Work on Iraq embassy to begin soon
Manama, February 1, 2009
Construction work on a new BD2.6 million ($7 million) Iraqi Embassy in Hoora, Bahrain is to begin in the next few weeks, it has been confirmed.
Ambassador Ghassan Hussain said the purpose-built centre would help boost business between Bahrain and Iraq and provide better services to migrant workers.
'We have finalised all the legal documents and are waiting for the final approval from (Iraqi) Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to start construction,' he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
'We are expecting it any day, but due to his hectic schedule, he is away in Kuwait and Turkey,' he noted.
'Everything has been finalised on the Bahraini side and we have the building permit from the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry.'
Hussain said Bahraini company Fakhrawi Contracting had won the tender for the construction, while Spectrum Engineering Consultants would oversee the design and development of the project.
The envoy, who will leave Bahrain in the next few weeks to take up a government position in Baghdad, said that construction work was expected to be completed within 20 months.
The three-storey 6,420sqm building, which will include offices and the ambassador's residence, will be located between the United Nations (UN) House and the French Embassy.
Hussain, a painter who has taken part in many exhibitions worldwide, helped create some of the new embassy's exterior features, which aim to add a touch of the ancient city of Babylon.
He said strong security would be in place given the fact the embassy would also house the ambassador's residence, but was not aware of specific measures.
'Every embassy building requires certain things and among them is security,' said Hussain. 'We consider Bahrain a safe and secure place and we do not feel that there are extraordinary measures that need to be taken.'
More than 1,400 Iraqis live and work in Bahrain. 'Iraqi diplomatic representation has been in Bahrain since the country's independence and we give high importance to our representation here,' added Hussain.
The Iraqi Embassy is presently run from a rented premises in Zinj, but the new building will be on Iraqi-owned land.-TradeArabia News Service