With public iftars cancelled, restaurants in Saudi Arabia turn to delivery

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Large Ramadan outings in restaurants and charity banquets have been a valued tradition in the holy month in Saudi Arabia, but that is no longer the case with the coronavirus lockdown.

The cancellation of large public gatherings due to the coronavirus outbreak pushed restaurants in the kingdom to resort to home deliveries to boost their sales.


Restaurants used to prepare hundreds of thousands of meals everyday, but the new measures have hit the business hard in the kingdom.

Also read: Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus restrictions for two weeks: 6 questions answered

One restaurant manager in the capital Riyadh said sales this year are 60 to 70 percent less than last year, which pushed them to focus more on home delivery.

Charity banquets used to be held inside mosques and in the streets to feed the needy, another thing that is no longer possible amid the curfews and restrictions.

Saudi Arabia has so far registered 18,811 cases of the new coronavirus, including 144 deaths.

The government eased curfews on Sunday (April 26) across the country but kept 24-hour lockdowns in place in the city of Mecca and neighborhoods previously put in isolation, state news agency SPA said.

Outside Mecca and lockdown areas, curfews will be eased between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (0600-1400 GMT) until May 13.
The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began on Friday, April 24.

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