Bahrain’s decision to tender the first construction package for the project to expand its international airport shows that Manama is keen to push ahead with key infrastructure projects in spite of the continued political unrest.

Manama is moving forward ahead with tendering construction packages to expand the existing terminal and is also continuing with design work for a new terminal, albeit at a slower pace than was originally planned.

Progress with tenders for the airport project will be welcomed by contractors, as the kingdom’s projects market continues to shrink as the political problems persist to destabilise the country. The total of value of projects planned or under way in Bahrain has fallen by about $20bn since the protests began in February.

The airport development is indicative of the kingdom’s projects market at the moment. While many private developments have been put on hold, the government is proceeding with infrastructure projects on a reduced scale. The @Bahrain real-estate development at the Grand Prix circuit is another project that is moving forward on a reduced budget.

The government will continue to be forced to downsize infrastructure plans as the political instability will dampen economic growth for the foreseeable future.

The airport and other infrastructure projects will offer some much needed work for contractors in the short term.

The kingdom’s construction sector will be hoping that the political problems can be resolved quickly so that the government and private sector can move forward with development programmes as planned.