Bahrain’s construction sector grew by 7.5 per cent during the first quarter of 2015 as the kingdom continues to develop new infrastructure projects.

The year-on-year growth in infrastructure activity was reported by the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly issued by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB). The report also found that construction also had a marked effect on the labour market.

The EDB says Bahrain plans to invest over $22bn in key infrastructure projects over the coming years, which are aimed at boosting public and private sector participation across the manufacturing, energy, healthcare and education sectors. This includes a commitment to build 25,000 housing units over the coming four-year period.

The largest project being tendered is the expansion of Bahrain International airport. Bahrain Airport Company has set a 13 September closing date for the tender.

The project, which is being financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, involves the construction of a 170,000-square-metre terminal building with associated buildings and infrastructure. When completed, the new terminal is expected to increase the airport’s capacity to 13.5 million passengers a year.

Bahrain’s non-oil growth beat expectations in the first quarter of 2015. The non-oil economy, which accounts for more than 80 per cent of GDP, grew by 5 per cent with a strong performance from a number of sectors in addition to construction.