As quarantine drags on, Saudis struggle to seek sustenance


RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s favorite pastime of going out to eat has become — at least for now — a thing of the past. With the country’s restaurants closed for dine-in customers and only open for delivery and takeout, the country’s food delivery apps have seen an unprecedented surge of customers.

From apps that have been around since the beginning, such as Talabat and HungerStation, to newer ones like Jahez, Carriage, and Lugmety, the appeal of having food delivered right to your door has never been stronger.

However, despite frequent reassurances from both the apps themselves and their partner restaurants, as well as the government clamping down on hygiene and safety practices in all restaurants, opinions are divided on whether food delivery is entirely safe or necessary.

Khawla Mukhtar, a mother of five, told Arab News that she never liked the idea of food delivery apps, and she likes it even less now.

“I was always skeptical of them because I don’t like the idea of so many strangers knowing my name and where I live. Now it’s even less safe, because you don’t know how many people they’ve already been delivering food to, or whom they’ve interacted with on their off time,” she said

Mukhtar is doing her best to prepare all three of her family’s daily meals at home with ingredients she picks carefully at the supermarket.

“I shop once a week, and I don’t hoard or stockpile food. I just take what I need. I try not to get anything raw or exposed, only things that are sealed or


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