All Bahrain hotels 'must face clamp'
Manama, April 23, 2009
Four Islamic groups have called on the government to include all hotels in Bahrain in its clampdown on alcohol.
They backed a decision by Information and Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa to ban alcohol and live entertainment in one and two-star hotels.
However, they urged the government to roll out the ban in an effort to promote 'clean tourism'.
'We want clean tourism and we appreciate the closure move, but we hope that it would be further expanded to include discos and bars in all hotels,' said the statement.
'The country should shift into clean tourism, which attracts families in the first place, rather than current hotel business.'
The statement was signed by Al Menbar National Islamic Society and its social wing Al Eslah Society, along with Islamic Shura and the Islamic Association.
It claimed 39 one and two-star hotels were included in the ban, which was implemented last Friday, but said some were still serving alcohol.
'We support Shaikha Mai's moves to close down bars and discos in one and two-star hotels, but the decision is yet to be implemented,' said the statement.
'There is an unnecessary delay and we urge the ministry to implement the decision as soon as possible, considering that the closure should have happened on Friday.
'We know that there is opposition to the ministry's decision, but those people only think about protecting their own interests, regardless of the country's reputation.'
MPs representing the Al Menbar group previously called for Shaikh Mai to step down from her former position as assistant under-secretary for Culture and National Heritage, after claiming that performances during a Spring of Culture event in 2007 were sexually explicit.-TradeArabia News Service