Bahrain pushes ahead with stalled $51m indoor ski resort

Theme park project was axed in June but was given the green light when new backers stepped in

(Photo for illustrative purpose only)

(Photo for illustrative purpose only)

Bahrain is planning to resurrect plans to build a BD20m ($51.6m) theme park, which will include a full-size ice arena and indoor ski slope, just months after the project was shelved, it was reported.

An agreement to push ahead with the stalled project was signed this week between Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi and Bahraini investor Fouad Shuwaitar, according to a report by Gulf Daily News (GDN).

The surprise decision to reinstate the project comes after officials moved to scrap the much-delayed project last June.

However, new backers from India have come onboard and the project has now been fast-tracked into development by His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalia, the report said.

"The park has been abandoned since 2007, when a Kuwaiti investor's plan for a 'miniature Disneyland' was scrapped due to his inability to carry out work," Fouad Shuwaitar was quoted as saying. "Since then, councillors have been looking for other investors and thus we decided to step in with a bigger and better project.”

The theme park will be located at the Muharraq Grand Garden, near Bahrain International Airport, and will include a three-storey shopping centre, business centre, indoor sports arena, outdoor pitches, aquatic museum, karting track, mosque and an elderly home.

Work is due to begin in February 2014 and It is expected to take two and half years to complete.

Dubai is already home to the region’s first indoor ski resort – Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates – and a similar version is currently being built at the under construction Mall of Egypt in Cairo.

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Posted by: Budaiya

This is a private investment. Bahrain is a free economy and pressure to build social housing etc. should be on the government and not investors. Investment leads to jobs! This is what Bahrain needs most of all after the previous issues!

Posted by: Ahmed

Good move into restoring the confidence in the economy. Bahrain is a good destination for investments directed at Saudi tourists from Central and Eastern Saudi.

Posted by: Afg

Why not spend the money building much needed schools and hospitals and social housing?

Posted by: gordon

you mean, the Indian investors should spend the money on social housing in Bahrain???

That should be the responsibility of the government.

Investmenting in such a project creates jobs and income. Which creates welath and reduces needs for social welfare as well as generating income for the government that can be used for social progreams

Posted by: Mirza

Well, still better than other places as an elderly home is also included. Also most investments directly and indirectly help needy people, albeit the investors benefit the most. Show me where private investors spend more money in social welfare? France? Haha.

Posted by: Anon

Tasteless as usual. They should invest in social welfare programs to help the poor and needy Bahraini and forget skiing and shopping.

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