Asian nightspots to close as hotel adopts Shariah

Piccadilly Hotel in Dubai has announced that it will close its pubs and nightclubs and turn into a Shariah-compliant hotel.

The hotel situated in Al Nasr Square, will now be renamed White Fort Hotel.

Mohammed Kochukunji, Director of jewellery chain Arabian Jewellery, is leading the change and he cites the decision to close the several watering holes and nightspots in the hotel, as a fallout of the real estate bubble bursting.

“There has been virtually no business in some of the night clubs and bars.  When the real estate boom was at its peak, people used to throng these clubs,” he said.

The hotel used to have three major nightspots - Mirage, a South Indian night club with singers and dancers from South India; Madhuben for Bengali expatriates in the city; and Mehran, with a Pakistani flavour.

There were three pubs as well - The Moon Pub, Mandovi and Montana.

The new Shariah-compliant hotel is the brainwave of Arabian Jewellers  and the Orient Real Estate Group.

As a wider trend, more and more businessmen are looking at the niche market for Shariah-compliant hotels as one that is increasingly lucrative.

Faisal Abdul Rahman, Deputy General Manager, Dunes Hotel Apartments, says there is increased demand for family-oriented restaurants and hotels in the city. "Most of the GCC residents visiting the UAE come with their families and don’t like to live in a hotel with nightclubs or bars."

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