Big Eid rush in Bahrain
Manama, August 9, 2013
Bahrain's hospitality sector is in line for a major boost over the Eid holiday. Several of the country's five-star hotels are already full to capacity as people from across the Gulf descended on Manama to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
The deluge of visitors is mainly from neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which has declared a 12-day holiday, said a report in the Gulf Daily news, our sister newspaper.
"On the first day of Eid, families like to spend time with each other, so the hotel occupancy rate on Wednesday night was normal," said Bahrain's Five-Star Hotels executive committee chairman Abdulnabi Daylami.
"Hotel occupancy rates will pick up after the first day of Eid and it is showing a promising trend."
Daylami said some hotels were already fully booked after they joined forces to lower room rates.
"For example, a room that was BD65 was available at BD55, so obviously it attracts visitors and increases occupancy," he said.
"Some five-star hotels are not accepting any more bookings as they are full. This is a positive sign for the industry in Bahrain."
Daylami expects people to turn to four-star hotels for rooms, which will also benefit from the Eid rush, along with taxi drivers, tourist guides, restaurants and shops.
It is hoped the Bahrain Summer Festival, starting after the Eid holiday, will attract visitors to stay for longer.
The fifth annual event will feature renowned Lebanese singer Magida El Roumi, Iraqi singer Fareeda Mohammed Ali, classical music performances, Bahraini folk dances and children's favourite cartoon character Scooby-Doo.
The latest Arab Idol, Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf, will also perform as part of the line-up of the festival that runs from August 18 to September 9.
It is being held as part of celebrations to mark Manama being named Capital of Arab Tourism 2013.
"This is an excellent sign for us as people would love to attend the Bahrain Summer Festival with their families and enjoy the musical performances," said Daylami.
"It will also help activate the local market with support from the Culture Ministry." - TradeArabia News Service