Hotels scrabble as Dubai declares Valentine’s Day dry

Alcohol banned on February 14 by emirate's tourism authority following clash with religious celebration
February 14 is traditionally a lucrative earner for hotels that capitalise on its commercial potential

February 14 is traditionally a lucrative earner for hotels that capitalise on its commercial potential

Hotels in Dubai are scrambling to reschedule their Valentine’s Day celebrations after the emirate’s tourism authority confirmed February 14 will be a dry night for religious reasons.

February 14, traditionally a lucrative earner for hotels that capitalise on its commercial potential, this year falls a day ahead of Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) birthday, the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing told Arabian Business.

Licensed hotels and bars will be barred from selling alcohol as a result, Saad El Sayed, a media spokesperson at DTCM told.

“This is because of Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) birthday only,” he said.

The date, referred to as Milad Al Nabi, is traditionally marked as a religious holiday by the UAE and other Muslim states, in order to celebrate the life of the Prophet (PBUH).

Hotels in the emirate told Arabian Business they would be holding their Valentine’s Day celebrations on February 13, and reserving more sedate, dry events for the day itself.

"We will adapt the Valentine's offer to serve only non-alcoholic drinks," a spokesperson for the state-backed Jumeirah Group, which counts the Burj Al Arab in its portfolio, told Arabian Business.

“Due to this development, our celebration will be on the 13th so we could serve both our alcohol and non-alcoholic packages and on the 14th only the non-alcoholic beverages will be available,” a spokesperson from the Renaissance Hotel confirmed.

In Abu Dhabi, hotels have not yet received any direction from the tourism authorities.

“In Abu Dhabi there has been no announcement yet with regards to Valentine’s being dry so we will continue our activities as planned unless instructed otherwise by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority,” Lina Vasiloudis, director of marketing and communications at the Beach Rotana hotel in Abu Dhabi told Arabian Business.


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Posted by: Liz

To Jezinho, you are really lucky to be living in the Gulf 120 years!!

Posted by: Shiva

Hahaha. Wonder how the traffic was a century ago :D

Posted by: Marc

It?s amazing how people keep on going on about how they hate valentine?s day etc etc and when asked why they don?t really have a solid answer its usually ?ah it?s so commercialised? or ?you don?t need to wait till Feb 14th to show your love? but here?s the thing you don?t actually have to hate Valentine?s day, Feb 14th Valentines is really what you make it up to be, you really don?t need to go out and spend thousands or drink yourself senseless to prove your love, stay home cook something enjoy with your partner simple

Posted by: SA

Valentine's Day is a commercial event propagated by greedy businesses to make more profits. Celebrate your love with your loved ones i.e. parents, siblings, wife, kids, friends, etc. everyday no need to wait for the 14th of February which is just like any other day on the calendar.

Posted by: Not Tight

Listen to all of you clamouring for any excuse not to spend money on your loved one. Sure, you CAN do this on any day of the year but most of you don't. Stop complaining about it, be humble and loving and show some effort (not just cash or alcohol). Oh, and the bubbly is always a nice touch which isn't bereft of "moral or spiritual values".

Posted by: Abu Hamad

This day should not be given any attention as it has become a day of iniquity that is bereft of any moral or spiritual values.

Posted by: Sultan

A great decision and I hope all the malls and hotels refrain from celebrating a day that is alien to this region. We celebrate love everyday and not by becoming intoxicated alcoholics and buying chocolates.

Posted by: Jezinho

Sorry Sultan but my impression after living here for over 120 years is that Gulf nationals are far more enthusiastic about Valentine's Day than we are back in the UK. Your wife is lucky to have such a perfect husband that you buy her flowers, chocolates and other love tokens every day of the year.

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