Bahrain's culture minister said on Saturday that plans to build a BD19m ($50.3m) amphitheatre were on track for completion in July 2012.
Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa said the project was part of preparations for Bahrain to be the Arab Culture Capital next year.
After talks with works minister Essam Khalaf, she hailed the project as a "landmark monument in Bahrain and the region".
"His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has a keen interest in the multi-million cultural icon", she said in comments published by state news agency BNA.
The National Amphitheatre project will be constructed close to the Bahrain National Museum lake and will host local and international musical concerts and other artistic and cultural shows, with the main hall capable of accommodating up to 1,000 spectators.
Other extra works will also be undertaken as part of the project to revamp the lake beachfront, BNA said, adding that a French architecture studio has been commissioned to undertake the design of the project while WS Atkins is in charge of the scheme.
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