Gold-Coated Baby Bottles Spark Furor In Saudi Arabia

A Saudi woman walks past a foreign worker at the entrance of a shopping mall on November 7, 2013 in Riyadh. Saudis have begun complaining of surging labour costs following the exodus of a million foreign workers, although economists insist there will be long-term planning benefits from fully regulating the …

The Saudi media reported on new gold and diamond-coated baby bottles that have gone on sale as the Saudi government attempts to modernize the national economy and make it more efficient and sustainable.

The issue of the bottles, which cost between 2500-5000 riyal (US$700-1400), was circulated in mainstream and social media as testimony to the ostentatious lifestyle of some Saudis.

Muhammad Alarbash, a jeweler who sells the luxurious bottles, told a local TV station that it’s not a new idea.

“Gold- or diamond-coated bottles and pacifiers have been on sale for at least 30 years,” he said. “My father used to sell a great deal of these items. I still have a gold-coated bottle that my mother bought for me in 1982.”

He also said that the prices change according to the weight and quality of the gold and diamonds.

He said that not only the rich buy them, because they are seen as an investment that can be resold later for a profit.

Many social media users, who launched the hashtag #gold_coated_baby_bottles, were not convinced.

Maali Alrubrary posted a picture of a malnourished baby and wrote: “God please don’t punish us for the deeds of the fools among us.”

Turkey Ben Mashaal tweeted in a similar vein: “Somalia used to be a rich state, but today the poverty there is lethal. Remember what the Quran said: ‘One day I’ll ask you what you’ve done with the blessing I gave to you.'”

“Diamond-coated cell phones and cars… but no brains,” Saba Bahabri tweeted. “Allah, show us the way to thank you for your blessings and lead us away from lavish abandon.”

Barjas Hamud wrote: “Jewelers have been selling gold-coated baby bottles. I suggest levying a 100 [riyal] tax on them.”

“Golden utensils are banned by Sharia, there’s no need to pass this sin on to children,” Abir wrote.

Saleh Alqubeisi tweeted: “Allah, don’t deprive us of your good and substitute it for the bad things we have. Allah, we fear that the good and the blessing will disappear because of the corruption and ostentatiousness of the ignorant among us.”


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