Manama: A restaurant in Saudi Arabia has started offering free meals to the poor and the needy without conditions.

"The restaurant is open to the needy and passers-by who cannot afford to buy food," the owner, who refused to give his name said, Saudi Arabic daily Okaz reported on Wednesday.

"People can come in between noon and 2 pm without any conditions or limits," the owner of the restaurant in Taef, 130 kilometres east of the Red Sea city of Jeddah, said.

The unprecedented move prompted several people to request licences to open restaurant that will provide free or low-cost meals to the poor and the needy, the daily said.

Acts of charity are common in Saudi Arabia, particularly during the religious seasons, mainly Haj (pilgrimage) and Ramadan, the fasting month.