ROOMS in all the top-rated hotels in Qatar have been fully booked with reservations closed from November 28 to December 3 because of a major UN-sponsored conference.
Access to bars and restaurants will also be denied to general public by some hotels, as they have been fully-booked by the government. Dates, however, vary from hotel to hotel.
The visit and tourist visas for five-star hotels have also been stopped during the conference.
“We are fully booked upto December 3 and are not taking reservations until that time,” an official at the Ritz-Carlton said yesterday.
“At this stage, people are allowed to come in the restaurants (during the event); there will be security of course, but at this point every one is welcome and it’s business as usual,” he maintained.
“During the six-day period, hotel staff will be wearing their IDs that will be checked by security officials,” an official of InterContinental Hotel Doha said.
“Employees not wearing a badge will be stopped. Even the guests will be sporting an ID issued by organiser,” the official added.
The conference, Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development, from November 29 to December 2, is being held in Doha where the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus will be reviewed, after the UN General Assembly unanimously approved the initiative of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in October.
The Monterrey Consensus was the outcome of the 2002 Monterrey Conference organised by the UN. It is a major reference point for international development co-operation.
Sheraton Hotel Doha, the main venue of the conference, is not making reservations from November 27 to December 4.
“Even the restaurants are not open to general public as they will be catering to hundreds of international guests,” an official said.
Another five-star hotel, Four Seasons, is also holding off room reservations from November 28 to December 2. But an official said that there had been no official word on restaurant and bar visits by public.
“Things should be back to normal on December 3 though,” she added.
For Marriott Hotel, Millennium Hotel, La Cigale, and InterContinental, room reservations will resume on December 4 after pausing on November 28, while Sharq Village & Spa will start accepting reservations from December 5; Grand Regency Hotel from December 2 and Movenpick Hotel from December 3.
Between today and Friday (November 28) some hotels said they were still able to accommodate guests in rooms or suites. Others said their restaurants would continue to cater to every one.
Four-starred, three-starred and other relatively-small enterprises said they had not been wholly-booked by the government and were open to reservations.
Rydges Plaza, a four-star hotel, is fully-booked until November 30, thanks to individual bookings. From December 1, the hotel will stop receiving new guests altogether; existing reservations will be extended until December 7 only.
“It is being closed down from its existing location in Al Bida,” an official said.
An official of Gulf Horizon Hotel said they were still being issued visas by immigration officials for their guests. “Occupancy is good. This time of the year is usually good for the industry,” he said
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