New Bahrain mall ready for business
Manama, September 15, 2012
A shopping mall that stood empty for years in Bahrain after being built is finally expected to officially open at the end of the year, said senior municipal officials.
The BD630,000 ($1.66 million) complex was completed in 2007 and a private firm was appointed in 2008 to manage the property on behalf of the Northern Municipality, which comes under the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.
However, the company was sacked last month after failing to attract a single tenant, municipality director-general Yousif Al Ghatam told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
He said the municipality took back responsibility for the mall and had already rented out 60 per cent of the space, which it hopes to fill by the time the official opening takes place in December.
"I don't understand why we needed to bring in the company in the first place," he added.
"It was a decision taken by the previous municipality director-general, but I decided to pull the plug after discovering the real estate company didn't rent out any shops."
The mall is located on the troubled Zaid bin Omaira Avenue, which has been marred by street violence.
The private real estate firm was paying just BD3,500 a month to lease the space and the municipality predicts it can double its revenues by going it alone.
"We are expecting a revenue of BD60,000 a year from renting out shops, which is around double the amount we were receiving from the private real estate company," explained Al Ghatam.
He said the aim was to fill the complex by the time the official opening took place during National Day celebrations in mid-December.
"We have now signed contracts for a supermarket, children and women's clothing shops, phones and perfumes shops, a stationery shop, gifts and flower shops and a children's play area," he revealed.
"The municipality will also open an office in the mall to make it easier for residents of the area to access services," he added.-TradeArabia News Service