Muscat: The bars and nightclubs, falling in a category below four stars and which had to regulate their operations after a ministerial decision, are planning to remodel their business, those plying the trade said.
A few weeks ago, the Ministry of Tourism had issued orders that "dance groups" would be not be allowed to perform in hotels or nightclubs across the nation that have less than four-star rating. The decision resulted in the shutting down of many bars and nightclubs across the country.
"We met the officials at the Ministry of Tourism in groups and individually. They have informed us that the decision is a policy issue and it will not be revoked for the time being. So, we have decided to remodel our business plans," businessmen running these bars and nightclubs said.
"So far, there is only a ban on 'dance bands' and as it is a government order, we have to comply with it," they added.
The decision followed frequent complaints from the citizens and Majlis Al Shura members seeking a ban on such activity, an official from the Ministry of Tourism told the Times of Oman earlier when the order was issued.
Many of these hotels and nightclubs were accused of flouting the rules issued by the ministry and hundreds of irregularities were reported involving these dance groups, the official added.
He said that such groups would no more be referred to as "dancing bands" and, instead, should be termed as "talented group of artistes," and cannot have more than three members.
The "talented group of artistes" is defined, according to the order, as a group of artistes who perform songs and music merely to entertain the guests of the concerned hotels and nightclubs.
The bands performing at these shows are not allowed to dance, the decision said.
It also pointed out that the artistes' performances were to be allowed only within an enclosed area of a hotel or a nightclub and were not allowed to continue beyond midnight on any day of the week.
However, observers see the move as a welcome initiative by the Ministry of Tourism to regulate the activities at these facilities after many of nightclubs had been virtually turned into pick-up joints.