Tourism sector attracts $40m new investments

Bahrain’s tourism sector has attracted around $40 million (BD15m) worth of new investments, which will help to create more than 260 jobs over the next three years.

Announcing the impact of new ventures, the national investment promotion agency, the Economic Development Board (EDB), said it is seeking to capitalise on the growth of the kingdom’s tourism sector as meaningful international travel resumes.

The flag carrier, Gulf Air, announced last month that around 80 per cent of its pre-pandemic flights would resume from the summer season and Bahrain is appearing on more travel green lists across markets.

Key among recent capital inflows into the country was Remza Investment Company’s addition of Turkish hospitality brand Gunaydin to its portfolio.

Located at The Terminal, Gunaydin’s $6.5m investment will be its first restaurant in the kingdom.

The outfit will create 80 jobs over three years and add to the wide variety of international restaurants springing up in the country.

Remza’s chairman and chief executive Dr Fadhel Al Arrayed commented: “Gunaydin is a prestigious global brand and is a valued addition to the kingdom’s numerous eateries. Our first investment, a popular Istanbul restaurant, will be operated in Adliya in a 1,000sqm space which can accommodate up to 300 customers. We would like to thank our partners and the EDB for providing us with a welcoming and supportive environment.”

Also, renowned chocolate brand Patchi has allocated $8m for the expansion of its business in Bahrain, which will help create 160 jobs over three years.

The chocolatier emphasised that the kindgom offers a business environment that is in line with their aspirations for expansion, both nationally and regionally.

A company official said the country’s stability and openness, along with the support provided by the EDB and other organisations, helped them in developing the business, and they are proud to be part of Bahrain’s vibrant and growing tourism sector.

ELSS Group, which specialises in the construction of aquariums and marine parks, also announced a $1m investment in their regional operational base at the Bahrain Aquarium, which is the country’s largest aquarium at the Mall of Dilmunia.

The largest cylindrical aquarium in the Middle East has a depth of 17 metres and is spread over four floors.

It includes a life support (water purification) system on two floors beneath and another at the top of the aquarium.

ELSS will operate and maintain the aquarium until at least mid-2025.

This is in addition to other aquarium projects ELSS plans to undertake in the kingdom and neighbuoring countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the UAE.

The group’s projects are estimated to create approximately 20 jobs in the fields of local marine biology, environmental sciences, underwater diving, and engineering.

ELSS Group managing director Jed McAteer said: “Bahrain presents an ideal destination to develop and expand our business across the region. We have benefited from the many competitive advantages offered by the country’s business friendly environment. We are pleased to be working alongside the EDB as well as a number of qualified local companies in the architecture, construction, and retail industries. We welcome this valuable opportunity to share our expertise in the kingdom, which is an ideal environment for our future projects.”

Commenting on the influx of investment despite the pandemic, EDB’s executive director of investment origination Ali Al Mudaifa, said: “Tourism, with its many restaurants, hotels, and resorts, is among the industries we expect to bounce back to previous levels of activity as the country continues to gradually reopen, and restrictions ease, allowing life to return to normal. Attracting investments such as these are in line with the EDB’s strategy to further economic diversification by contributing to the development of the sector and supporting the creation of jobs in the local market.”




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