Bahrain vows to ban off-licence alcohol shops
Manama, November 5, 2008
A Parliament bloc on Tuesday pledged to ban alcohol sales in Bahrain, "even if it takes 10 years".
It welcomed the closure of off-licence shops in Manama that were not hotel outlets, saying the government was on the right track, according to a report in our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Al Menbar bloc, which has been pressuring the government over six years for a complete ban on alcohol sales, says it is relieved that one of its demands has been met.
It said that it was happy that the shops, which were close to residential neighbourhoods in Manama, had been closed down, even though many had directed their customers to their warehouses.
Al Menbar is working with other blocs to pressure the government to ban alcohol sales at Bahrain International Airport and on Gulf Air flights.
"We are very happy that those outlets have been closed. Though we wanted a complete closure, something is better than nothing," bloc MP Shaikh Mohammed Khalid Mohammed told the GDN.
"The bloc has no problem with those having alcohol delivered at homes or those taking it from warehouses in Mina Salman, visitors asking for it through room service or taking from their mini-bar, but buying or consuming it in the open is something we won't accept.
"There are moves in co-ordination with other blocs to have it banned on Gulf Air flights and at the airport and hopefully this will happen soon.
"People were concerned that these outlets were too close to their homes and that their children would become curious as they saw people buying from them."
Shaikh Mohammed said that his bloc would work to ensure a complete ban.
"We will do this even if it means pressuring the government for the next 10 years.
"Bahrain is an Islamic country, but unfortunately things are not being done accordingly." - TradeArabia News Service