Bahrain hotels ready to host soccer fans
Manama, June 12, 2014
Bahrain's clubs, hotels and cafes are bracing themselves for thousands of football fans, who are expected to turn out to watch the opening of the Fifa World Cup tonight.
Businesses have been preparing for the past month for the tournament, which overlaps with Ramadan from the end of June, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Bahrain's two authorised satellite service providers Al Mufeed Electronics and Future Commercial Services have also witnessed an influx of customers with a rush of customers signing up to the BeIN Sports television package, while shops have reported a surge in demand for football merchandise.
Al Mufeed marketing and sales manager Tariq Abu Karam said thousands of receivers had been sold to cafes, hotels and restaurants, in addition to clubs and malls.
"We have had an influx of demand for BeIN receivers and subscriptions and going into the World Cup, that number is expected to increase," he said.
Owner of Extrovert Cafe, in Adliya, Jaffar Farhan is putting on special World Cup sheeshas and said his venue was already booked out for tonight's opening.
"Whether it is our tables, walls or entrances, they have been all decorated and even special food and sheesha themes will be presented daily in line with matches," he said.
Meanwhile, A'ali Club president Hussain Al A'ali said more than 300 people were expected to attend World Cup matches being screened for free on overhead projectors at its complex opposite Ramli Mall.
"The matches will be screened inside the multi-purpose hall because the outdoor pitch wouldn't be suitable during the heat," he said.
Owner of the Europa League Sports Merchandise Shop Mueen Al Asfoor revealed he had sold out World Cup stock in 10 days, despite ordering 2,000 pieces.
"We have made an urgent delivery for more T-shirts, sports and casual wear of participating teams, besides shoes, scarves, wristbands and other merchandise," he said.
"Some of the unpopular teams like Belgium, Japan and Ivory Coast are also selling on the basis of colour or shape, rather than sporting preferences."
Even passengers at Bahrain International Airport will be able to catch the action as Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) has installed three large TV screens in the departures area specially for World Cup games.
The screens have been set up opposite gates 13 and 16, as well as the shuttle bus station.
"The entire world is anticipating the World Cup and we wanted to make sure we made the games available to our passengers as well," said BAC airport operations vice-president Mohamed Thamir Al Kaabi.
Meanwhile, the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel and Spa is celebrating the tournament opening with a Brazilian-themed party tonight, followed by a screening of the opening game between Brazil and Croatia.
Three large screens await football fans until Ramadan, before they are moved into the hotel's Al Yalsa Tent.
"A live DJ, Brazilian-inspired buffet prepared by the culinary team and in-house beverages will help the guests warm up and celebrate the countdown to the very first match," said a hotel statement. - TradeArabia News Service