A mall in Bahrain allows food trucks and stalls feeling the financial pressure of the Covid-19 pandemic to use its car park free of charge in an effort to boost local businesses.
Al Aali Mall, in the capital Manama, removed outdoor food vendor rental charges this winter.
Winters are a popular time for outdoor eating, before the heat and humidity of summer hits the Gulf island state.
Vendors said a space would normally cost about $2,500 a month during food festivals held in the years before the pandemic.
Bahrain in late January reintroduced a ban on indoor dining as Covid-19 infections rose, amid a number of other restrictions.
Al Aali mall manager Brad Curcillo said the mall wanted to support the community during the pandemic.
Ahmed Janahi, who co-founded Radical Barbeque in Bahrain in 2017 as a home-based business, said they have been able to operate during the pandemic because they work on a delivery and outdoor takeaway basis, enabling them to adhere to Covid-19 regulations.
Previously Mr Janahi's outlet paid rent for the spot, now it pays onlya small amount for electricity and other services, he said.
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