Bahrain plans $65m marina development
Manama, October 29, 2012
The BD25 million ($65 million) development on the Muharraq coastline that includes a hotel, public beach, shopping mall, an indoor and outdoor theme park, fish market, a main office tower and commercial and residential buildings, has been given the go-ahead.
It has been sanctioned by the Muharraq Municipal Council and is being spearheaded by a consortium of Turkish, Saudi and local businessmen on the Al Ghous (diving) Corniche, according to a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.
The multimillion dinar marina development will be located on the coast between the Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Causeway and the Shaikh Isa bin Salman Causeway, which link Manama and Muharraq.
The Muharraq Municipal Council voted in favour of the project, ending a deadlock that stretches back to October 2011.
The council was previously split on whether to sanction the development or support a Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry revamp of the area.
The ministry completed the first phase of redevelopment six years ago, setting up children's rides and other family recreation facilities at a cost of BD700,000.
It had planned a BD2 million second phase revamp including a restaurant complex and other maritime facilities, but work never started.
Land earmarked for the second phase was then set aside for the new King Hamad Grand Mosque, but the Muharraq Municipal Council and local MPs managed to get it back.
Council chairman Abdulnasser Al Mahmeed, who originally vetoed the project last October, has now pledged his support - describing it as a step in the right direction to revamp the area and give Muharraq a facelift.
"Even though we were divided on whether the place should be invested in or developed by the ministry last year, we have reached a point where we are convinced that supporting private investment is better than waiting for the government to find the budget," he said.
"There were problems with the presence of a hotel in the original plan, taking into consideration local people's sensitivity towards such facilities, but when we speak about a resort-style investment its presence becomes necessary," he added.-TradeArabia News Service