Optimum approach for airport pearl

02 November 2002

Paris-based Optimum Groupsigned in late October an agreement to develop a multi-purpose commercial complex on a site facing Bahrain International Airport (BIA). The 165,000-square-metre building, which is designed in the form of a pearl, will incorporate a 4,000-unit multi-storey car park and various leisure and shopping developments.

Total investment costs are in the region of $100 million, which Optimum plans to raise through a private finance structure.

Optimum is carrying out a detailed feasibility study for the scheme. Tenders for the main construction packages are due out in 2003, with the complex scheduled to open in 2005. The project is a further stage in the extensive redevelopment of BIA, which will include the construction of a satellite terminal at the eastern end of terminal 1 (MEED 20:9:02).

In addition, bidding is under way for the contract to build a new air traffic control tower designed by the local Janahi Abubaker Janahi Architects. Work is also about to start on the conversion of the existing taxiway into an emergency landing strip (MEED 4:10:02).

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