Bahrain Review Al Bander Resort sets eyes on bright future November 2003 651 The Al Bander resort. The Al Bander Resort is nestled, quite like an oasis on the island of Bahrain. “The rest of 2003 looks good,” says general manager, Aboulkheir M Ibrahim. “I think the coming year will be good for us as well. That is if there are no adverse developments. “We are looking forward to the Formula 1, which will give the tourism and hoteliers a big boost in their respective zones. In the immediate future we are working hard to open a conference center, which will feature outstanding facilities, supported by delectable F&B menus making it the hallmark towards conference success.”“Just like other Hotels, we too had our share of suffering, especially this year with the Iraq war,” says Ibrahim. “But that was short-lived and Al Bander is once again catching up fast. Occupancy levels have shot up, demand and supply of rooms are very optimistic. Therefore I should say we have made up for lost time. “During summer this year, we had come out with several promotions and events to make up, and the response received was tremendous. “The Kuwaiti and Saudi visitors, in particular. contribute largely towards Al Bander’s growth. However, we are now concentrating on other areas of growth in order to create a niche market for Al Bander .”“Business and commercial activity in Bahrain has picked up a lot in recent months and our business has gone up due to corporate and business clients,” says Ibrahim. “Being a large Beach Property most visitors are interested in recreation and F&B activities along with their stay. In the last quarter itself, Al Bander organised so many special events and promotions that kept the business momentum going and the visitors returned for more. “A fair amount of repeat guests were noticed. Our profitability has increased and business stabilised. The MICE market is showing a steady growth. Also the Bahrain Tourism Department in the recent past has strove hard to showcase Bahrain through many exhibitions by bringing in exhibitors from all parts of the world and thereby creating a demand for rooms. “We on our part support every ministerial and tourism related projects, for example for the forthcoming grand prix. Al Bander has already committed a set number of rooms for the Bahrain International Circuit visitors,” says Ibrahim. “Al Bander has always striven to measure up to national expectations. Recently our hotel was awarded for the highest Bahrainisation percentage. We endeavor towards excellence through training, motivational programmes which cater to the interest of Bahraini’s who seek job with us. We have selected Bahraini’s both at management as well as non-management levels, and I am hoping in the coming months - keeping in mind the sensitivity of different nationalities working at Al Bander - we will be in a position to create an exceptional work culture and be an ideal example to the hotel industry as such.