Bahrain to get $250m corniche resort
Manama, February 9, 2009
Plans to create a $250 million tourism resort in Bahrain, in a joint venture with Australian developers, is in the pipeline, it emerged.
Promoseven Holdings chairman Akram Miknas, who is leading the project, confirmed the outline of the plan but said finite details of the project were not ready to be released.
'We are working with the public sector in Bahrain to develop a kind of corniche resort and we have been speaking to Australian developers and architects to co-operate and partner with us,' said Miknas, who is also Honorary Ambassador to Brisbane.
Miknas was speaking at a Press conference held to discuss the visit of a Brisbane business delegation led by Lord Mayor of Brisbane Campbell Newman.
Newman said in addition to discussing the tourism project the delegation was speaking to a Bahrain business that appeared to be investing in an Australian company that was running into difficulty. However, he would not reveal the names of the companies.
'The entire sale is A$400 million and the local company is expected to buy some of its assets,' he told the Press conference at the Diplomat Radisson SAS, Hotel, Residence and Spa.
'We will be talking to the company in Bahrain to see if Brisbane City Council can partner with them.'
The 13-member delegation is in Bahrain following a visit to Abu Dhabi and Qatar. It will leave for Brisbane via Abu Dhabi this evening.
The delegation is meeting officials from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Education Ministry and other government officials. It is also holding private meetings with local business leaders.
Newman, who was last in Bahrain in 2007, said Brisbane has great interest in promoting cultural and economic ties in Bahrain and the GCC.
'We are here to promote business opportunities for companies in Bahrain and the GCC and companies in Brisbane here.'
He said Brisbane has a very focused, strategic infrastructure plan and was looking to make a A$150 billion investment on schools, roads, hospitals and other infrastructure to keep up with its high population growth which was currently at 1.8 million.
Newman said there were many opportunities in Brisbane for construction companies in the Gulf. He said Brisbane was seeking corporate partners for its Northern Link project.
The Northern Link is a 4km road tunnel that connects the city with a major freeway, he said. The cost ranges between a minimum of A$1.7 billion and A$2.7 billion, he added.
He said the delegation wanted to strengthen ties between Bahrain and Brisbane and was speaking to airlines about starting direct flights linking the two destinations.
'We have Emirates and Etihad servicing Brisbane but there are no direct flights from Bahrain, so we hope to speak to airlines and remedy this. We would like to talk to Gulf Air about direct flights and have already spoken to Etihad about that.'
He said there were many opportunities to improve trade relations between Australia and Bahrain.
In 2008, exports from Australia to Bahrain mainly in vehicles, dairy products and live animals were worth A$1.8 million.
Imports from Bahrain to Australia mainly in fertilisers, aluminium and textiles were worth A$1.22 million.
Brisbane Marketing chief executive officer John Aitken said a key sector in Brisbane was education and contributed to A$1.8 billion to the economy of which half came from the Middle East.
He said Brisbane was looking to increase its business and tourism sectors and was working with airlines to promote its projects and other opportunities.-TradeArabia News Service