Business in Bahrain soars during Eid
Manama, August 23, 2012
Bahrain's malls and restaurants enjoyed roaring trade over the three-day Eid holiday, while almost all the kingdom's four and five-star hotels were full to capacity, according to official figures.
The hotels showed most had occupancy rates of 70 per cent and some were fully booked between Saturday and Tuesday.
Sources said at least two five-star and three four-star hotels were 90 per cent full between Saturday and Tuesday, with some others reporting full occupancy on the last two days of Eid.
They said while almost all hotels in Manama and Juffair did brisk business, others reported occupancy levels of between 27 per cent and 50 per cent on Saturday and Sunday, which rose to between 60 per cent and 80 per cent on Monday and Tuesday.
'This has been a really fruitful Eid holiday for hotels across the board,' said Bahrain's Four Star Hotel Committee chairman Hameed Al Halwachi.
'The business we have done this season has been quite extraordinary, considering we had been going through a lot of trouble as far as occupancy was concerned in the last many months.'
Al Halwachi confirmed hotels in Juffair and parts of Manama were the busiest as were others located in places far away from the centre of Manama.
'Overall, we have had a good season, with Sunday and Monday being the busiest,' he said. 'This is a welcome relief from where we were.'
However, Al Halwachi said while the signs looked good, there was still a long way to go for the hotel industry to rebound.
'Though we have done well in this season, the real test will be in the coming months when Bahrain's actual tourism season begins,' he said.
'The government is encouraging tourism and taking a lot of steps to ensure the industry does well,' he added.
Five Star Hotels executive committee chairman Abdulnabi Daylami said occupancy levels at hotels across Bahrain had exceeded expectations.
'All hotels had above average occupancy and much better than the last Eid holiday,' he said.
Daylami said the future looked promising since every hotel had 'reasonable levels' of advance bookings. 'Our season begins in October and we expect an influx of tourists into Bahrain,' he said.
The Seef Mall said its visitor numbers also increased significantly during the three-day holiday.
'We estimate we had an increase of 49 per cent over the average mall footfall during the three days,' said a spokeswoman, without disclosing the exact figures.
Tens of thousands of people also flocked to Bahrain City Centre during the holiday, with motorists reportedly queuing all the way from the Burgerland Roundabout in Budaiya to get into its car park.
Several restaurants and fast food outlets also reported bumper trade, including McDonald's, which is one of the biggest, with 17 outlets across the country.
'We had a lot of people visiting out restaurants spread across Bahrain and the numbers were much more than the normal footfall,' said the company's Bahrain operations manager Jamil Badran. 'Overall, we had good business catering to people from all walks of life.” – TradeArabia News Service