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Paris Hilton’s Makkah store causes a stir

Last updated: Monday, November 19, 2012 1:03 AM

Laura Bashraheel
Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH – There has been a mixed reaction to Paris Hilton’s new shop in Makkah after the US socialite announced the branch’s opening on Twitter three days ago.

Some Saudis questioned why someone who was once involved in a sex scandal would be able to open a shop in the holy city.

News of the Makkah shop started trending after Hilton tweeted the branch had opened, along with a photo of the shop, which sells bags and accessories under her name.

In her tweet, she wrote: “Loving my beautiful new store that just opened at Mecca Mall in Saudi Arabia.”

Despite already having four stores around the Kingdom, some people criticized Hilton’s Makkah branch. A Twitter hashtag, translated as, “Opening of Paris Hilton store in Makkah”, attracted tweets both supporting and attacking the shop.

Supporters said there was nothing wrong with the branch since Makkah already had the Hilton chain of hotels, while critics believed her name should not be in the holy city.

One tweeted: “Her grandfather’s hotels are around the Kingdom, and you just want to create a fuss out of anything.”

Another one asked sarcastically: “Is she coming to open the store?”

Others pointed to the fact that women in Saudi Arabia cannot drive but foreign women are allowed to invest in the Kingdom. A reaction to the shop started developing when someone tweeted that Hilton had gained fame through a sex video.

Another tweeted: “How can someone who made such a video open a store in the holy city next to the Grand Mosque?”

Another tweeted: “It is not acceptable to have such a woman open her store here.”

Paris Hilton has 42 stores all over the world selling accessories and bags.

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