Business booms as crowds throng Golden Jubilee celebration

|     Aziz Idris & Danial Norjidi     |

BUSINESS was thriving in the capital yesterday during the celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam.

Most restaurants, cafes and fast-food chains located along Jalan Sultan experienced brisk business from the major turn-out of well-wishers in the capital to witness the Royal Parade.

Eateries opened for business as early as 6am in preparation for the influx of crowds that witnessed the historic event.

The Coffee Bean Brunei in the capital was full to the brim with customers yesterday morning. Ida Patera, Marketing Executive at The Coffee Bean Brunei spoke with the Bulletin on how business had been during the event. “It’s been great. It’s definitely overwhelming, but we’ve prepared for this so we’ve got extra staff and a lot of ice,” she said.

They had nearly three times the usual number of staff working at their branch in the capital yesterday. She said that while the extra staff members are from other branches, “a lot of them wanted to be here”.

She also shared that their various outlets had special two-hour 50 per cent discounts on food and beverages at different times throughout the day.

In addition, she said, “We’re going to be releasing our Golden Jubilee tumblers. It is coming out, and part of the proceeds will go to charity. The date is to be confirmed.”

The Coffee Bean Brunei in the capital buzzing with activity yesterday morning. – DANIAL NORJIDI

Hotels in the capital also saw a boom in business. The overwhelming turn-out for the royal procession even caused some eateries in the nearby shopping mall to run of stock. Two eateries expressed their setback and were not prepared for the influx of visitors, especially as the procession drew to a close at noon.

“We only open (business) at 10am when the shopping mall operates. Some eateries outside the mall, especially food vendors had run out of supplies, and we were really fazed by the surge of orders and long queue,” explained one of the supervisors.

In addition to the cafes and eateries, many hotels in the capital, were booked to full capacity.

The Brunei Hotel, saw all its 62 rooms fully occupied. The hotel’s Assistant Rooms Manager, JM said, they were fully booked two months in advance. He said their occupants were mostly locals.

Meanwhile, the Capital Residence Suites at the edge of central Bandar Seri Begawan received bookings four months prior to the much-anticipated event. The Marketing Executive of The Capital Residence Suite, Dayangku Siti Sakeena binti Pengiran Haji Idris, told the Bulletin that their guests comprised local families as well as tourists.

Another hotel in the capital that experienced full occupancy was the Radisson Hotel. A representative from the hotel said all 142 of its rooms were booked over a month in advance.