Paris Hilton’s new Mecca store gets mixed reviews in Saudi Arabia
U.S. celebrity and hotel heiress Paris Hilton expanded her handbags and accessories franchise to the Holy city of Mecca, prompting growing criticism on social networking sites.
Hilton announced the news on her Twitter account Thursday. “Loving my beautiful new store that just opened at Mecca Mall in Saudi Arabia!,” she tweeted.
But not everyone joined her in the excitement, as some people took to the social networking website to voice their displeasure with the debut.
One person replied to her tweet saying, “R u kidding?” Another comment, “Saudi claim there are other ways to allow for pilgrims, & if religiosity is of such importance, why is @ParisHilton being allowed a store in Makkah?”
Another tweep questioned Hilton’s style of products and remarked, “that’s it? That’s why ppl are not buying it? Not coz she is a "adult star" who happens to be rich enough to have her own brand and open it in Mecca?”
Other people, however, saw the opening of Paris Hilton’s store in Mecca as “normal” and not a disturbance.
In response to those arguing that Hilton gained fame and wealth through an intimate video that went public, one tweep wrote: “She is the heiress of Hilton Hotels’ chain and does not need a film [to make money].”
Another joked: “As if 'Channel' is a preacher and Gucci is a cleric; why the fuss about Paris Hilton.”
Meanwhile, Hilton boasted the opening of her store in Mecca, tweeting “This is the 5th store in Saudi Arabia, and store number 42 in total! So proud to keep growing my brand!”
Makkah Mall posted an image of Hilton’s store on its Facebook page, but not all comments were spiteful, with some users pointing out the store’s opening from a capitalist point of view rather than a socio-religious angle.
One user stated, “Why the attack? This is a global brand found everywhere, whether it was in an Arab country or a European one.”
Another user said “Simply put, those who see this is a Western invasion of the Arab world shouldn’t be buying nor marketing their products. But to reject this concept and at the same time, buy all European and Western products is completely hypocritical.”
Hilton followed in her hotelier grandfather’s footsteps by adding entrepreneurship to her resume, but remains notorious for her wayward lifestyle, including brief stints in prison and a leaked intimate home movie.