Manama: A Saudi family has dismissed claims that a groom gave away new iPhone 8s to all the guests at the wedding ceremony.
A video clip showing a troupe playing traditional wedding music while waiters carried trays with pyramids of boxes went viral on social media under the claim that they were packs of the latest smartphones from Apple offered as gifts to the guests in a hall in Jeddah, in western Saudi Arabia.
"These were malicious rumours that had nothing to do with the reality on the ground," Mohammad Al Haqqan, a relative, said. "First of all, it was not a wedding ceremony, but an engagement party."
Al Haqqan added: "The gifts that were offered to the guests were boxes of local sweets wrapped in boxes that look like the new iPhone 8 boxes. They are known here as the Malaka sweets and they are part of a local tradition."
Al Haqqan added that the family was shocked by the extravagant remarks and claims posted on social media "without any shred of truth."
"No engagement party can be held without offering sweets to the guests in appreciation and recognition of honouring the groom and the family with their presence at one of their most memorable celebrations," he said. quoted by Saudi news site Al Marsad on Sunday.
Commenters agreed with Al Haqqan, saying that it was obvious that the trays would have been very difficult to carry if the boxes contained mobile phones.
Others concurred with the family's explanation, saying that the tradition of offering sweets was well-known in the western part of Saudi Arabia.
Some comments criticized those who launched the iPhone8 rumours, saying that they should mind God's orders to show respect and not to make false claims about other people.