Alcohol could revive Pearl-Qatar - expert

Lifting a ban on alcohol at the Pearl-Qatar could lead to resurgence in tourism numbers

Views of Pearl-Qatar.

Views of Pearl-Qatar.

Lifting a ban on alcohol at the Pearl-Qatar could lead to a resurgence in the number of tourists visiting the man-made development, according to one real estate expert in the Gulf country.

Alcohol was permanently banned from the Pearl-Qatar in December 2011, causing a slump in revenues for a number of restaurants and subsequent closures.

“Reintroducing alcohol would certainly help the development's appeal for residents, as well as attracting non residents to come and enjoy the restaurants and hence add to the economic and social activities that help create a thriving [area],” Edward Brookes, Head of Valuation at real estate firm DTZ Middle East told Arabian Business Qatar.

Earlier this month, celebrity UK chef Gordon Ramsay weighed in on the row over alcohol on the development, which led to the closure of his Maze restaurant in March 2012. Ramsay told one local news outlet that he did not see the rule "lasting much longer".

“I think the legislation in terms of operating restraints - going out for dinner and not being allowed to have a glass of wine - I think it’s one turn-off for any local,” he was quoted as saying by Doha News, while on a visit to the city to open two new restaurants at the St Regis Hotel.

DTZ Middle East's Brookes said that the Pearl-Qatar's reputation was also being impacted by delays in construction, as well as varying quality between residences on the development.

Porto Arabia, a major mixed use project that includes residences, a marina and a luxury hotel, was originally scheduled for completion in 2008. More than four years later and less than half of the development is ready for occupancy, with 18 out of the 31 towers still under construction.

“Differences in construction quality between towers of the luxury district are also creating a misperception of the place, making some expats rethink their decision to live at the Pearl. Construction supervision should remain an imperative in ensuring the highest standards at the Pearl are maintained,” Brookes said.

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Posted by: kas

Errr - I know a place called The Walk on Jumeirah Beach in Dubai that thrives with no alcohol - The eateries are packed every night. Also - for those of you who are naive enough to think the F.A. would have awarded the World Cup to a country that was going to be dry and turned it's back on millions of dollors in sponsorship from the drinks companies- then you need to wake up!!! Qatar isn't dry - drink is freely available in 5 star hotels, just like the UAE and there is no chance of the country EVER being dry. (At least not until after the world cup!)Pearl isn't attached to a 5 star hotel - so therefore should be dry. It's simple really - rules are rules???!

Posted by: Jim

I think you will find that Bahrain will end up being the main base for football fans during the world cup. The Qatar-Bahrain Causeway will be in place by then so it will be a 40 minute drive from Manama which has the most liberal alcohol laws in the region. Drinks are available outside hotels so there are great little independent restaurants and bars. Strangely enough, it has some of the toughest Ramadan legislation with NO booze apart from private members clubs so I can only hope that it does not fall during July in 2022.

Posted by: Ahmad

Ramadan in 2022 will be in April

Posted by: Qatari

So you people are saying, as long as it makes economic sense then we should allow it? How about we open marijuana coffeshops, that would bring lots of tourists. Some people should learn to accept the choice of the citizens and respect the culture.

Posted by: ex Qatar Expats

dont listen to those alcoholic people. alcohol is bad to your health and your faith. just stay away from Allah's anger, and your people would be saved for the entire of your life.

Qatar and others GCC countries should invest more in education, technology, creative and health industry than invest in tourism who would/might endanger your people's faith and traditional culture with inappropriate/immoral habits of the tourists themselves.

Muslims have been experienced an advanced civilization for centuries without consuming alcohol, so why should we follow those alcoholic people's way?

Posted by: Doug

You don't have to follow 'those alcoholic people's way'. You could just let non-Muslims consume alcohol while you yourself stay away and bask in your sense of self-superiority.

People are talking as if the plan is to make everyone drink alcohol. It's actually about giving people a choice. If they make the wrong one, that's their problem.

Posted by: Anthony Brookes

My wife and I visit Qatar annualy and have watched the Pearl rise from the sea to its present state The restaurants do enhance the standard of living for both local people and expats and if alcohol is consumed sensibly in the retaurants and is regulated by local law it could benefit the businesses there It is when consumed recklessly that it causes a problem.We both admire and respect the Qatari people and the laws of the country and do not find the alcohol regulations onerus.We are just as happy with friut juice in the Souk as an apperatif in the hotels,but it is up to the legistators to decide what isappropriate.

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