Jeddah Bans Sale of Cats and Dogs!

AS if we needed more proof that we are all living in La-La Land here in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah Municipality (whose semi-elected board is dominated by bearded, religious conservatives) has decided to ban the sale of cats and dogs according to this report in Arab News, because according to them owning pets is too much of a “vile” Western intrusion upon Saudi culture and traditions (!).

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice allegedly complained to the municipality that too many young Saudis were buying dogs as pets and causing public disturbances when they took them for walks outside.

Considering that every single Saudi family I know has cats as pets, and the fact that several Saudi government institutions, including most notably Saudi Customs, owns and uses dogs to perform important jobs (such as sniffing out drugs and bombs concealed in cargo and baggage) I find it extremely bizarre that such a ban should be implemented now.

As a proud owner of a Terrier dog, called Nog Nog, I am appalled at this move to once again appease the religious conservatives, who have wielded far too much power in this country for far too long. (For those of you who don’t know, most religious Muslims shirk dogs for being “unclean”, but cats have always been kosher in Muslim life.)

This edict comes on the heals of the formation of a new morality squad, also ordered by the bearded fellows on the municipal council, which has recently shut down a popular café on Tahlia Street after it supposedly found hash mixed in the tobacco of its hubbly bubblies. Now, all coffee shops on Tahlia have been barred from serving shisha because of the alleged mistake of one establishment.

An electronic petition on the Internet calling on the mayor of Jeddah to stop this new morality squad from further ruining the city’s well-earned reputation as the fun city of the Kingdom has already garnered more than 900 signatures.

That may not seem like a lot to people from countries with far more active civil societies, but for Saudi it’s a start. Here’s the link. The petition is in Arabic, but sign it if you are a Jeddah resident.

Comments (10)

  • Ahmed

    Never liked cats and dogs, but such decision is simply idiotic. I wonder what kind of restrictions this morality squad will come up with to impose them on people. Can’t they just leave people and mind their own business (if there was one in the first place)? Live and let live.

  • Reem

    I often wonder if these people from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (ridiculous establishment) don’t feel even slightly ashamed with themselves for what they are doing to Saudi Arabia when they see their neighboring Gulf countries maintaining their basic traditions and religious foundations while flourishing by adopting positive practices from the West.

  • video

    Will you get to keep Nog Nog?

  • Rasheed's World

    Ahmed: I agree totally.

    Video: Yes I will! Don’t worry, they haven’t gone that mad yet.

    Barbara: No the dog in the picture is not Nog Nog. It’s a picture I got online.

  • Sam

    Just when I was thinking of getting a cat for my lil bro…it’s a good thing I don’t live in Jeddah. But something tells me such bans start somewhere and are bound to be spread to other provinces…

  • Farooha


    NO NO NO, NOT JEDDA’S FAMED SHISHA JOINTS! I will STOMP my feet, I will protest, I will shake the mountains if I have to. Not our beloved Jeddah!!!!!I am going to KILL the jeddawis who fell for those gold-listed Talibanis, I tell you, starting with the Jeddawi I happened to fall in love with, KILL THEM! Mark my word, I WILL.

    It’s enough that for one to get a decent shisha fix in Rio you must literally beg for it. As it is only available in certain hotels, and for ridiculous prices, oh yes, and rarely is it for women anyway. All we had was jeddah..*sniff* what’s a shisha loving gal to do, now??

    Oh yeah and Reem, trust me, love, the last thing it makes them feel is ashamed. I recall repeatedly hearing them pride themselves for “allowing siya7ah (tourism), but NOT 9iya3ah (debauchery) like those decadent gulf countries”

    Heh.. watch them whip out that ” In the end of times, he who is steadfast in his faith will be like a man who is clutching a live coal”/it’s the end of the world/God is testing our faith, mumbo jumbo…. (ksa is that man clutching the “live coal” in their mind’s eye, ps)

    I could sure use some shisha right now!

  • CoralPoetry


    I was not aware that Jeddah was a “Nanny” state, barring families on their choice to have a canine or a feline offspring. Maybe families should adopt an orang-utan, a lion or a zebra – something endangered would be nice. A panda would be my preference – so cute and cuddly – I am sure I could train it to be fierce. There would be a dramatic reduction in house burglaries in the west if we had a tiger to answer the door.

    Best wishes,

    PS. I failed to appease the ghosts as you will see from my latest post at my blog

  • Jo

    I don’t think we’re going to have this idiocy in the Eastern Province – THANK GOD bcuz I’m planning on getting myself a puppy to show me some MUCH NEEDED love haha – because the RP have NO power here AT ALL. I wonder why that is though. Why are the royals able to shut them up in the Eastern Province but no where else? And why on earth are the conservatives fine with that?

  • بندر

    They are going nuts !!!

    Don’t they know that “Abu Hurairah” a close friend of prophet Mohammad PBAH had a cat and was famous for carrieng it all day?

    and he was named “Abu Hurairah” bacause of the cat!

    Don’t they know!


    As a child, he had a cat and was known as “Abu Hurairah” (which literally means “Father of Kitten”), due to his love for cats…

    They are going nuts !!!

  • Yahya

    I don’t belive the acualy banned shisha… Why? It’s not even a western thing. Why don’t they ban driving? Isn’t that somthing introduced by the west… This is crazy!!!

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