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Bahrain celebrated the beginning of the new decade and 2020 with a slew of events, drawing residents and tourists to the island, primarily near the Avenues and in the various five-star hotels across the country.
According to statistics released by the King Fahad Causeway Authority, more than 59,000 travellers entered Bahrain using the highway on December 31.
The Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA) organised a spectacular fireworks show as part of the New Year’s Eve celebratory event where it also unveiled the new identity and logo of Manama as the “Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020” following the announcement made during the 22nd Session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism.
Chiming in the New Year in style, the event ended with a giant projection of a countdown timer on the side façade of the Four Seasons Hotel, Bahrain Bay, as the clock struck 12.
Entertainment activities for visitors at the Park near The Avenues included a live performance by Majaz band, a ‘Dance of Colour’ ballet dancer performance on stilts as well as the breath-taking musical aerial performance by the dancers and acrobats of SONIC as well as drumming with Sonic Snares from the United Kingdom.
During the countdown, the identity and logo of Manama were revealed on the side of the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, which was shortly followed by a spectacular display of fireworks to mark the occasion.
At the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, which offered its guests and visitors an exclusive vantage point for the festivities, the roaring 1920s came alive, complete with riveting performances, endless ‘mocktails’, live music and more.
Clare Bromilow, director of public relations and communications at the hotel noted: “We had a fabulous turnout across all our four venues, Azure Pool & Lounge, CUT by Wolfgang Puck, re/ Asian Cuisine and Bahrain Bay Kitchen, which hosted our New Year’s Eve events, with the biggest party being at Azure Pool & Lounge where guests enjoyed live DJ tunes throughout the night, thrilling performances and a full view of the fireworks.
“The masquerade party at Bahrain Bay Kitchen was also an incredible success as guests were able to enjoy the freshest seafood dishes and an international spread of starters, main courses and desserts.”
Meanwhile, the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain hosted 1200 guests around the hotel, with 350 party-goers dressing up to party, 80s style.
Yasser Mazouz, assistant director of sales and marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain said: “The event was based on the 80’s theme from the decoration to the musical performances from UK reviving the 80’s with their memorable songs
“The food offerings were inspired and designed by our chef Yann Bernard Lejard who created with his team a wonderful piece of art buffet dressed in our grand foyer. We had a mix of attendees from regulars to new guests from Bahrain and abroad help us ring in 2020 in luxurious and unique way.”
Next door, the Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain hosted its first ever New Year’s Eve gala dinner transforming the elegant Al Sarra Ballroom into a white winter wonderland and creating the perfect atmosphere to celebrate the last night of the decade with the talented singer Banah and her seven-piece band. Meanwhile, guests enjoyed a delicious hearty epicurean spread including a buffet of delectable appetizers, seafood, premium cheeses and decadent desserts.
Over at the City Centre, guests and visitors at Le Meridien enjoyed a Spanish themed party at Baharat restaurant with culinary delights from their BBQ Night, Seafood Night and Sweetest Brunch.
The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa celebrated New Year’s Eve with enthralling entertainment including five amazing acts that took attendees’ breath away with magic, acrobatics and dance.
Valerie Berthelson, director of marketing at the Gulf Hotel said: “We had a fantastic turnout for “The Greatest Show Comes Alive!” New Year’s Eve party. The highlights were the high energy dancers who gave a truly memorable performance and the award winning magician Christian Glade. Our family friendly offerings were a huge hit as well with the little ones happily enjoying their New Year’s Eve celebrations with mum & dad. As always, our entire culinary team stole the show with their legendary buffet offerings.”
The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel entertained more than 400 guests at the Grand Ballroom as four world-class cover artists paid tribute to Queen, Coldplay, Prince and James Brown till the early hours of the morning, while guests enjoyed an international buffet with a variety of seafood.
In Manama, the Intercontinental Regency Bahrain hosted a 1920’s style New Year’s Eve party, featuring ballroom champion dancers Leonid and Yulia from Ukraine as well as DJ Jackson and the house band DD & the Groove, with Mo Magic emceeing the event.
Philipp Economou, general manager of the Intercontinental Regency Bahrain noted: “The Intercontinental Regency team was delighted to host an exceptional themed New Year gala event at our Al Riffa ballroom. I was quite pleased with the overall turn out; the thematic set-up, our generous buffet, line-up of entertainment and the wonderful guests that attended the event, some of whom even dressed up for the theme. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and our clients for their support through the year. We look forward to seeing everyone in 2020. This year our focus is on our culinary experience so watch out for many new concepts and some pop-up surprises . On that note, I would like to thank and wish everyone a very Happy and prosperous New Year!”