Updated on Sept. 8 with comment from Orient Pearl
Part of the Orient Pearl, a large four-star rated restaurant on the Corniche, has been closed for two weeks for “preparing food under unsanitary conditions,” the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) said on its official website.
The closure comes after videos were circulated online this week of stray cats roaming around and eating in the restaurant’s shawarma and fast food kitchen, which is located outside the main restaurant.
In a statement on its Facebook page, MMUP added that the kitchen was shut yesterday for violating specification standards. It is expected to reopen in 14 days.
Meanwhile, the main restaurant remains operational and open to the public. In a statement, the restaurant said:
“The outdoor terrace kitchen has been closed since the 1st of September 2015 and is currently being demolished permanently. This step was taken by the restaurant management as part of a prior plan whereby the Shawarma section has been moved into the main kitchen which is indoors.
The place in question was opened by staff at night after the closing time of the restaurant in order to move kitchen equipment and appliances and proceed with demolition. This explains the video footage which does not show any food items inside the kitchen.”
“This is not hygienic! An ILQer sent this to us and was shocked to see cats eating out of the kitchen at the Orient Pearl. No staff, doors were not closed, and this is supposed to be a luxury restaurant.”
Qatar has been cracking down on restaurants in recent months to preserve public health.
Last week, it permanently closed a restaurant in Musheireb and arrested the restaurant manager and staff working there after inspectors found rotting meat and food infested with insects.
And earlier this year, a Doha court found a popular Turkish restaurant and five of its employees guilty of selling food unfit for human consumption and ordered the individuals to be jailed, fined and deported.
Residents who believe they have suffered food poisoning from a restaurant can report their cases to the Supreme Council of Health hotline at 6674 0948 and 6674 0951.