Most four-star hotels in Bahrain face F1 'snub'
Manama, April 15, 2013
The majority of Bahrain's four-star hotels, which earlier slashed their prices in a last ditch bid to attract Formula One visitors, have reported no bookings for the race weekend.
They claimed they have been snubbed by Formula One organisers, adding that racing officials, teams and fans have not confirmed any bookings, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Only four of the 40 four-star properties in the country have received room reservations, just four days before the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix kicks off.
Bahrain Four Stars Hotel Committee chairman Hameed Al Halwachi said the businesses faced a similar situation during January's 21st Gulf Cup hosted in Bahrain.
"It was the GCC Cup earlier this year and now it is the Gulf Air Formula One Grand Prix and we have been left out," he said.
"With less than a week left for Bahrain's biggest sporting event, only four of the four-star hotels have got bookings. We were very upset when we had virtually no guests during the GCC Cup, but the same scenario is being repeated this time as well.
"We are aware we have to make special offers to attract guests ourselves, but have no official support. None of the teams have come to us though we prepared months in advance,” he added.
Al Halwachi said some of the properties spent millions to spruce up their facilities ahead of the major sporting event, which will take place at the Bahrain International Circuit on April 19, 20 and 21.
“They also cut room rates from a maximum of BD90 ($233.40) to as low as BD50 per night during the race weekend. It is unfair that only four of the four-star hotels get official-level guests," he said.
"It is unfair that when Bahrain is hosting such a major event, we have no business. Our restaurants are empty, rooms are vacant and overheads are increasing all the time. We had even announced rates reduction well in advance, so we could get some of the business. But nothing has happened."
In January the committee claimed only five-star hotels were approached for room bookings for Gulf Cup officials arriving in Bahrain.
Al Halwachi had then said only two of the four-star hotels had been booked in spite of the fact that many other four star properties had better rooms and other facilities than some of the five-star properties.
He said business was steadily picking up, but four-star hotels need more support to recover following the 2011 unrest. – TradeArabia News Service