Bahrain hotels to open


Four new four-star properties are to be officially opened in Bahrain by the end of the year, increasing the number of hotels in that category to 18, a top official revealed.

Novotel Al Dana Resort, Mövenpick Hotel at the airport and two new hotels in Seef, yet to be named, will add to the country’s tourism facilities, said Information Ministry Tourism Affairs assistant under-Secretary Mubarak Al Atwi.

“We are also studying applications from investors who are finalising plans to open more hotels and furnished apartments in the kingdom,” he said.

Currently, there are 87 hotels and 89 top class restaurants licensed by the Tourism Affairs.

These include seven five-star, 14 four-star and 23 three-star hotels.
The number of total hotel rooms has reached 12,000 and furnished apartments 3,000, said Al Atwi.

“However, it is important to increase their numbers to meet the demand of the ever-increasing number of tourists and the requirements of international events like the Formula One,” he said.

Al Atwi said the Information Ministry had suggested the formation of a committee to study a suggestion on “hotel zones”, put forward by a parliament group.

Once the committee, comprising representatives from various ministries, Shura Council and the parliament is set up, it will explore the possibility of reserving certain zones for hotels and other tourism services away from residential areas, he added.

Meanwhile, Tourism Affairs recently stepped up inspections of hotels to ensure that they complied with Ramadan regulations.

No hotel was allowed to have disco or bands during the holy month, said Al Atwi.
“Hotels which erected Ramadan tents were allowed to offer only traditional soft music by male artists,” he said.

“We granted permission to the hotels to bring in artists for Eid, according to the established rules and regulations.

“Two and three-star hotels were allowed one band, and four-star hotels two. Each folklore group or band should not have had more than five female artists.”

Al Atwi said there were no demands from five-star hotels for extra bands, as they focused on conferences, and related services.