Bahrain plans ban on liquor, female singers

Culture and information minister orders one and two-star hotels to shut their bars & discos.

CRACK DOWN: The ban would affect close to 33 two-star hotels, six one-star hotels and six unclassified hotels.(Getty Images)

CRACK DOWN: The ban would affect close to 33 two-star hotels, six one-star hotels and six unclassified hotels.(Getty Images)

Bahrain's culture and information minister has ordered one and two-star hotels to close down their bars and discos, a Gulf News report says.

Sheikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa has also asked hotels in the oil kingdom not to sell liquor and to ban female singers from performing in their halls and restaurants.

The daily added that the ban would affect close to 33 two-star hotels, six one-star hotels and six unclassified hotels.

The ban, effective Friday, may be extended to three and four-star hotels.

"We applaud the courage of Sheikha Mai whose commitment to a genuinely clean Bahrain deserves to be lauded at all levels," said Fareed Abdul Hadi, a university professor and preacher at the Adliya Mosque, in his Friday sermon, according to Gulf News.

"Several information ministers have tried to impose this ban, but their efforts were invariably defeated by those who do not care an ounce about the country's reputation. We are aware that the hoteliers and those who thrive on vice will do their utmost to reverse the ban, but we are confident that Shaikha Mai will be able to uphold our national and religious values," he added.

However, the hotel and restaurant owners’ society in the gulf kingdom has called the move illegal and plans to challenge it in the court of law.

Ahmad Sanad, the head of the hotel and restaurant owners' society, said: "The ban will hurt many people whose income and families depend on hotels. Many proprietors have invested millions of dinars and the ban will mean financial and legal problems. The ministry should think about compensating them for their losses."
An Internet report has ranked Manama among the top ten vice cities in the world, the daily notes.

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Posted by: zahir bin omar

peace be upon all Bahrain is supposed to be a country run by Muslims.So how in the first place did they allow these vices to be introduced is beyond any beleiver.All these vices must go and if the tourists go with it so what.If they are only interested in vice then let them visit countries that allow filth and vice to flourish and we can visit Bahrain with our families knowing all well that at least we will no be confronted with filth

Posted by: Ron

I used to live in Bahrain in the 90's for over three years. I occationally check-in to see how my former home is doing. I performed in a band part time after my day job was done. All of us musicians used to meet at the Bahrain International Hotel on Fridays to jam, mingle, and have some fun. I remember playing at the Palace Inn, and your current Amir would buy me Fosters and I was thankful. I like that guy. It's too bad his father died, he was a nice man too. Bahrain gave me a sense of being somewhere fun. The bahrainis are a nice and kind people. I don't see where banning booze is going to improve anything. Resposible people behave in a responsible way, regardless of what laws you pass. On the contrary, those foes that ruin things for everyone always seem to get away with it....what a shame.....

Posted by: Sam

I guess you have to stick to a plan and move ahead with it. It's hard to ban something which has been there for ages. especially when people ahve invested money an dtime on it. I suggest Bahrain has to choose what they need. Alcohol and other activies will run no matter if its banned mainstream. Only differnce thsi will cause is the perpective the rest of teh world willhav eon Bahrain. To be in sync and in homogenity with the world one msut let different cultures have there bits and peice. The way bahrain seems to be going is as Iran or saudi has been for ages. They can sustain themselves because of teh resources they have. Only difference here is Bahrain wants to regenerate revenue from Tourism. What a laugh. Why woudl anyone want to spend their hard earned money travelling to a country where there is very little natural beauty. Just a bunch of hotels and sand... I hope the F1 circuit is removed as quick as possible from Bahrain and moved to a more moderate Arab country. This has nothing to do with Islamic values. This is just a way to say we can do what we please and you arent welcome here. I predict the time has come for Bahrain to come back to the dark ages and wish them luck when there town is filled with nothing but fishermen and old souqs. I also hope they go a step further and stop Bahraini's from travelling outside and then why not stop the internets and cable TVs. Why not Ban english. Ban all fast food joints I'm sure it isnt in arab culture either. Why not stop the automobile and ride camels instead. What i'm really trying to say here is if you ban it here then you are saying make your culture yours or get out. This is so much more than just alcohol. This is freedom of choice. DOnt make your decisions for us. Rather you teach your children the pro's and cons of every situation. I think more than alcoholic bahrain's have drug issue.

Posted by: Abid

Applause to the Sheikha Mai for this daring step, which should be supported by the Islamic scholars The Bahrain people should understand the benefits of having a clean country and hence should support in implementing Sheikha Mai's decision. Staying away from Bahrain, in the neighboring country i could only make my supplications in this good cause.

Posted by: Omid

Just because you can't enjoy life it doesn't mean you should ban other people from doing so! The worst thing is going back to where you began 50 years ago!

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