Hotel reservations in Bahrain fall 30% after Saudi Arabia changes travel guidelines

Cancellation of bookings in Bahrain blamed on Saudis who suddenly discovered they could not travel

Saudi travellers line up to cross into Bahrain at a border checkpoint on the King Fahd Causeway. AFP
Saudi travellers line up to cross into Bahrain at a border checkpoint on the King Fahd Causeway. AFP

Saudi Arabia’s decision to ban non-vaccinated travellers or those under 18 from going abroad led to the cancellation of more than 30 per cent of hotel room reservations in Bahrain.

The cancellations were made “late, a few hours before” Saudi borders reopened on Monday, Bahraini newspaper Al Ayyam reported.

Abdul Raheem, chief executive of the Golden Tulip Hotel, said hotels had recorded occupancy rates of up to 40 per cent, which was “less than what was expected after the reopening of the King Fahd Causeway” between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Mr Raheem said Bahraini hotels had begun to recover recently after restrictions were eased as Bahrain is an ideal place to enter quarantine for those travelling to the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Issa Faqih, chief executive of Al Areen Desert Resort, said Riyadh’s sudden decision to ban non-vaccinated people and not allowing those under 18 to travel caused people who had expected to be able to travel to cancel their reservations.

Saudi Arabia said on Sunday that all those travelling to the kingdom, both nationals and foreigners, who have had two doses of an approved vaccine would be able to enter with no quarantine from Monday if they met all criteria and followed health guidelines.

The same rule does not apply to those travelling from countries where high-risk variants have been detected.

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Updated: May 19, 2021 01:49 PM

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