Bahrain hotel in $3.9m F1 revamp
Manama, March 31, 2012
One of Bahrain's oldest four-star hotels has undergone a BD1.5 million ($3.97 million) facelift as it prepares to welcome guests for the upcoming Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Gulf Gate Hotel, located in the heart of Manama's business district, has already sold out ahead of the prestigious event taking place at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) on April 20, 21 and 22.
"We started the renovation work immediately after the unrest in Bahrain last year even when no one was sure what would happen," said Zakir Ahmed Mohammed Sulaiman, chairman of the Maria Group of Hotel Management, which operates the hotel.
"The renovation has involved completely refurbishing the interiors and exteriors of the hotel, including the guest rooms and restaurants.
"Though we were also a little sceptical as to which way the country was heading, we decided to make this investment in the long-term future of Bahrain.
"We are a resilient people and we should not put our plans on hold for any reason."
Officials from top F1 teams have booked out the hotel. "This time is of tremendous importance to us," said Sulaiman, who revealed the hotel was now reporting a 70 per cent occupancy rate, thanks to a visible improvement in Bahrain's situation.
"Over the weekend, it is even better," he said.
Sulaiman said the group's other property, the Bahrain International Hotel in Manama, was also undergoing a BD500,000 facelift. "That work will be completed after the Formula One race," he said.
Hotel general manager Javed Ahmed said the hotel had faced demanding and challenging times during the aftermath of the unrest. "However, today we have a better understanding of the consumer sentiment and have accordingly adopted to cater to a wider clientele," he added.-TradeArabia News Service