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Mon 20 Apr 2009 08:10 AM

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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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Walter 10 years ago

So its ok to drink and party wild in a 5 star??? LOL

Tom 10 years ago

>> So its ok to drink and party wild in a 5 star??? That was the first thing that went through my mind. People who can't afford to stay in 5 star hotels can't drink, and it is all ok for people staying in 5 stars to drink.

Mirror 10 years ago

I could not find out the reason behind this double-policy! if something is bad, then it must be banned for everyone and or if it not why poor people must be kept away from it! This indirectly means if you cannot afford to spend money in Bahrain you must not go there! What a double-Policy!

Kasmani Salim 10 years ago

I agree with government policy.

Beady Selah 10 years ago

A sign of things to come in "Business Friendly Bahrain" Why anyone would base their business in Bahrain is a loss to many. Why anyone would live there is beyond me. There is so little for one to do in Bahrain. A water park which isn't located near a beach, no parks of any note; just a few shopping centres, a couple of average restaurants, a loss making rubbish airline and thousands of long-time expats who can't see the place crumbling around them who still speak of the good old days and what a great place to bring up children. Wake up residents and move while you can.

defender 10 years ago

since you have such great things to say about a GCC country why dont you go back to YOUR own country where i am sure they have NO SLUMS>

Harry Barracuda 10 years ago

This decision, although badly timed and with too little notice, removes the rat-infested hellholes from residential areas, so people don't have to be distracted by drunks falling out of bars at 2am waking them up when they need to be at work at 7am the next day. I don't hear too many people complaining - the only ones it really affects are the Saudi weekend warriors and Bahrain's seedy nightclub set (which isn't worth worrying about anyway).

Kasmani 10 years ago

PEOPLE LEAVING IN BAHRAIN EITHER BAHRAINI OR NON BAHRAINI ITS A MUSLIM COUNTRY. I PERSONALLY BELIEVE RIGHT AND VERY GOOD STEP TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT OF BAHRAIN. I FULLY SUPPORT.

Sunny 10 years ago

Actually it is not very clear from the article, whether only 1&2-star hotels will be banned. You should be more specific. Is it a total ban, on hotel business only, or on budget hotels.

melwyn pereira 10 years ago

I personally think its a wise decision by the concerned minister. If it can be banned in Sharjah and still the emirate can progress - I feel its a right move and many families will give praise to God because of this decision.