A “Sharia compliant” sex shop is reportedly set to open in Mecca selling halal products.
El Asira, an erotic brand originating in Amsterdam, is branching out to Islam’s holiest city in Saudi Arabia, visited by millions of Muslims a year on the “hajj” pilgrimage.
Founder Abdelaziz Aouragh announced his ambition last year but now the shop is almost ready to open, Morocco-based website Alyaoum24 reported.
Muslim clerics and Saudi sheikhs have reportedly been consulted to ensure the business complies with local laws and customs.
“The products we're putting on the market have nothing to do with blow-up dolls or vibrators,” Mr Aouragh told the AFP news agency.
“It's not about the sex act, it's what's going on around it. Our products increase the atmosphere and heighten feelings of sensuality.”
Women's freedoms are severely restricted in Saudi Arabia and Islamic codes of behaviour and dress are strictly enforced but El Asira says it strives to lead to "more admiration and love for women" by improving marital relationships.
Its website describes all products as “Sharia compliant” and claims they can “provide a deeper meaning to sexuality, sensuality and even spirituality”.
Everything sold online and in the brand’s shops has been deemed “halal”, meaning they are permissible according to Islamic law.
“All our products are maintaining the integrity, pure humanity and ethics inherent with the Sharia,” the website says.
The company, launched in the Netherlands in 2010, specialises in sensual oils and is backed by German adult company Beate Uhse.