By Sarah Townsend
Fifteen new hotels in pipeline, 4,000 rooms, says Bahrain Economic Development Board
More than $10 billion of new hotels are to open in Bahrain over the next five years, with the sector witnessing an average annual growth rate of 3 percent, according to investment agency Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
Figures released in EDB’s latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly Report show that growth in Bahrain’s hospitality sector to 2020 and beyond is underpinned by plans to establish 15 new four- and five-star hotels in the country with a collective investment value of $10 billion.
The list features international brands including The One&Only Resort, Wyndham Grand Hotel, Fairmont, Vida Hotel & Resort, The Address Hotel & Resort, Ibis Hotel and Pullman Hotel.
The ART Rotana Amwaj Islands Hotel & Resort, Le Meridian Hotel Bahrain City Centre and Four Seasons Bahrain Bay are among the new openings in the past two years.
The planned new hotels will add to Bahrain’s existing portfolio of 190 hotels and resorts – 18 five-star hotels, 48 four-star hotels, 35 three-star hotels, 81 serviced apartments and 11 resorts with a total capacity of more than 16,500 rooms.
Bahrain is making efforts to attract more visitors to Bahrain. It has launched a new tourism campaign called "Ours. Yours. Bahrain", which aims to increase the value of the sector to $1 billion by 2020, effectively doubling tourism’s contribution to national GDP from 3.6 percent at present to 6.6 percent in three years, EDB said.
Meanwhile, six new international offices have been set up in recent months to drive tourism from key markets, including the UK, France, India, Germany and Russia.
Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of EDB, said: “Bahrain showed strong growth in tourist numbers in 2016, witnessing a 6 percent increase in the number of tourist arrivals, to 12.2 million.
“Bahrain is a regional hub for tourism, with over 300 million people within two-hours flight, of which the majority are regional visitors travelling from within the GCC.”