UK helping to create Bahrain 3D map
Manama, January 18, 2014
In a major move, Bahrain is readying a 3D map of the country (which will enable visitors to see the country's real estate in three-dimensional) with the help of British experts.
UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond revealed details of the project as he attended the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) yesterday.
His visit coincides with the Great British Week, which continues until Wednesday.
In an exclusive interview with the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication, Hammond said the focus of the week should be on areas where the UK has "a clear competitive advantage" in fields such as defence, healthcare, education and engineering.
"It's about really trying to bring together, under one banner, those intangible things which attract people to Great Britain and create the brand around it," he said.
"I just met the woman who runs Ordnance Survey and they have got a fantastic collaboration with their Bahraini equivalent (the Survey and Land Registration Bureau).
"The King (His Majesty King Hamad) is very excited, he was saying over lunch that they are making a 3D mapping system so soon we will be able to log on and see the country's real estate in 3D.
"It's in areas such as these where we can leverage the UK's technological and institutional advantages and help develop collaborations in Bahrain."
Hammond also paid tribute to the Bahrain International Airshow, describing it as a "fantastic" event that allowed Britain to showcase its relationship with Bahrain.
"It's great to be here and as everyone who is here has already observed it's a fantastic air show," Mr Hammond said.
"For us it offers the chance to do two things, to showcase our relationship with Bahrain - which goes back 200 years and is a very deep and enduring one - and to celebrate the collaborations we have at the moment, which are multi-faceted and again will endure into the future.
"But also with the launch of Great British Week, which showcases everything that Britain has and can offer, we will hopefully see more British investment and a strengthening of the relationship with Bahrain."
Hammond also reiterated the UK's commitment to Bahrain in a statement issued by Bahrain's Information Affairs Authority.
"Bahrain continues to be an important strategic partner with our armed forces enjoying a very close relationship," he said.
"I am delighted that a Royal Air Force Typhoon aircraft is able to visit and take part in the displays.
"I am also delighted that a number of UK companies across the military and civil sectors have identified Bahrain as an important market in which to do business. The significant UK presence is a reflection of the value we place on our relationship."
Other British officials attending the event include Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, Chief of Air Staff; the Defence Ministry's Lieutenant-General Simon Mayall, Defence Senior Adviser Middle East; and Richard Paniguian, head of the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation, which also has a stand in the exhibition area manned by RAF specialists.
"We have supported the air show since its inception in 2010," said Paniguian.
"We will continue to encourage UK companies to network and to identify suitable business opportunities and prospects for joint industrial and technological co-operation across the region, and with Bahrain in particular, as we enter the third century of our deep and enduring relationship."
British companies exhibiting at the air show include BAE Systems, Martin Baker, Ultra Electronics, Airbus UK, Serco, Selex and Thales UK.-TradeArabia News Service