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Thu 3 May 2007 01:18 AM

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Bahrain Financial Harbour opens for business

Multi-billion dollar waterside district aims to rebuild Bahrain's role as banking capital of the Middle East.

The long-awaited Bahrain Financial Harbour opened today (2

May), marking the start in a fight back by the island Kingdom to reassert itself as the financial capital of the Middle East.

The project was funded to the tune of $1.4 billion by Gulf Finance House.

Dubai International Financial Centre, at the heart of the UAE's trade and commerce hub, has stolen the march on Bahrain in the past two years, but Bahrain Financial Centre officials believe its proximity to the oil wealth of Saudi Arabia and the gas riches of Qatar give it a unique advantage.

The Financial Centre consists of the striking twin Harbour Towers and Harbour Mall. The Harbour Towers will provide 60,000 square metres of premium office and commercial space for the financial services industry while the Harbour Mall will house upmarket retail outlets and cafes, other leisure facilities as well brokerage and trading firms.

"BFH is a much awaited financial sector focused real estate development aimed at bringing the entire vertical section of the region's financial industry under one canopy," said Janahi, Chairman of the development.

Additional elements of the harbour project are nearing completion. The World trade Centre with its three wind turbines will reach its full height of 50 storeys soon. And the Villamar residential development is also close to welcoming its first residents.

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