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MP: Ban tourists

Basma Mohammed  May 17, 2009

An MP wants to ban tourists from using the Bander Al Dar Port because most women are scantily clad while others behave inappropriately by kissing and cuddling in public.

They also crowd the port, causing a nuisance to fishermen in the area who use the port regularly, says MP Sayed Haidar Al Sitri.

He alleged that some women waiting at the port to be transported to Al Dar Islands committed acts against Bahrain's culture.

He said they were "disrespecting the country's culture with their skimpy clothes and display of public affection in front of fishermen".

Mr Al Sitri claimed that fishermen's work was also being hampered by the rising number of tourists gathering at the port.

"The port should be used by fishermen only and not tourists," said Mr Al Sitri.

"Their presence affects the fishermen's freedom to unload and load their boats during fishing trips."

He said crowds of more than 500 tourists visited the port on weekends and public holidays, blocking fishermen from carrying out their tasks.

Mr Al Sitri said fishermen had complained to him many times and have been calling for the removal of the sea taxi office from the port.

"They can relocate the sea taxi office to the Yacht Club for instance. They can enjoy themselves there without bothering the fishermen," he said.

The MP called on officials to establish boundaries on what he called "farces" that offend Bahrain and its people.

"Bahraini fishermen view the tourists' behaviour as the beginning of a war on their culture," said Mr Al Sitri.

However, Al Dar Islands food and beverages manager Chandrasekharan Raj said the management always ensured that the tourists behaved themselves while waiting at the port.

"We always instruct tourists not to carry alcohol bottles with them to the port," he added.

"Also, a minibus takes them from the office to the sea taxi to ensure that everything is in order."

At beach parties, which usually attract hundreds of visitors, security guards are present to maintain order at the port and the island, said Mr Raj.

"We respect the religion and culture of the country and therefore we make sure everyone behaves accordingly," he said.

Mr Raj said it was not possible to move the office to the Yacht Club because only members are allowed to enter its premises.

"The office is located at the port because Coast Guards are also stationed there. This is a public port," he said.

"The Coast Guards check all tourists' ID cards and inform them of the rules. To my knowledge, no tourist walks around in beachwear at the port."

MP: Ban tourists
Bander Al Dar / Image via


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