Private company for Bahrain’s $815m expo city
Manama, June 30, 2009
A private company will own and manage the BD307 million ($815 million) Expo City (Expo@bahrain) in Sakhir, Bahrain’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce said yesterday (June 29).
It will be made up of the Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority (BECA), the Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, private banks and investors, said Industry and Commerce Minister and BECA president Dr Hassan Fakhro.
He was speaking at BECA’s second quarter board of directors’ meeting.
The centre, planned to be executed in two phases, will be the new home of the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC), which is expected to relocate to land near Bahrain International Circuit by 2011.
The project will be 10 times the size of BIECC’s current complex in Sanabis, offering 120,000 sq mt of exhibition space.
Dr Fakhro said the government had identified the exhibition industry as an important sector. "It generates unprecedented investment and commercial opportunities," he said.
“In addition to protecting existing business and the reputation of BECA, the meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) activities at Expo City (Expo@bahrain) will generate incremental revenues of BD115 million (US$ 305 million) annually to the national economy and create a large number of new, full-time job opportunities,” Dr Fakhro explained.
Strategically situated in Bahrain's world-class commerce, entertainment and education facility @bahrain next to Bahrain International Circuit, the Expo City (Expo@bahrain) is a cornerstone of the multi-million dinar @bahrain project comprising several verticals including hotels, a multi-purpose indoor arena, retail and leisure facilities.
"Bahrain attracts big international exhibitions and can expand and continue to organise national exhibitions on an international level,” Dr Fakhro noted.
He revealed Bahrain had to decline requests to host 47 events last year due to space restrictions. "There were also event booking requests that were refused to new clients because there was no reasonable space at the BIEC at the time of the request."
The Expo City (Expo@bahrain) will be executed in two phases by 2012 and 2014, respectively: Phase One will comprise a 100,000 sq mt purpose-built exhibition facility, of which 75,000 sq mt will be allocated for sub-divisible exhibition space with an integrated 25,000 sq mt convention centre; this will be complemented by a 50,000 sq mt sub-divisible exhibition and convention centre to be developed in Phase Two.
Sustainability is a vital component of the Expo City (Expo@bahrain) project. Aedas, the master planner appointed for the @bahrain project, will be adopting the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building rating system as a benchmark for the project and will ensure that it conforms to Green Globe accreditations for Sustainable Energy Efficient Building Design.
The Expo City (Expo@bahrain) will have interconnected access to three hotels in the three-, four-, and five-star category with a combined capacity of 1,200 rooms in addition to a multi-purpose arena.
It will be within close proximity to the future Bahrain- Qatar Friendship Bridge and minutes away from the Bahrain-Saudi Causeway. – TradeArabia News Service
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