Bahrain to restart $80m of seafront projects - report

Plans include a new marina in the Gulf state featuring theme parks, beach, mall and hotel
Bahrain to restart $80m of seafront projects - report
(Image for illustrative purposes).
By Shane McGinley
Wed 31 Oct 2012 11:19 AM

Bahrain is to push ahead with two major coastal projects worth nearly US$80m, including a marina development and a new seafront, officials have confirmed.

Muharraq Municipal Council has given the green light for a BHD25m (US$65m) marina development, which will include a hotel, public beach, shopping mall, an indoor and outdoor theme park, fish market, a main office tower and commercial and residential buildings, the TradeArabia reported.

The project was originally pitched in late 2011 and while phase one of the proposed development was started in 2006, phase two was deadlocked by disagreement among officials and was never started. Located between the Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Causeway and the Shaikh Isa bin Salman Causeway, the coastal project includes backing from a consortium of Turkish, Saudi and Bahraini investors.

"Even though we were divided on whether the place should be invested in or developed by the ministry last year, we have reached a point where we are convinced that supporting private investment is better than waiting for the government to find the budget," Council chairman Abdulnasser Al Mahmeed was quoted as saying.

A second project also set to be rejuvenated is the delayed BHD5.4m (US$14.21m) King Faisal Corniche seafront project, which will be located near the Bahrain Financial Harbour.

The new design will include a theme park and tourist attractions, family facilities, restaurants, recreational outlets, a 1km walkway, green areas and a plants nursery, TradeArabia added. The project is due to be opened to the public in 2015.

The projects are part of Bahrain’s bid to reignite its tourism sector after months of civil unrest.

Earlier this year, hotels in the Gulf kingdom's capital, Manama, reported a 112 percent rise in occupancy rates to 45 percent, according to latest figures released by STR Global, and authorities hope to capitalise on this with their latest ambitious projects.

Last month, it announced plans for a US$5m theme park based on The Smurfs, the popular Belgian children’s cartoon centred around a group of small blue fictional creatures.

The BHD2m (US$5.27m) Smurf village has been given the go ahead by Bahrain authorities and will be built on an 8,350 sqm site in West Riffa at the Prince Khalifa bin Salman Grand Garden, it was reported by Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News.

The development will include 30 Smurf houses measuring around 50 sqm and which can accommodate up to 20 children each.

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