Bahrain plans hotel at $450m location
Manama, September 25, 2010
Bahrain’s councillors have given a conditional go-ahead to build a four or five-star hotel at the BD170 million ($450 million) Villamar development in the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
However, Kuwait-based real estate developers Gulf Holding Company (GHC) will have to get approval from all government bodies concerned from scratch, since the original building permit was given on special grounds.
Manama Municipal Council is now urging the developers to visit the One-Stop Municipal Shop in Tubli to get their licences to avoid their plans being delayed.
Villamar, located within the prestigious $1.3 billion Bahrain Financial Harbour, covers 32,000 sq m and incorporates the twisting towers, floating villas and a terraced podium.
The residential development offers 494 apartments, 59 villas and six penthouses.
Facilities include a rooftop chairman's club, health club and spa, swimming pools, tennis courts and other recreational amenities.
'The buildings exist and we are not giving developers a permit for an additional building,' said council technical committee chairman Hameed Al Basri.
'They just want the middle building turned into a five or four-star hotel, which we believe is acceptable, but not on the original special building permit given to them.
'When the municipal licence was granted years ago, it was for a residential project and a hotel is not one of them.
'It changes the whole calculations carried out by government bodies concerned like the Electricity and Water Authority, the Works Ministry and Manama Municipality and new assessments have to be carried out to ensure that there are no utility and infrastructure overloads.'
Al Basri said the council had no problem granting the hotel plan the go-ahead, if developers got their licences from scratch.
'We have already given it an initial conditional go-ahead, but developers have to visit the One-Stop Municipal Shop to get approvals, as if they are applying for a new project,' he said.
'It is up to the developers to get their papers ready as soon as possible for new councillors elected next month to give them the green light. We don't think that forcing developers to accept things is a policy we are keen on and we hope they will come forward voluntarily,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service