UAE wealth behind Bahrain's $492 tourism investment

Country continues developing sector despite COVID

14 September, 14:34

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, SEPTEMBER 14 - Bahrain came in first in the Middle East and Africa for attracting investment in the tourism sector in 2020, according to an annual report issued by Fdi IZntelligence, an international company for investment promotion.

    Gulf News noted that: "Last year, major investments from UAE-based property developers helped Bahrain's tourism sector remain buoyant and created jobs during the worst ever period for the global tourism industry.

    Bahrain secured $492 million of tourism capital investment in 2020, mainly made up of investments from global property developer Emaar Properties and real estate developer Eagle Hills, despite the overall regional decline in capital investment in 2020." It added that: "Capital investment into MEA last year decreased 82 per cent from 2019, dropping to $1.6 billion. The number of tourism jobs created in the region also experienced a similar decline, decreasing from approximately 17,400 in 2019 to 2,800 in 2020" and that prior "to Covid, Bahrain was attracting around a million visitors a month on average and the tourism sector contributed around 7 per cent to GDP. As the first economy in the GCC to diversify away from oil".

    "During the pandemic, the country continued developing its strategy to transform its tourism sector, allocating more than $10 billion to tourism infrastructure projects, including the $1.1 billion modernisation of its international airport. More recently, Edamah, the real estate arm of Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, also announced several new upscale property projects in the country," it added.

    "Accor, a hospitality group with over 400 hotels, Minor Hotels, which has a portfolio of 527 hotels and resorts, and Hilton DoubleTree unveiled plans to launch new properties in the Kingdom. Bahrain is now home to global hotel brands including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Rotana, Intercontinental, Wyndham and Sofitel. Anticipating a significant rebound in tourism numbers, Bahrain is growing its portfolio of five-star hotels and is set to have around 9,300 rooms by the end of 2022.

    Bahrain is also anticipating a return in demand and growth for beachfront affordable brands," it continued.

    "Despite the obvious challenges, we have continued to progress with our ambitious tourism infrastructure and real estate plans, which have attracted some of the world's most renowned hotel brands and the Gulf's largest property development groups, including Emaar," said Mahmood Al Aradi, Chief Investment Officer at Bahrain's Economic Development Board, told Gulf News.

    (ANSA).

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