Women are clearly present in corresponding images in the firm's English-language catalogue.

The firm said "excluding women from the Saudi Arabian version of the catalogue is in conflict with the Ikea Group values".

It attributed the gaffe to the fact its Saudi operation is run by a franchisee.

Several images in the catalogue, published on Ikea's Saudi website, show women completely absent in a number of promotional scenes.

The same images in other versions of the catalogue include women.