seen backlash against the trend. Most notably, Bahrain has temporarily closed the cafe chain in its country and the Bahraini Ministry of Commerce sent armed police officers equipped with live cameras, warning the businesses that serving drinks in baby bottles is a violation of Bahraini tradition and customs, the AP reported.
“This practice violates proper commercial principles and flouts Bahraini customs and traditions,” the Ministry explained, according to the Gulf News. (RELATED: Persian Gulf Muslim States Have Accepted No Syrian Refugees)
It is not the first time police forces reacted to social media posts in the Gulf region, the AP reported. Less than two years ago, a woman was arrested over a Facebook post in which she called her ex-husband’s new wife “a horse,” according to BBC.