Baby bottle craze spreads in Gulf Arab states, reacts

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Cafes in several Gulf Arab states have started selling coffee and other cold drinks in baby bottles this month, sparking excitement, confusion and reaction to the new trend.

The tour started from Einstein Cafe, from Dubai to Kuwait to Bahrain, a crisp dessert chain with branches in the region. Instead of the usual paper cups, the cafe, inspired by pictures of trendy looking bottles shared on social media, decided to serve its thick milk drinks in plastic bottles.

Although the franchise was no newcomer to baby-themed products – a milkshake with Serlac, a rice cereal for babies, has long been a bestseller – the unprecedented enthusiasm on food bottles was a shock. All the stress and discomfort associated with the coronavirus epidemic seems to have inspired some to find an outlet in the strange new craze.

“Everyone wanted to buy it, people called all day and told them they were coming with their friends, they were coming with their father and mother,” Yunus Molla, CEO of the Einstein franchise in the United Arab Emirates, told the Associated Press. “Press this week.” After many months with this epidemic, with all the hardships, people took photos, had fun, they remembered their childhood. “

Einstein stores in Lines Bay filled up. Waiting for the opportunity to drink coffee and juice from a plastic bottle, people of all ages walked the sidewalk. Some patrons also brought their own baby bottles to other cafes, urging them to fill the odd baristas.

Pictures of thousands of baby bottles filled with colorful kaleidoscopes of drinks are picked up by thousands on Instagram and turned back on the popular social media app Ticket OK. A cure for world uncertainty? Some initial instinct feedback? Either way, a trend was born.

Soon, however, online haters took notice – baby bottle drinkers and providers faced barrage of nasty comments.

“People got very angry, they said horrible things, that we are ‘ayab’ for Islam and Muslim culture,” Mollah said, using the Arabic word for shame or insult.

Last week, anger reached the highest level of government. Dubai authorities sabotaged. Inspection teams erupted in the cafe where the trend had stopped and fines were imposed.

Read in the government statement, “Such haphazard use of children’s bottles is not only against local culture and traditions, but misunderstanding the bottle at the time of filling can also contribute to the spread of COVID-19,” which clearly brings their used bottles to other cafes.

Authorities added in the statement that “social media users have been warned about the negative practice and its dangers.”

Backlash also came from Kuwait, where the government temporarily closed the Einstein cafe, and from Bahrain, where the Commerce Ministry sent police to the cafe equipped with live cameras and warned all eateries to stop drinking and serving drinks. Violates. ”

Oman urged citizens to report seeing bike bottles on the Consumer Protection Authority hotline. Saudi Twitter users and media personalities have strongly condemned the move, with popular news website Mujaz al-Akhbar lamenting that the state’s “daughters have suffered humiliation and loss of religion.”

This is not the first time that guardians of local customs in Gulf Arab countries have turned their attention to the social media phenomenon. Wig laws in the region give the authorities broad powers to eradicate public immorality and obscenity. Emirati authorities arrested a young expat last spring, for example, for posting a video on Ticket OK, blaming him for “damaging” the UAE’s reputation and its institutions.