A controversial ban on alcohol at Qatar's manmade Pearl-Qatar development has led to the closure of another restaurant, according to local news in the Gulf state.
Doha News reported that upscale Thai restaurant Mango Tree will shut its doors for good at the end of the month due to the alcohol ban, which was introduced at the end of 2011 and caused a slump in revenues for a number of restaurants and subsequent closures.
In January, 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 after just two years of operation. 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.
Earlier this year, one expert told Arabian Business that lifting the ban on alcohol on Pearl-Qatar could lead to a resurgence in the number of tourists patronising the development.
“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],” said Edward Brookes, Head of Valuation at real estate firm DTZ Middle East.
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.