Bahrain Economic Recovery Plan


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Pillar 2: Launching major strategic projects

Bahrain has commenced the rollout of a five-year national economic growth and fiscal balance plan (the Plan). The Plan is in line with Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030 and aims to support the country's post-Covid recovery and economic diversification, as well as to enhance the Kingdom's long-term international competitiveness. In our last instalment of this series, we explored Pillar 1 and the development of strategic priority sectors while this article sets out Pillar 2 and the launch of strategic projects within those priority sectors.

Under Pillar 2 of the Plan, the Kingdom will see the launch and development of over 20 new projects with an investment of over US$30 billion. While the Plan will look to enhance existing economic industries, there is a push to new industries with the aim of increasing opportunities for nationals and ensuring the Kingdom's long-term stability and competitiveness.

Set out below are some key planned projects within certain priority sectors.

The Tourism Sector

  • Bilaj Al Jazaver Beachfront Development: described as a tourist city, phase 1 of this project, a public beach and walkway with a length of 1.2km, was completed in 2019. Further developments are underway with the construction and design of two new beach resorts - Avani Bilaj Al Jazayer Bahrain Resort and Tivoli Bilaj Al Jazayer Beach Resort.
  • Jumeirah Bahrain Bay Resort.
  • Sa'ada Project: a mixed-use development which will connect Muharraq's existing historical centre with the waterfront. The layout of the project integrates open spaces and buildings which promotes and supports suitable living.
  • The New Exhibition Centre: the new Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre is planned to include 10 exhibition halls and centres with a 4,000 person capacity making it the largest 'Conference City' in the Middle East.
  • Mantis Hotel and Resort, Hawar Island.

Creation of Five New Cities

This project includes the construction of five new cities - Fasht al Jarim, Suhaila Island, Fasht al Adhm, Gulf of Bahrain and Hawar Islands - which is due to increase Bahrain's total land area by more than 60%. Fasht al Jarim, the largest city of those planned, will span over 183 square kilometres and is set to include a new airport.

Infrastructure and telecommunications

  • Kind Hamad Causeway: the bridge will be around 25km long and will be the second bridge linking Bahrain to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to help facilitate cross border trade and travel with Saudi Arabia as well as the wider GCC and to strengthen political, strategic, economic and cultural ties.
  • Future International Marine Fiber: these telecommunication projects will cover all regions of the Kingdom and aim to develop the international land and sea fiber optic lines.
  • Bahrain Metro: the metro service will cover 109 km of the country and aims to create a network linking all regions of Bahrain.

Industrial Sector

  • Aluminium Downstream Zone: this project aims to provide infrastructure required to establish a downstream zone for the aluminium sector. Through this, the country hopes to attract local and foreign investment, to create job opportunities for locals and to increase the contribution to GDP of non-oil sectors.
  • Bapco Modernization Program (BMP): this will be the largest industrial project in Bahrain's history and, according to Bapco, will be the largest capital investment in its 90-year history. BMP aims to increase refining capacity from 267,000 to 380,000 barrels per day, to improve energy efficiency and emerge as one of the most competitive and environmentally compliant refineries in the region.
  • US Trade Zone (USTZ): the USTZ, which will be located in Salman Industrial City, will span over approximately 1.11 million square metres and will cost around BHD 75 million. The objectives of this trade zone are to contribute to boosting economic, commercial and industrial cooperation and supporting bilateral trade exchanges between Bahrain and the US. Construction has commenced on the USTZ and is aimed to be completed by 2025.

Education sector

  • King Abdullah Medical City: this Project is planned to be a health complex which contains academic and medical facilities and research centres specialised in studying diseases such as cancer and diabetes.
  • College of Engineering, University of Bahrain: planned projects include the construction of new buildings for the departments of Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical and Civil Engineering, as well as the department of Architecture and Interior Design with the aim of creating an innovative environment for students to contribute to the research and development of engineering technologies.

Health sector

  • Dilmunia Health Services Complex: this new complex, location on the island of Dilmunia, is set to span across 16,665 square metres and will provide healthcare services across various medical specialities.
  • King Hamad AMH Hospital: this eco-friendly hospital will be based in A'alj and is set to be 75% solar-run. The US$66.3 million project will include an eight-bed intensive care unit, 17-bed neonatal intensive care unit, outpatient unit, 20-bed urgent care unit, six-bed labour, delivery and recovery unit, and five operating rooms.

Housing sector

  • Salman City: to include 12,000 housing units.
  • Khalifa City: to include 4,500 housing units.
  • East Sitra City: to include 3,500 housing units.
  • East Hidd City: to include 5,000 housing units.
  • Al Ramli District: to include 4,000 housings.
  • Government Land Development Project (Sharaka): estimated to include 16,000 housing units in total.

Youth & Sports sector

Sports City: a complex that aims to house the largest sport stadium in Bahrain, a multi-purpose indoor sports hall, and international standard football fields and athletic track. In addition to this, the project is set to develop a commercial project which includes a hotel and shopping mall with the objective of making the Kingdom a centre for events, leisure and sport.

Investment platform

The project aims to develop and launch "Invest.bh" - an electronic platform focused on promoting investment opportunities in the Kingdom. The platform will be a multi-purpose platform where investors can obtain up-to-date information on available developments and provide a space where they can communicate with the relevant authorities tied to certain investments.

 

The Plan is an exciting step towards the nation's post-Covid recovery with the aim of solidifying Bahrain's place as a leading economy. To quote His Excellency Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Bahrain's Minister of Finance and National Economy, "this comprehensive economic and fiscal plan is an investment in our nation's people, our businesses, and the future of Bahrain".

 

Read more - Pillar 1: Developing strategic priority sectors

 

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