By Daniel Shane
Committee wants area near Arab Spring focal point included in new development
Officials in Bahrain hope
that the area surrounding the demolished Pearl Roundabout can be incorporated into a planned new retail and business development.
Councillors in the capital of Manama hope to include the
district surrounding the former landmark, which was a focal point of Arab
Spring protests, into a proposed $530.5m overhaul of the city’s Manama Central
Market, reported Trade Arabia.
A study into the development is set to be completed by the
end of 2013, with work beginning the following year.
Some figures of authority in the tiny Gulf state believes it
makes sense to incorporate the area, near the city’s Al Farooq Junction, into
the proposed new development.
“Instead of dividing the place into two separate locations
and having two different studies, it is more preferable - technically and
financially - to have it all under one study and joined under one project
without considering the road dividing both as a barrier,” commented council
vice-chairman and Manama Municipality joint investment committee vice-chairman,
"In the end, if we want the marketplace to be revived
and in order to do that we have to see both projects as interrelated. It would
be illogical to have the market look amazing but its neighbouring businesses
seem dull," he added.
The project to renovate Manama Central Market was first
announced in early 2008, but was delayed due to the financial crisis.
When complete, it will include a new central market, in
addition to business, shopping, residential and leisure amenities.
Bahrain was one of the Gulf states hardest hit by the Arab Spring protests, with mass demonstrations by the Shi'ite majority currently still ongoing.