The current site for the zone is 1 square kilometre and Bahrain’s General Organisation of Sea Ports (GoP), which is overseeing the project, forecasts it will receive about $300m in investment from companies that take up tenancy.

However, GoP is discussing plans to increase the site by an extra 1.5 sq km. This would involve reclaiming land adjacent to the site, which is to be developed by the local Bahrain Real Estate Investment Company (Edamah), at a cost of about $150m (MEED 10:6:08).

Increasing the size of the zone on this scale would vastly increase the potential for incoming investment. “At the start of the project we estimated the zone would bring in $300m in facilities and capital investment, and if the size increased we would expect it to double at least,” says Hassan Ali al-Majed, director general of the GoP. “We are discussing the expansion of the site and will make a decision within four months.”

GoP announced in mid-June that it had closed the book for local com-panies applying for tenancy at the site. The organisation is now speaking to foreign businesses and will announce the successful applicants by the end of July (MEED 17:6:08).

“The available space was massively oversubscribed by local companies and we expect there to be great interest from foreign businesses as well,” says Al-Majed. “Once we have made a final decision on companies for the initial site and gauged the level of interest, we will make a final decision on the expansion.”