Published on : Wednesday, January 3, 2018
The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) has revealed the Bahrain’s tourism infrastructure investment details recently which showed that it has reached over $13bn. The figure holds 14 prominent projects that will further boost growth in the Kingdom’s tourism and leisure sector.
In the past years, the tourism sector has seen a rapid growth with visitors’ number to the Kingdom increasing by 12.8% in the first nine months of 2017. The Kingdom also witnessed further enhancement to its tourism infrastructure to support this growth, which plays a significant role in Bahrain’s economic diversification efforts.
Dr Simon Galpin, managing director of Bahrain EDB, said that the total number of tourists visiting the country has reached 8.7 million during the first nine months of this year, which is a significant number considering the resident population to of only 1.5 million people.
Galphin continued saying that the tourism sector is one of the key investment sectors that they recognise as having a strong competitive advantage for Bahrain. It contributes 6.3% to the country’s GDP, and is set to grow significantly, as the number of visitors and leisure activities increase. Bahrain continues to reaffirm its position as a tourism destination of choice with a number of new hotels, retail and leisure developments currently underway.
The developments of the tourism infrastructure are a pivotal part of the Kingdom’s large-scale development and are valued at over $32bn. This public-private sector investment consists of $10bn of government funding, $7.5bn under the GCC Development Fund, and $15bn worth of investment in the private sector.
As part of these developments, Bahrain International Airport is undergoing a $1.1bn modernisation programme, set to increase passenger capacity from nine to 14 million per year by 2020. This will go hand in hand with the new five and four-star hotels and resorts in the tourism development pipeline that will cater to current and future demand. The tourism project also includes extension and development of the medical-tourism projects along with the real estate projects such as Bahrain Bay, Bahrain Marina, Diyar Al Muharraq, Water Garden City, Dilmunia, and Marassi Al Bahrain where Emaar Hospitality brands such as The Address Hotel and Vida are under construction.