Rayan Kammoun – Cluster Director of Marketing & Communications, Rotana Bahrain

This time last year, few could have predicted that a pandemic would result in the rise of staycations and domestic tourism over the course of 2020. Do you have any insider tips for Bahrain residents on making the most of this trend?

We’ve been offering the local market the best staycation packages while taking safety measures into consideration since the beginning of the pandemic. Bahrain is vibrant. Between its beaches, culture, and history to the diverse range of restaurants – which is a very special aspect – alongside its friendly and welcoming society, the island has a lot to offer. Residents should take some time to explore the local leisure scene, which costs less than travelling abroad. Exploring historical places such as the forts and museums, discovering the many food trucks, and experiencing the variety of luxury hotels are definitely activities worth adding to your Bahrain bucket list.

Considering the theme of our October issue is dining around the world in Bahrain, which restaurant and what type of cuisine is your favourite?

I am a big fan of Italian cuisine, and I’d say Rosso at ART Rotana is my favourite Italian restaurant in Bahrain. The great ambience, cosy décor, and the quality of food make me want to go back time and time again – especially for the freshly baked pizza and delicious pasta options.

As we approach the fourth and final quarter of 2020, what have you learned when you reflect on the past few months?

It has been a tough year on all of us, and it’s quite a challenge adapting to the new norm and many safety measures in place. We are still fighting for survival. 2020 taught me that family and health are the key concepts of life. It encouraged me to value the small blessings and made me realise – and prioritise – what’s truly important in my life. Yes, it affected our daily lifestyles, but we will hopefully emerge from the current situation soon enough.