Kempinski plans to serve alcohol on Qatar’s Pearl

Hotel giant's sales director says 'plan is not to have it dry' despite previous alcohol ban
Views of Pearl-Qatar
By Francesca Astorri
Sun 07 Apr 2013 10:13 AM

The new Kempinski hotel being built on Qatar’s Pearl development will serve alcohol, one of its senior executives has told Arabian Business.

“Our plans is to have a full facility property, the plan is not to have it dry” said Avsar Koc, Kempinski regional director of sales.

The serving of alcohol has been banned on the Pearl leading to the closure of many restaurants, after seeing their revenues decline.

However, Koc said the new hotel – due to be opened by 2015, was confident it would not be affected.

“We are building a five-star hotel with a seven-star attitude,” he said.

The 330 room hotel is going to be located next to the main access to the Pearl. The project is still at a foundation stage, but once concluded the hotel will have its beach, nine outlets, spa, restaurants, providing also other services. 

Last year Arabian Business reported that more restaurants on Qatar’s flagship Pearl development are expected to close as they struggle to maintain revenues amid an island-wide ban on selling alcohol, analysts have warned.

Restaurants have seen revenues slump by almost 50 percent in the wake of the ban, which has already seen the closure of several outlets and forced a number of operators to abandon plans to open new eateries.

“Restaurants that cannot easily adapt their menus and concepts to a clientele that appreciates a purely dry offer will only be able to survive a few months more. I feel sure that other restaurants will follow suit [and close down],” hospitality analyst Guy Wilkinson told Arabian Business.

Several international firms have scrapped plans to open new restaurants in the wake of the ban, which was introduced in January last year. US-based Ruth’s Chris Steak House said in June it was about to sign a deal for the Pearl-Qatar, but pulled out at the last minute when the ban was imposed.

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