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Pearl Qatar’s Mango Tree to close doors at month’s-end, reviving alcohol debate

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UPDATE: March 31, 2013

In a statement sent to Doha News, Pearl developer United Development Company (UDC) confirmed that Mango Tree was closed for health violations:

Mango Tree Restaurant went through an inspection by the municipality, whereby they found products from Thailand that had exceeded the one year Qatar Shelf Life law – the products were still within the product specifications, but exceeded the requirements for Doha.

A spokesman added that the alcohol ban had nothing to do with the closure, but did not respond to questions about whether the health violations were the sole reason Mango Tree was closing its doors for good.

UPDATE: March 26, 2013

Mango Tree has already closed down, according to passersby of the restaurant. The restaurant’s phone number has been disconnected. According to notices on the door, the restaurant may have been closed for health violations. 

Previously, an employee told Doha News that tumbling sales due to the alcohol ban was the cause.

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Credit: Photo by Melissa Rayyan

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Upscale Thai restaurant Mango Tree will close for good at the end of March, an employee there has confirmed.

Low sales due to the alcohol ban on the Pearl, which began in December 2011, is the main reason the restaurant is closing, he told Doha News.

He added that employees will be shifted to the restaurant owner’s two other eateries in Qatar.

Mango Tree is the first restaurant on the Pearl to call it quits this year, but joins a host of other fine dining establishments who have complained about tumbling sales due to the alcohol ban.

Alcohol ban pinches

Last March, Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant closed after two years of operations. Tse Yang and Megu temporarily closed last year, but reopened sans alcohol shortly before Maze was shuttered. Other chains have canceled plans to open at the Pearl. 

During a recent visit to Qatar to oversee his two new restaurants at the St. Regis Doha (which do serve alcohol), Ramsay told reporters that he closed Maze for business reasons:

We had to make sensible commercial decisions – you’re not going to run that restaurant and look stupid and lose thousands on a weekly basis,” he said.

The Michelin star chef added, “When we look at the legislation with the alcohol ban, I’d much rather see a smoking ban than an alcohol ban.”

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo courtesy of Mango Tree on Facebook

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