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Baghdad NOT the New Ibiza

photo credit: Lukáš Kadeřábek

A total alcohol ban in Baghdad has led to revellers, dancers, promoters and performers leaving the Iraqi capital for towns in the Kurdish Autonomous Region, the Washington Post reported this week.

The post said so many night people have made the move that a ‘nightlife boom’ is happening in the Kurdish area, while in Baghdad gunmen and religious police terrorise those remaining.

"Baghdad has become a dead city where there is no more amusement, no drinks and no music,” exiled drummer Hameed Saleh told the Post, “They have dressed the capital in religious clothes.”

News of the nightlife exodus emerged less than two years after the Newcastle Chronicle advised readers to ’forget Fuengirola and ignore Ibiza’ after veteran British party animal Gordon Moore returned from a wild vacation in Iraq with euphoric tales of his exploits.

“I never felt in any danger and there was never a bad word spoken to us while we there,” the retired postal worker told the Chronicle, “I might be coming up to 75, but there’s still plenty of adventures out there, and I haven’t got any plans to stop yet,” he added.

Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, government officials cautiously stepped up their campaign to invite non Muslim Western tourists to visit the desert region in an attempt to boost employment opportunities in the notoriously strict kingdom.

Regional newspaper the Media Line said Red Coast resort Jeddah already boast numerous four and five star hotels where Saudis are excluded, where foreign guests can sunbathe and swim without restrictions, though said sentiments remain ambiguous.

“When you see what is happening in Dubai, I think it is understandable that Saudis rather do without foreign tourists,” a Jeddah tourist agency manager told The Media Line.” (Media Line: http://bit.ly/hKvmaK )

Jonty Skrufff: http://listn.to/JontySkrufff

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