Tuesday, October 04, 2011
27
Quite a few people have been in touch with me to let me know that Pavo's is not allowed to sell any booze at the moment. I've now been and confirmed this as true - since October 1st, Pavo's has not had a license to sell booze. The current line out of the mexican restaurants camp is that they are awaiting the renewal of the license any day now. I guess the people at UpTown are waiting too.

First, dancing was stopped at Pavo's (temporarily apparently, but that never got re-started), and now the booze selling has been stopped. Local business magnate, Pankaj Khimji, who has an interest in Pavo's will have to flex his wasta muscles to see if he can get the booze license lifted. Perhaps he can threaten to cut off all Phillip Morris International products to Oman for a while (PMI own the Marlboro brand of cigarettes amongst other smoke brands)! It has been rumored that PK was told that if he sold the restaurant, he would not be able to sell the liquor license either, so perhaps the days were numbered anyway.

Time will tell, but there are also reports of the Golden Oryx having lost it's liquor license too. Why are the hotels allowed to have alcohol but not restaurants? O Sole Mio and Passage to India are also reportedly on the chopping block as well. If tourism is such an important deal for Oman, one does wonder why this ridiculousness is going on. Oh well, not a lot I can do about it. Given the rent that is charged for the location, I wonder if Pavo's will remain open for much longer if there are no over-priced strong margarita sales augmenting profits?

One side note to make: Mumtaz Mahal and Left Bank are on Government Owned land are leased, and they are allowed to keep their liquor license. Heh, so that's fair then.

le fin.

27 comments:

Terry said...

Mumtaz and LeftBank are Khimji's... cue MC Hammer, "can't touch this".

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping that big (corrupt?) wasta-laced families see it crumble over the next few years.... about time the old-fashioned old-boy rules stopped prevailing.
Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but I'm an optimist.

ynotoman said...

I wonder whats behind all this exclusion?
Can a patron buy alcohol if they have obtained a liquor license from the Royal Oman Police and pay corkage?
Many hotels are government owned and restaurants make a substantial contribution to their sales .
Whats the alcohol situation at the Royal Opera House.

Jet Driver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jet Driver said...

The Royal Opera House will have a booze licence.

Someone needs to get off their arse and start bringing a few middle-level bureaucrats into check.

Tourism is f*cked without a licence to sell alcohol.
Tourists want to come here and appreciate your culture, but they don't want to live by it!

And you should only be interested in them doing one thing......spending money in Oman.

Let's face it.....you ain't got a lot of revenue options coming in over the next twenty years.

The choice as far as I can see it is that you become the French Riviera, or you become Yemen.....take your pick!

raul gonzales said...

pavos deserves to lose it for serving the most horrible mexican food i've ever had in my entire life, anywhere

Lover Lover said...

Agree with you about the food Raul, it was truly atrocious! The reality is that people didn't really go there for the slop they put on your plate, but for the booze and the dolled up Omani girls!
The downside of this is the principle and, like so many have already said, it sets a bad precedent for when the oil dries up.
As an Omani economist said a couple of weeks back, 'Oman is loading the gun that it will use to shoot itself in the foot.'
A lot of Omanis complain about the presence of alcohol in Oman, but that ship has sailed and Omanis are definitely the majority of consumers in the country now.

Anonymous said...

If tourism is supposed to be the next 'Big Thing' in Oman in the next say 30 years (when supposedly the oil dries up?), why is the country making it so difficult for themselves to achieve this? In order to maintain and increase the in influx of tourists from other countries Oman will have to start loosening up more on a few key points e.g. - Liquor licenses outside major hotels, and not start to head backwards. You have to give a little to get more!

Anonymous said...

"why is the country making it so difficult for themselves to achieve this?"

Because in the government you have a "chain" system for making decisions. Committees are the favorite method for prolonging everything from buying bathroom tiles to given out alcohol licences.

Stick a few muttawah into the room and the lack of foresight mixed with fundamentalist arrogance will more or less ensure that Oman eventually gets knocked back to the stone-age.

They'll all be either Saudi or Yemeni in a few years anyway!

muscati said...

