Specific timings for businesses proposed

SPECIFIC opening hours for businesses across Bahrain could be introduced.
Southern Municipal Council chairman Bader Al Tamimi put forth a proposal in this regard which was unanimously approved at the council’s weekly meeting yesterday.

According to him, traditional suqs could be open from 7am to 9pm, malls from 10am to 10pm, cold stores from 6am to midnight, and phone and electronic repair shops from 9am to 10pm.

Essential services such as pharmacies and petrol stations along with cafés with inside seating would continue operating 24/7.

However, exact timings for each category of business or service would be determined once the proposal, which will now be reviewed by Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed Alzayani, is ratified.

“Why should markets, shopping malls or outlets remain open until 2am when people can get the same service hours earlier,” asked Mr Al Tamimi, adding that people needed time to relax.

Referring to complaints that businesses staying open late led to noise pollution and congestion, he said:

“People will say that businesses shouldn’t be penalised when it’s people who are creating traffic jams and honking their horns.

“Particular locations wouldn’t have seen congestion or unbearable noise had businesses not opened there in the first place.

“Having proper opening hours would help streamline the operations.”

However, Southern Municipality director general Assem Abdullatif said enforcing the measure would take the country backwards.

“The proposal doesn’t solve a problem, instead it escalates it at a time when Bahrain is trying to promote itself as an open country where all services are available at all times.

“Besides, how will police get a crowd of, say, 300 people out of a sheesha café if a football game continues until 1am?

“We can’t enforce a closure, it is against market ideology, but we can take action against those who violate the rules and regulations.”

“We are better than this. Bahrain is working to become a 24-hour destination in the region,” said Mr Abdullatif.

He was supported by Capital Trustees Board chairman Saleh Tarradah who stressed that Bahrain was an open market.

“Businesses’ opening and closing hours are dependent on convenience and profitability and shouldn’t be restricted.

“There are people whose working hours would not match the timings if the rule is implemented, so will they be forced time off work or give money to others to do their shopping for them.

“Businesses shouldn’t be punished for someone who is creating a traffic jam, improper parking or honking – it is an attitude problem by customers that needs adjustment.

“If someone is not disciplined, then it is the same at 2pm or 2am.”

“Bahrain is an open market and it should reduce the procedures to become more open in which people can get all services round the clock.”


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/1020934/Specific-timings-for-businesses-proposed


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