Work starts on Dragon City in Bahrain
Manama, June 27, 2014
Work has officially started on Bahrain's very own $100 million "China Town", which, developers say will boost the economy by creating jobs, promoting tourism and supporting local businesses through tie-ups with Chinese manufacturers.
Dragon City is being built at Diyar Al Muharraq and work commenced with an official ground-breaking ceremony yesterday (June 26), reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, government ministers, Muharraq municipal council representatives and businessmen attended the event.
Phase one features a Chinese-themed shopping mall expected to open in the middle of next year.
The mall will offer Chinese products such as home appliances, household items, building materials, furniture, toys, machinery, garments, textiles and footwear.
"This is a mega project that will boost trade relations between Bahrain and China and establish the Kingdom as an important gateway to the GCC," said Diyar Al Muharraq chairman Abdulhakim Al Khayyat.
"It is an important milestone in the development of Bahrain's economy as traders will benefit from this $100 million project and it will establish small and medium scale factories."
Diyar Al Muharraq last month appointed Nass Contracting to construct phase one of Dragon City, which will be built on a 115,000 sq m site and be operated by Middle East Investment and Trade Promotion Centre (Chinamex).
Its chairman Hao Feng told the GDN that around 300 Bahraini and Chinese companies had expressed interest in being part of the project.
Meanwhile, Diyar Al Muharraq chief executive Dr Maher Al Shaer said the overall development would introduce new products to Bahrain and cater to fans of Asian cuisine.
Dragon City fuses Chinese and Bahraini architecture and will incorporate 700 individual retail stores, a 5,000sqm warehouse area, 6,000sqm dining strip and car parking for 1,500 vehicles.
"Phase one of Dragon City, which includes the mall, is targeted to be ready by mid-2015 and at a subsequent stage a themed Asian dining street extending approximately 6,000 sq m will be added - where patrons can enjoy a choice of restaurants and food brands within an authentic Asian setting," he said.
"We aim to make Dragon City the main destination that will singularly address consumer demands."
The Dragon City concept was first announced in May 2012 following an agreement between Diyar Al Muharraq and Chinamex.
However, it has met with some opposition from Bahraini traders, who signed a petition against the project last year amid fears that Chinese traders would steal their business. – TradeArabia News Service