Following the United Arab Emirates’ example, the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bahrain has announced it will become the nation’s first hotel to establish a kosher kitchen as it prepared to welcome an influx of Jewish visitors.
With an expected surge in travel from Israel since the normalization deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, these Gulf states are adapting to the potential clientele.
“Bahrain is unique as it already has an indigenous Jewish population, and since the recent normalization of relations, we are seeing a greater interest from Jewish and Israeli travelers, and we want to be able to provide kosher food for those who prefer this option,” said Bernard de Villèle, Ritz Carlton general manager.
The Manama hotel is hoping to attract more Jewish tourists and will get the U.S.-based Orthodox Union to oversee the kosher certification process. The OU will help the kosher culinary team find and train a kashrut supervisor.
Ebrahim Nonoo, head of Bahrain’s Jewish community, said the decision will definitely meet a need.
“Nearly a day goes by where we don’t receive a request from Jewish groups and individuals about visiting Bahrain and kosher food is one of their top questions,” he said.
In September, Abu Dhabi instructed all hotels in the city to prepare kosher food options for the expected increase in Jewish tourists.
Israel’s Knesset approved on Tuesday a “Joint Communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic, peaceful, and friendly relations,” between Israel and Bahrain.“(The) buds of normalization are already out there, waiting to blossom. If we pursue the policy I crafted, I am convinced that the flowering will be witnessed in the open,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before the vote, predicting more Arab countries would soon normalize relations with Israel.