MANAMA: The Gulf Hotels Group (GHG) is expecting a significant pick-up in business in Q3 and Q4 with Bahrain in the green-alert level and restrictions being eased.

The group chairman Farouk Almoayyed told shareholders during an ordinary general meeting on Sunday that the gradual improvement in business was already visible with occupancy at the group’s flagship Gulf Hotel property reaching 85 percent occupancy during the recent Saudi National Day holiday.

The influx of Saudi tourists and spending trends are showing significant signs of recovery, he added, highlighting the significant role of Saudi tourism on Bahrain’s economy.

“With the gradual resumption of normal restaurant operations, and lifting of restrictions on gatherings and meetings, the outlook is looking much better than last year,” he said.

On the impact so far, Mr Almoayyed said: “The hospitality industry was severely affected by the Covid pandemic and our teams have been working hard to minimise costs and the negative effect resulting from the restriction to business.”

Adding to the comments of the chairman, chief executive Garfield Jones said: “With the easing of restrictions, the Gulf Hotel is offering a variety of promotions in its calendar of events, starting with the visit of renowned French-Japanese fusion chef Walter Ishizuka in the Sato Restaurant over the coming weekend. Mr Ishizuka will also be conducting a cooking class on Saturday. Then we have the Halloween party at Typhoon on October 29, and we are bringing back the famous Gulf Night Out from November 9.”

The meeting also saw Mr Almoayyed, Fawzi Kanoo, Khalid Kanoo, Mohamed Buzizi, Adel Maskati, Jassim Abdulaal and Andrew John Day being elected as board members for the next three years.

Ahmed Janahi and Oliver Harnisch were re-appointed by Mumtalakat as its representatives on GHG’s board, while Khalid Taqi will continue to represent Osool.

Shareholders also gave their consent to the liquidation of two group subsidiaries – Gulf Hotel Management Company and Hospitality Resources.

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