The Economic Development Board (EDB) is pressing ahead with plans to turn Bahrain into a major tourism hub. The board in early May invited investors and developers to bid by 31 July for the Al-Jazair tourism development project, with letters of intent set to be submitted by 31 May (see Tenders).
The successful bidder will design, finance, build and operate a wide range of family leisure and tourism facilities on the beach site, which is located in southwestern Bahrain and covers an area of one square kilometre. Under an exclusive 35-year agreement, investors will lease the site from EDB for a minimum annual rent of $270,000.
The project is the latest in a number of schemes undertaken by Bahrain to boost the local tourism industry. Other projects include the development of the Hawar islands and the Amwaj islands at Ghalali, northeast of Muharraq island. Bidding is under way for a luxury five-star hotel to serve the estimated $800 million Durrat al-Khaleej al-Bahrain resort in the south of the island (MEED 8:3:02).
EDB was set up in April 2000, with the aim of establishing Bahrain as a major service centre for the region (Bahrain, MEED Special Report, 28:9:01, pages 30-32).
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