Tourism to add $2bn to Bahrain’s GDP
Manama, August 26, 2012
The direct contribution of travel and tourism to Bahrain’s GDP is set to grow by 3.7 per cent per annum between now and 2022 to $ 2.04 billion, said a recent report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council.
In 2022, travel and tourism investment is expected to top $865 million compared to $545 million in 2011, the report said.
Such investment will play a key role in attracting the forecasted annual visitor figures to over eight million arrivals in 2022, compared to five million foreign tourist arrivals in 2011. Business travel spending in Bahrain is also forecast to rise to $449 million) in 2022.
In light of this, Dubai International Capital, the international private equity arm of Dubai Holding, recently invested $40 million in Holiday Inn Express Bahrain, the Kingdom’s first limited service hotel, through its majority owned vehicle Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding Company.
Ishraq is an experienced developer and operator of Holiday Inn Express hotels across the GCC, focusing on price-conscious business and leisure travellers.
Located along the commercially important Exhibition Road, the 274 room hotel is close to Bahrain International Airport as well as the King Fahd Causeway, Bahrain Financial Harbour, key diplomatic facilities and shopping centres.
Maissan Jalal Al Maskati, chairman of Ishraq Gulf Real Estate Holding and managing director of Dubai International Capital, said: “Bahrain has been and continues to be an attractive tourism and hospitality market.”
“In fact, our decision to make such a substantial investment was driven by our long term confidence in the market’s historically healthy occupancy levels and hotel rates, coupled by a sophisticated consumer base that demands a high quality limited service product.
“Further to the launch of four Holiday Inn Express hotels in Dubai, we are now delighted to be here and to have chosen Bahrain to launch our fifth and newest location. We look forward to building on this success and continuing to evaluate new investment opportunities in Bahrain in the future,” he added.
Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said: “It is very encouraging that the Holiday Inn Express has opened up in Bahrain and we welcome them to the Kingdom."
“This represents a significant investment and is an indication of the faith in the strong fundamentals and growth prospects of the Kingdom.
“This type of limited service hotel is a reflection of the increasingly cost conscious business and leisure traveller, and it is important that Bahrain is able to maintain a strong offering for the increasing number of people who travel to Bahrain for work and as a holiday destination,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service