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Johannesburg – An Egyptian hotel worker has been arrested by the Saudi authorities for appearing in what the officials described an “offensive” video which showed him eating breakfast with a female co-worker.

The footage, which sparked outrage on social media in the ultra-conservative kingdom, showed the pair sharing a meal at a desk, the Daily Monitor reported on Tuesday.

The woman, draped head-to-toe in Islamic niqab, is seen waving to the camera and feeding the man - who was filming - with her hand.

"The labour ministry arrested an expatriate in Jeddah after he appeared in an offensive video," the labour ministry said in a statement.

The owner of the hotel where the Egyptian expatriate worked has also been summoned for questioning for failing to adhere to government regulations that stipulate a gender-segregated workplace.

As the video sparked a torrent of criticism from arch-conservatives, the public prosecution urged expats in the kingdom to respect "values and traditions of Saudi society". 

African News Agency/ANA