Bahrain builders urged to complete projects
Manama, September 13, 2011
Local and international contractors and developers have been called upon to help complete key housing projects in Bahrain.
The appeal came at the Social Housing Forum organised by the Housing Ministry in conjunction with Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
The event, held under the patronage of Deputy Premier Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, was attended by real estate companies from Bahrain, China, other GCC countries and Turkey.
They were invited to offer their expertise and knowledge in building the developments.
The event aimed at drawing their financial and technical assistance in the completion of three key projects through a public-private partnership (PPP).
They include new residential developments to be built in east of Hidd and east of Sitra.
This is in addition to Al Madina Al Shamalia (Northern Town), which will consist of 16 islands connected by bridges.
It will be home to 15,000 units, including houses, apartments and plots of land, offering commercial and social services to all residents.
The event was attended by Housing Minister Basem Al Hamer and other top officials.
"We ask for your expertise, technical and financial support in this endeavour, which will reduce the number of applicants for housing each year," the ministry's housing projects assistant under-secretary Sami Buhazza'a told participants.
"This partnership will be for a period of 25 years, and in four to five years' time, we intend to have 25,000 units available for immediate use."
Through the first finalised PPP, construction work has already been started on units in areas such as Al Luwzi, Jidhafs and Salmabad, it was confirmed.
Developers and contractors gathered at the forum had the opportunity to raise any issues regarding the proposed partnership.
They voiced their concerns about financial security and the risks involved by agreeing to a 25-year contract, infrastructural design and the issue of surplus housing units currently available in Bahrain, in areas such as Juffair.
The positives of a PPP were explained by a panel of experts working in Bahrain.
These included spreading of cost over a longer period of time, access to the private financial sector and new innovations that will cater to Bahrain's social and cultural needs. Companies are now being invited to bid for individual developments, having compiled fully operational legal, financial and design and construction teams. – TradeArabia News Service