Saudi Arabia first women-only telecommunications complex in the Al-Rimal District in Riyadh has reportedly failed to attract female Saudi vendors.
Saudi Gazette reports that the complex has so far failed to attract a single Saudi woman to rent space and sell mobile related products since opening last week.
“Workers at the complex used the empty and unoccupied space to set up their breakfast on the floor and just eat there,” a source told the publication.
“The operator of the number given for leasing inquiries said the leasing agreement of the stores available there includes a down payment of three months’ rent in advance and three months rent free. The offer applies to even women who are working with a regular salary.”
This comes despite the announcement of the complex and its opening, attended by Ministry of Labour and Social development officials, attracting wide media attention.
The source quoted a Minister of Labour and Social Development supervisor as saying the complex, which is described as including everything women need by owner Abdulrahman Al-Himaid, is more active at night.
The launch of the complex follows new Saudisation targets set by the ministry for the mobile shop industry. Under the new rules, owners were told to make their workforce 50 per cent Suadi by early June and 100 per cent by early September.
Around 40 per cent of shops had failed to meet the 50 per cent and 30 per cent had closed down entirely, according to reports at the end of last month.
Following the September deadline, the ministry is expected to focus on the total nationalisation of the automobile sector, including dealers’ offices, car showrooms and rental companies.