Bahrain’s Gateway Gulf investor forum will showcase $26bn of infrastructure projects in Manama from 8-10 May.

The event, organised by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), will feature investment-ready projects worth $18bn, with another $8bn of projects that are in the planning stages.

“A key part of our role at the EDB is to talk to international investors and we have found that they are very excited about the potential to enter and expand in the Gulf market,” says Khalid al-Rumaihi, chief executive, EDB. “However, they would like to know more about how to unlock those opportunities – which is why we have created Gateway Gulf.”

Bahrain is also fast-tracking substantial public and private sector investment projects worth more than $32bn across the manufacturing, logistics, infrastructure, healthcare, education, and tourism sectors.

This public-private sector investment consists of $10bn of government funding, $7.5bn under the GCC Development Fund, and $15bn-worth of investment in the private sector.

Two of the largest ongoing projects in Bahrain are the sixth potline expansion at Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) and the expansion to the Bapco refinery.

For tourism, at the end of last year the EDB said investment in Bahrain’s tourism infrastructure had reached more than $13bn.

New five and four-star hotels and resorts are being built to cater to current and future demand. Supporting these developments, Bahrain International airport is undergoing a $1.1bn upgrade.

These projects have driven economic growth in Bahrain.

“Bahrain was the fastest-growing economy in the GCC in 2017, a trend the IMF expects to continue into 2018,” says Al-Rumaihi. “This strong growth momentum, paired with the kingdom’s strategic location, supportive and cost-effective business environment and talented workforce, offers international companies a powerful launch pad to access growth across the region.”

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