Major construction expo opens in Bahrain
Manama, May 6, 2008
The third edition of gulfBID - the Gulf international exhibition for construction, interiors and furniture - opened today at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre.
The expo was inaugurated by Bahrain's Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.
The Premier toured the exhibition and expressed his happiness over the quality of the show.
'The exhibition is now established as the leading building and interiors exhibition for the northern Gulf,' said Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE) managing director Jubran Abdulrahman, said.
More than 200 companies have signed up for the event from 19 different countries and the organisers expect more than 5,000 of the region's building and construction leaders, decision-makers and technical professionals to attend this year.
'The continued pace of development in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia is now outstripping whatever has been happening in the lower Gulf and Bahrain is perfectly placed at the heart of this region,' said Abdulrahman.
'In Saudi Arabia, to which we are linked by road, developments are taking place, which will offer massive opportunities in the construction and interiors sectors.'
He said that apart from the $26 billion King Abdulla Economic City north of Jeddah, a further five Saudi economic cities are being created.
According to the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (Sagia) businessmen can look forward to $300 billion worth of opportunities in various fields which include steel, glass and ceramics in these six cities.
In Yanbu Industrial City Two, private investment is expected to exceed $25 billion over the next 10 years.
Individual projects announced included the building of an aluminium smelter at Ras Az Zour, on the east coast of Saudi Arabia, which will produce 720,000 tonnes of aluminium per year, using locally mined bauxite from Al Zabirah in the north of the kingdom.
This will be complemented by the $5 billion aluminium smelter being built on the west coast at the King Abdullah Economic City.
Private investment of more than $36 billion will be invested in the second, third and fourth phases of Jubail Industrial City over the next 12 years, and the Saudi Electricity company plans to invest over $51 billion over the next seven years to increase generating capacity by 60 per cent.
In Kuwait, the largest single real estate development in the Middle East, the $77 billion 'City of Silk' is being planned at Subbiya near the Iraqi border.
Qatar is in the middle of a $83 billion five-year hydrocarbons programme, which added to the country's ongoing oil and gas related projects, which include new LNG plants, will continue to fuel a construction boom for years to come.
'Here in Bahrain, billions of dollars are being committed to the development of new infrastructure as the country develops its master plan covering industry and tourism,' Abdulrahman said.
'A total of 28 companies have already signed leases for ventures in the Bahrain International Investment Park. More than $20 billion of work is underway in the private sector on the Manama North Shore.
'Estimates of a massive increase in the population of Bahrain to almost two million by 2030 will add impetus to the country's vibrant construction and interiors sectors. Plans for new steel plants and mills will also support the country's construction boom.'
'All of this regional and local development makes Bahrain the ideal venue for an international exhibition such as gulfBID,' he added.
'The kingdom's strategic location coupled with it's business-friendly environment makes it a perfect meeting point for international and regional business professionals. gulfBID has over the past three years provided a superb venue and this year's show promises to continue the success of our two previous events.'