Even before Bahrain’s declaration of martial law, the country’s economy was suffering with the postponement of the Formula One Grand Prix season opener which attracts around 40,000 visitors.
Bahrain has established itself as the Gulf region’s financial hub and that sector accounts for about a quarter of its 18 billion euros annual GDP.
With annual GDP per capita of 32,000 euros the protests are not motivated by poverty, but, regardless of the reason, the visitors are staying away.
The hotel’s CEO Aqeel Raees lamented: “Usually this is our best or peak season and due to what has been happening, our occupancy has dropped from the high 90 percent to the low 25 and 30 percent, so our business has been badly affected in all areas.”
Right now in Bahrain’s hotels, staff outnumber the guests and as one local businessman said if this situation continues the economy is at risk and will be very hard to rebuild.