New laws to clean up tourism in Bahrain

Bahrain is drafting new laws to clean up its tourism sector in a bid to attract more families.

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By  Shilpa Mathai Published  January 5, 2004

Bahrain is drafting new laws to clean up its tourism sector in a bid to attract more families. New measures will include zoning to ensure that tourism attractions are kept away from residential areas, schools and religious places. The country is also trying to combat indecent or immoral acts committed under the guise of the tourism industry. “Bahrain’s tourism sector has improved dramatically over the past two years,” says Information Minister, Nabeel Al Hamer. “The country has adopted family, business, sport and cultural tourism and is dedicated to ensure that these are the only kinds of tourism on offer.” Under new regulations, only folklore dances will be allowed at hotels and show halls have to close at 2 AM instead of 3 AM. Furthermore, only one singer accompanied by three musicians is allowed on stage, and unclean jungle bars have been closed down. “Hotels have been instructed to shut down facilities that don’t follow international criteria and to start opening family restaurants only,” explains Al Hamer. To ensure that hotels obey the law, undercover inspectors will monitor them. A joint committee with hoteliers has also been formed to develop a cleaner tourism industry, and an American company has been hired to assess Bahrain's hotels against international criteria.

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