Consultant sought to review Durrat al-Bahrain project

07 November 2003
Bids were due on 6 November for a consultancy contract on the Durrat al-Bahrain tourism project, located in the southeast corner of the main island. The consultant will re-evaluate all aspects of the estimated $1,200 million development in light of the August purchase by Kuwait Finance House (KFH)of a 50 per cent stake in the project from Saudi Arabia's Dallah Albaraka Group(MEED 29:8:03).

The acquisition has also prompted a management restructuring at the project company, Durrat Khaleej al-Bahrain. Mahmoud Abdul Rehman has been appointed general manager. KFH and the government, represented by the Ministry of Finance & National Economy, will each take three seats on the new board.

Reclamation work, which is being carried out by Saudi Archirodon with Royal Boskalis Westminsterof the Netherlands, has been put on hold pending the outcome of the reassessment. The consultancy contract is due to be awarded by the end of November and the study is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2004.

'The study is looking at expanding the resort's offering rather than scaling it down,' says Abdul Rehman. Previous designs included a water park, golf course, marina, shopping mall, international exhibition centre, hotels and residential units.

'We aim to bring the designs for Durrat al-Bahrain up to international standards to enable us to compete regionally for tourists,' says Abdul Rehman. 'The study will also examine the different types of residential units to be offered to investors.' The original concept of selling plots of land has been changed to selling land, of 200-600 square metres, with ready-built homes included. Foreign nationals can own land at the resort. KFH will be offering Islamically-structured financing packages to prospective homeowners.

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