27.8 C
Doha
Monday, April 19, 2021

Qatar hotels told to increase security ahead of Eid holiday

-

Newly installed metal detector at Marriott Marquis Doha.
Newly installed metal detector at Marriott Marquis Doha.

Updated at 5pm with information about mall security.

Several hotels in Qatar have been beefing up security measures in the run-up to the Eid al-Fitr holiday over the past few weeks, with some installing metal security arches and others saying they’ve been told to pay close attention to vehicles on the premises.

Meanwhile, the US state department has issued an advisory to citizens living and working here, warning them to be vigilant during this time.

Speaking to Doha News, a spokeswoman for the InterContinental Doha hotel said that metal detectors were added to the lobby and service entrance around five days ago, following a directive from the Ministry of Interior.

Intercontinental Hotel Doha
Intercontinental Hotel Doha

A spokesman for the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha hotel also confirmed that the building recently installed security arches at its entrances, but said he did not know if this was a government order.

Additionally, some hotel representatives said that MOI officials met with hotel security managers yesterday to discuss the latest safety protocols, which are to be in place at least through the Eid holiday.

While most Doha hotels already have security equipment like metal detectors, they are usually only deployed for large events or when VIPs are on the premises, one representative added.

The increased measures follow tightened security at churches in Qatar’s religious complex this week.

Following a directive from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the churches have closed their gated parking, introduced metal detectors and enhanced security personnel.

US warning

Last week, the US Embassy in Doha issued a security message to its citizens, warning them to “remain vigilant regarding their personal security” as Ramadan draws to an end, particularly while visiting public places such as malls and hotels.

The statement reads:

“The U.S. Embassy takes this opportunity to remind U.S. citizens in Qatar that places Westerners frequent, such as hotels and malls, remain targets for extremists, especially as the end of Ramadan and Eid approach.  All U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Qatar should remain vigilant regarding their personal security and alert to local security developments,” the statement said.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The advisory also appeared on the United States’ Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security website, and is understood to have been circulated among US companies with a presence in Qatar.

While there has been no further details about the nature of the potential security threat, the increased measures follow a deadly mosque attack in Kuwait on June 26, in which 27 people were killed and more than 200 injured.

On the same day, Western tourists were also targeted in an attack on a beach and hotels in the holiday resort of Port El Kantauoui near Sousse. A Tunisian gunman killed 38 people.

Though the British embassy has not issued any advisories in recent days, a representative sent this statement to Doha News when asked about the upcoming holidays:

“The Foreign and Commonwealth office regularly reviews its travel advice for British citizens in Qatar. As stated in our existing advice, terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region.

These include references to attacks on Western interests, including residential compounds, places of worship, military, oil, transport and aviation interests. You should maintain a high level of security awareness, particularly in public places. Avoid large gatherings and demonstrations and remain vigilant at all times.”

Malls

At least one shopping center in Qatar has also put in place enhanced security, with several shoppers reporting that guards at Landmark Mall could be seen stopping vehicles today as they entered the underground parking lot and checking their undersides with mirrors.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, managers at City Center mall in West Bay and Hyatt Plaza in Al Waab told Doha News that they had not received any instructions to change their security protocols.

In neighboring Saudi Arabia, malls across the country have raised their security measures ahead of the Eid celebrations, Arabian Business reports.

Extra security staff have been drafted and more CCTV installed as the country’s major cities prepare for a busy weekend amid increasing tensions in the region, Arab News reports.

Shia mosques have been the target of attacks recently in the kingdom, with four people killed in Dammam in the east of the country in late May, a week after an attack on another mosque in Qatif province.

Thoughts?

17 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
17 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AEC
AEC
5 years ago

2nd security story in a week? Someone know something we don’t?

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

There may be trouble ahead
But while there’s moonlight and music
And love and romance
Let’s face the music and dance

DEEM
DEEM
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I’m with you brother. What these scum want is to engender fear, suspicion, and chaos. We’re no more at risk here than anywhere else, and anyway, it’s only a matter of time till it visits these shores. I’m going a nowhere

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Huzz

I’ll raise a glass to that and then another one.

Simon Green
Simon Green
5 years ago

Me thinks time to get out of here. There is definetely a change in the air.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  Simon Green

Exactly

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago
Reply to  Simon Green

You cant dance with the devil and not get burnt.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

but the devil has all the best tunes…

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  Simon Green

Good, please take Paul and “Observant” One

Restie
Restie
5 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

Observant One doesn’t even live in Doha anymore, he just can’t find the ability to move on in life.

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  Restie

Wow, that is so pathetic.

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago
Reply to  Restie

No not at all Restie, Just have a moral conscience and I raise awareness of the human rights abuses that is Qatar. If that is here on DN or if it is with my politicians here at home, which I am actively involved in doing so, someone has to make a stand against tyrants and abuses of the weak. Anyway little way I can. Freedom of speech, I am not hamstrung like you by a dictator who has his stazi running around checking on what poems the masses might right. Where is your conscience or did you trade it for money, now that is dancing with the devil.

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

I left on my own accord Ibrahim.

Paul
Paul
5 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

I take it you like having your car checked for bombs.. adds to the experience. (Self-criticism is the only way to improve)

outdoorsboys
outdoorsboys
5 years ago

Security is high across the Globe. Me, I’ll be going shopping as usual, my life is not going to spent hiding from terrorism. If you think that is a solution, then you have surrendered to them.

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
5 years ago

……..Business as usual. Don’t let the scaremongers say othewise, otherwise they win.

Timtam
Timtam
5 years ago

I feel much safer knowing there’s more security around, albeit a little saddened that it’s come to this point. My only hope is that if tragedy were to happen around here, we’ll be a solid unit the way Kuwaitis have shown themselves to be. :/

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.