Monday, May 5, 2008

Grand Hyatt bans sale of alcohol

Had a friend staying at Hyatt who was zapped that Hyatt did not serve alcohol in Cairo.

When he mentioned it to me, I was pretty surprised cos usually hotels in Cairo do serve alcohol. I figured there had either been a language issue or he was plain unlucky to have landed on a dry day!


But just got this email from a friend "The Grand Hyatt Hotel in Cairo has banned the sale of alcohol from the beginning of May, earlier this week. Though discussions are continuing between the Hotel chain and the owner, no drinks are served at any of the hotel’s restaurants or bars. "


Wow! Don't think Hyatt would have ever faced this before. Wondering what this is all about? Religious overtones or just pressure tactics from the owner to get the hotel chain to give in on some other issue?

11 comments:

Anna said...

Irei ao Egipto para o ano...
você é a janela por onde o observo.

Cairogal said...

This is Saudi owned, I think. I wonder if they are hoping to get lots of Saudi families this summer. I imagine they are jacking the room prices to cover their losses. Wouldn't surprise me if come October (once the khaleejis have left) that booze was brought back. I've heard that the Hyatt is thinking of pulling their name from the hotel.

Manisha said...

Cairogal, I didn't know that! Wonder how they allowed alcohol in the first place?

I wouldn't be surprised if Hyatt does pull out. I cant imagine an international hotel doing a ding-dong based on whims and fancies of a fickle owner - it would hurt their reputation.

Manisha said...

Anna, apologies but I only read and write English a few Indian languages...

Cairogal said...

I'm sure they served alcohol based on a franchise agreement. Alcohol is the big money-maker in restaurants...much more than food. They allowed alcohol in the first place because Saudi is conflicted w/ contradictions. I've heard of Saudi-owned casinos. I suspect this is about bringing in the Saudi family crowd for the summer holidays.

zing_foru said...

Hi I am Rakesh a software professional... I came to egypt in last month living in cairo..

Here I find lots of difficulties in understanding the Arabic everyone says La English only Arabic this make me nervous as can't move free in the city. And moreover due to my tight schedule I didn't find friends here.

I read this blog today and thought to get introduced to all...

Anonymous said...

Are there any indian restaurants in Cairo that specialise in Gujarati food or Keralan cuisine.
I would be grateful for any advice, many many thanks

Manisha said...

Hi! There are limited Indian restaurants in Cairo so finding one specialising in Gujarati or Kerala cuisine is very improbable. In fact, I do not know of any.

However, there is a hotel called Karvin in Heliopolis which is owned by an Indian hotelier. They may be able to rustle up a couple of dishes for you.

There is a lady in Maadi who does Bengali food caterng from home if tha interests you.

Manisha said...

Rakesh, dont let the lack of knowledge of Arabic daunt you. The city is a very chilled out place, the people very nice if a little rougish, they are welcoming and in general love Indians, its easy to move around and settle in. You just need to let go of your fears. Believe me, Cairo is a fun place.

There is an Indian association in Cairo and they organise events from time to time where you can meet people. In fact, they recently celebrated Holi.

You can touch base with the Community Liasion Officer at the Indian Embassy who will put you in touch with the association.

Just chill and enjoy the place. You'll find that you'll love it!

Manisha said...

Rakesh, dont let the lack of knowledge of Arabic daunt you. The city is a very chilled out place, the people very nice if a little rougish, they are welcoming and in general love Indians, its easy to move around and settle in. You just need to let go of your fears. Believe me, Cairo is a fun place.

There is an Indian association in Cairo and they organise events from time to time where you can meet people. In fact, they recently celebrated Holi.

You can touch base with the Community Liasion Officer at the Indian Embassy who will put you in touch with the association.

Just chill and enjoy the place. You'll find that you'll love it!

Manisha said...

Cairogal, ya, alcohol is the more profitable part of the business. But its rather fickle of them, and, even more short sighted to belive that a big hotel chain will allow them to mess around with its image / reputation etc.

Unless the hotel is such a money spinner / or the Cairo franchise is of critical importance to Hyatt to put up with this.

I wonder if this is the first time its happening or has happened before?