Bahrain seeks to progress Dragon City project

Senior officials hold talks in bid to push ahead with plans for China-themed mall in kingdom
(Image for illustrative purposes only)
By Andy Sambidge
Fri 04 Jan 2013 09:48 AM

Senior Bahraini officials have held talks in a bid to push ahead with plans to bring a major China-themed mall to the Gulf kingdom.

The country's deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Services and Infrastructure were among those at a meeting to discuss the feasibility of establishing the Dragon City retail project in Diyar Al Muharraq.

The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Hassan Abdullah Fakhroo, plus directors of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry were also at the meeting, Bahrain News Agency reported.

Further talks have been agreed to establish "an integrated mechanism for the project as well as procedures and controls of establishing it in the kingdom of Bahrain".

In May, it was reported that Bahrain’s Diyar Al Muharraq had signed a deal with Chinamex to develop a 334,000 sq ft China-themed shopping mall in the Gulf state.

Dragon City, slated for completion in September 2014, will have an initial capacity for up to 100 Chinese companies and businesses. The mall, located in the downtown area of the Diyar Al Muharraq development, will be managed by Chinamex.

Dragon City is expected to attract more than half a million visitors a year, said the company.

China’s fast-emerging middle class is boosting tourists and shoppers to the GCC. Dubai developer Nakheel is doubling the size of its Dragon Mart Mall, adding an additional 1.7m sq ft of retail space and 5,000 parking spaces at the China-themed mall.

Qatar’s Barwa Real Estate last year signed a deal with Chinese retail giant Dragon Mart to open a market for Chinese products in the Gulf state.

Diyar Al Muharraq is a $3.2bn mixed-use development being developed by Kuwait Finance House Bahrain and several other private GCC-based investors.

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