Bahrain hotels call for delay to alcohol, music ban

Hotels chief meets with PM to ask for one-year delay to new clampdown.

Bahrain's one and two-star hotels have asked for a one-year delay to the implementation of a government alcohol ban, it emerged on Monday.

The new tourism clampdown imposed by the Culture and Information Ministry at the weekend also bans the budget hotels from recruiting musicians from abroad and orders them to halt all live entertainment programmes.

Hotels warned that hundreds of staff could be laid off as a result of the new ban while they have also expressed concern that the decision was taken just a week before Bahrain Grand Prix, which usually boosts their trade.

A letter organised by the Bahrain Society of Hotels and Restaurants has been presented to Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa who said he would look into the request, Gulf Daily News reported on Monday.

The paper added that 39 hotels had been notified of the new rules on Thursday, just a day before they were implemented.

Bahrain Society of Hotels and Restaurants president Ahmed Sanad said he met Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and presented him with a letter on behalf of hotel owners.

"We (hotel owners) explained that we were not given a chance, so we asked to be given one year to upgrade to three-star hotels," he told the paper.

Sanad, who owns one-star Al Zubara Hotel, said that the grace period would be for those keen to upgrade their hotels.

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Posted by: Potential Dubai Resident

I have stayed in Bahrain many times over the past five years. The real problem is not the majority of responsible drinkers but drunk drivers. I have seen far more serious traffic accidents in Bahrain than there are in Dubai - and that's saying something! The courts and police in Bahrain must come down heavily on the Bahrani and Saudi nationals who drive under the influence of excessive alcohol and believe they can get away with it, by using their money, influence and local connections. In my experience, there are very few ex-pats, U.S. military or visitors who drink and drive, as taxis are relatively plentiful and cheap. It is the rich, young (and one assumes, predominantly Muslim?) guys who like to race, burn rubber and spin their flashy cars around on the hand brake, who are the real danger in Bahrain. I've twice seen these guys crash into cars and immediately run away from the scene, abandoning their own vehicles. They are potential killers and should be treated as such by the authorities.

Posted by: Marijke

Tom, I don't consider myself high class, I just have the decency to behave myself accordingly to what is expected of me. The people that go and get drunk in 2 and 3* hotels and behave the way they do, for me are low class. That has nothing to do with money, but with the way you act and respect yourself. There are certain areas here you can't walk as a woman as most of the "low class" visitors from neighbours who consider every female for sale, roam around drunk in their cars. It's quite a show.

Posted by: Doug

It's true that money cannot buy happiness but unfortunately, religious purity will not necessarily put a roof over your head or food on the table. The Bahraini government must do everything it can to support those who may lose their jobs because of this ban - after all, it was the Bahraini government that permitted them to make their living this way in the first place. They have a moral and social obligation to provide an opportunity to make a living to replace the one they have taken away - the best way they can do this is to ensure that larger numbers of tourists come to Bahrain.

Posted by: FHR

Doug. I am very glad that you agreed with my comments. I think because you have good qualities. Do not worry about the money, it will come. What everyone needs to build is a foundation that is based on the good not the evil. Good people do not need heeps of money to live in happiness. People need to care about each others first. We live in a world that is materialistic. Every thing has a monetory value now adays. Look what the modern banking system did to the caused financial crisis, recision and pain. Now the greedy few will benfit while millions will suffer. Please everyone.......wakeup.

Posted by: Tom

"I live in Bahrain myself, and every weekend the cheaper hotels are full with very low class people who really give this lovely country a very bad image." marijke, people like you from the upper class know this better, but how on earth do you classify this people as "low class". I come across this kind of mentality, and it makes me sick to my stomach. If there is ever a low class, my friend, you are definitely in it.

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