Tourism is very importan to Dubai, right?

Well in Dubai restaurants aren't allowed to serve alcohol unless they're in hotels.

Who woulda thunk!

Anonymous said...

Then Oman should start building more hotels to booze tourism.

Anonymous said...

Muscati- it's important but it's not the be all and end all. Dubai has more to offer tourists but it sure isn't ideal!

The Linoleum Surfer said...

Is it really the case they can't get the licence? Or just that it's too expensive?

Anonymous said...

Agree with raul and Lover Lover - the food is disgusting and certainly not mexican. And muscati - I have lived and worked in Dubai for more than 10 years now and I will take Oman any day over this crap. We now have unofficial night curfews in some areas with police stopping everyone after midnight asking for ID.

Anonymous said...

Muscati- alcohol is alcohol no? If it is served in the country full stop does it really make a difference if it's in a licensed restaurant or in a hotel? What is the different affect it is having on the community depending on the venue?

hockeygott said...

Left Bank & Mumtaz will be dry from 01.01.2012 on onwards.
Does anyone knows what will happen with Rock Bottom?

Lover Lover said...

Hockeygott- until proved otherwise I shall say you are talking phooey. Pavo will get their license back, it is too strong of a precedent to set. If Left Bank and Mumtaz Mahal lose theirs then it is a sign that Oman will be an annex of Saudi and Sharjah.
Lino- it is not a cost issue, they recoup the cost very quickly.

muscati said...

Anonymous said:


Muscati- alcohol is alcohol no? If it is served in the country full stop does it really make a difference if it's in a licensed restaurant or in a hotel? What is the different affect it is having on the community depending on the venue?

Alcohol is licensed everywhere. There are always laws that regulate sale of alcohol even in the west. When I lived in California, I remember receiving a notice in the mail from the town council informing that there was a store in my neighborhood that had applied for a license to sell alcohol and that as a resident I had a period of X days to object if I had any reason against their obtention of a license.

When I lived in Glasgow the corner Co-op shop wanted to get an off-license and they placed a notice on the wall informing of the same.

Why is it that in the US and Scotland, I had the right to object to the sale of liquor in my neighborhood while in Oman I have no choice at all?

Why is it that you, dear expat resident of Oman, are shocked that the Omani government has moved to strictly regulate restaurant alcohol licenses but you totally accept it in your country?

Quit the double standards. What we need is transparency. We need to know the basis upon which all these restaurants licenses are being withdrawn and we need to know that the rules are being applied uniformly.

bedwin said...

its all drama

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the head's up!

-S

Sythe said...

This topic has certainly had a lot of comments - thank you everyone for your views.

I feel that Muscati has a valid point, and this comment really sums up the situation:

"What we need is transparency. We need to know the basis upon which all these restaurants licenses are being withdrawn and we need to know that the rules are being applied uniformly."

And there is the rub. The list of bars that are getting shut down is growing - even the rugby club and OHI club's were shut down.

There definitely seems to be a shift in agenda with regards to licenses outside of 5* hotels. Even Jebel Sifawy hotel still does not have it's license.

Anonymous said...

The reason behind banning alcohol in Pavo is that it resides in a vicinity of a mosque!! Believe that is a topic on it self....

Anonymous said...

wasnt this restaurant next to the mosque before? or is it just that this just popped up in a day? no right? alcohol is a part of todays life. relaxation is another important thing in your life. so why cant relax and have a drink in one of the best restaurants in muscat? food i have no idea as not tasted it on my own. but i strongly believe that pavo real should and should get their license back.and dancing should also be allowed. come on start living your life.

Anonymous said...

License is back to Pavo, business as usual....

Anonymous said...

yahooo!!! thats great news... pavo real is never dry again. never again

Anonymous said...

@Terry.....Leftbank is not owned by the Khimjis....its owned by MMI in Dubai, that partly own OUA. And a small shareholding is owned by one of the Zawawis.

Anonymous said...

Pavo's is also Khimjis. This seems to be an issue between the Mufti and Khimji...I wonder who will win ;).

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