Monday, August 05, 2013
22


Now I'm sure most of you that are actually here in town this summer heard the news last week that the Ministry of Tourism released a statement last week which effectively changed the bar scene in Oman. Their statement (which is not on the MOT website) has been reported in the Times of Oman as saying:

"Dance groups" would not be allowed to perform in hotels or nightclubs across the nation that have less than a four-star rating". The article then goes on to define what a "dance group" is:

The official said that such groups would no more be referred to as "dancing bands" and instead should be termed as "talented group of artistes", and would have only three members. The "talented group of artistes" is defined, according to the order, as a group of artistes who perform songs and music only to entertain the guests of the concerned hotels and nightclubs.

Dancing by any band that performs in these shows is not allowed, the decision said.

It  also pointed out that the artistes' performances are allowed only in enclosed areas of the hotels and nightclubs and cannot continue beyond midnight on any day of the week.

So, its obvious that whoever translated this may have struggled a bit, because it's not exactly clear.

However, I can confirm the following:

1. Safari and Al Ghazal bars will be opening after Ramadan, but will not have a band. They will be open after midnight. Safari were specifically denied to have a band for opening - with a "lets sort it out after Eid" response - so it's possible we'll see bands in Safari and Al Ghazal again.

2. The Ministry of Tourism recently (in 2013) released new requirements for hotels in the Sultanate that dictates what star level they are awarded.


Now, the ruling seems to have lost a bit in translation, I think it was a ruling to stamp out the many beadi bars around town. I imagine that the Al Bahja hotel in Seeb (for example) will cease to exist as it did before now - it was a 3* hotel that had 4, from memory, bars in it, 3 of which consisted of women in dresses shaking what they had on stage, the other bar was a pool-hall. I imagine this ruling will now kill off this type of bar (known as a beadi bar). However, it appears to have inadvertently stopped Safari and Al Ghazal as well - no bands with more than 3 "artistes" and no dancing either.

It's not clear if it means no dancing by the band, or no dancing by the patrons, or no dancing at all.

What is also interesting is that when looking at the Ministry of Tourism requirements for criteria for various star rating hotels, a number of 4* hotels in town may struggle to retain their 4* status (and thus their right to have a live band). It's currently rumour, but I've heard it from a few different sources, but a hotel in muscat has lost it's 4* status. I understand that if remedial works are completed then they'll re-gain their 4* status. That hotel is situated in Qurum and is known for having a night club with a band. Obviously, as a 3* hotel, that night club would not be able to operate in the same way it does now.

All I know for sure is, it's business as normal at the Habana Sports Bar! It'll be interesting to see how this pans out in the next couple of months. Life in Muscat might just be about to get a little more boring - if going out to bars and dancing is something you enjoy.

le fin.

22 comments:

Sue Pownall said...

Confusing and annoying.

Anonymous said...

How the Ministry of Tourism is given any responsibility is beyond me.
Oman actually thinks it will develop tourism in this country with these buffoons and half-wits in place.

Anonymous said...

So? The MOT trying to distract tourists then!!!!

Oman Collective Intelligence said...

Great move!

Anonymous said...

Wonder if it will affect the band at Pavo Real's? They do give the place a bit of an atmosphere!

David Upward said...

Well once again without consultation with hotels management they have messed up the entertainment on offer in Oman by just pulling a rule out of their hat. This happened 5 years ago with the Jam nights which were a great night of entertainment and opportunity for local musicians from all countries and religions.
I am really glad I left.

Anonymous said...

Seriously country already suffering from lack of business and attracts limited tourism already. So now they are try to kill any form of entertainment affordable for the working class or low income people. Way to go - progress in 21st Century - Renaissance Style.

A. A. Ali

Anonymous said...

though many of those bars were gross, to close them with little notice hardly encourages SMEs etc. Given that most appealed to residents in Oman its another nail, along with the beach disposals, in 'internal tourism'.
ynot

Anonymous said...

What a pity they can't stop that LOUD and repetitive band in Trader Vics... that would be a small mercy.
As for the loss of the Al Ghazal band - that's a mistake. They actually transformed the place into somewhere almost pleasant and fun to go to!

The mind boggles...........

Anonymous said...

Guess this will result in bands standing still on stage as in the pre-Beatles era.

One has to wonder what is going on in the minds of these people :-S

Anonymous said...

To be honest I do not see anything changing as although dubious in star ratings the usual expat haunts of rock bottom, safari and zouk are all in 4 star plus hotels.

Anonymous said...

this kills the life of prostitutes

Anonymous said...

This is not fair. People should just enjoy dancing , wy there should be rules about this . People open your eyes , all word its having this , people are supose to have fun and this is wrong.

Fuck rocks said...

Hope this shuts down that human cesspool called rocks for good.

Anonymous said...

if I am prostitute of rock bottom.. where can i now go to? Leftbanks?

Anonymous said...

i am prostitute of rock bottom.. where can i now go to? Leftbanks?

Anonymous said...

Any update on this? Are the bands back?

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing. They were getting out of hand and so now this is the way to make sure it becomes done in an acceptable manner. I had a horrible experience at one of these places which I certainly did not invite, and I'm thankful that it won't be a place to go to 'find a girlfriend or other'. Otherwise what? The country becomes known the same as Dubai - party capital of the middle east? Oman has so much more to offer and this move will hopefully refocus people back to the wonderful traditions and nature and other activities that Oman has to offer.

Dave said...

As you suggest, this will probably be sorted out. Once again, a rule is formed, and then gets all garbled in translation and implementation.

Anonymous said...

Sorted then, Dubai is going to get the money earned in Oman. drawkcab=backward clan of clowns. 20 years no one will remember this place. Just the place that was and could have been.

Anonymous said...

rules and practice are two different things...no reason to panic

Anonymous said...

This country is goi g backwards ! Better nightlife in Saudi

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