Five off-shore cities are on the way. Bahrain launches $30 billion offshore cities plan

    01 Dec 2021

    According to the Bahrain News Agency, Bahrain has launched a new strategic project plan to invest $30 billion in over 20 new projects, with the construction of five new offshore cities.

    The strategic project plan will see infrastructure development, including a new causeway connecting Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, Bolnews reports.

    Bahrain will also establish a 109km metro system, the 22.5km Northern Road. The strategy will create jobs and boost economic growth in Bahrain.

    Bahrain will increase refining capacity from 267,000 to 380,000 barrels/day through the Bapco Modernisation Programme (BMP), which is the largest industrial project in the history of Bahrain.

    As part of the new strategy, the private developers will be able to bid for contracts to develop government land through the Sharaka program.

    Bahrain said on November 24 it intends to build five offshore cities, tourism projects, and trade and transport infrastructure within the economic growth and fiscal balance plan announced last month.

    The announcement gives detail to an overall strategic projects plan announced on Oct. 31 that the small Gulf state said would catalyze over $30 billion of investments. No details have been given yet on the source of funding.

    With the five planned cities off the coast at Fasht al-Jarm, Suhaila Island, Fasht al-Azem, Bahrain Bay, and the Hawar Islands, the island state with a population of around 1.5 million expects its urbanized area will expand by 60%.

    The announcement by Deputy Prime Minister Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa carried by state media said infrastructure projects include a 109km Bahrain metro system, a 22.5km road, and a long-planned second causeway connection to economic powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

    In announcing the new growth and fiscal package last month, Bahrain delayed plans to fix its heavily-indebted finances following a hit from the pandemic. It pushed a zero-deficit target back by two years to 2024 from 2022 and increased the value-added tax to 10% from 5%.

    Bahrain’s public debt climbed to 133% of gross domestic product last year from 102% in 2019, the International Monetary Fund said. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates in 2018 extended a $10 billion aid package to Bahrain.

    Seeking to boost visitors, the new projects include tourist resorts and an exhibitions city intended to be the region’s largest around a Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, Wtvbam states.

    The plans include an aluminum industrial region near the existing Aluminium Bahrain (Alba) plant, which contains one of the world’s largest aluminum smelters, and a commercial, manufacturing, and logistics zone built in partnership with the United States.

    Within the $30 billion plan is an existing program to modernize and expand the refinery capacity of state-run Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) from 267,000 to 380,000 barrels per day.

    Five new off-shore cities are being built to increase urban areas in Bahrain by more than 6%, revealed a top government official yesterday. Finance and National Economy Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said that hundreds of square kilometers of land had been allocated for the ambitious projects that aim to bring together residential and tourism facilities.

    The strategic project plan will see infrastructure development, including a new causeway connecting Bahrain to Saudi Arabia.

    Bahrain will also establish a 109km metro system, the 22.5km Northern Road.

    The strategy will create jobs and boost economic growth in Bahrain.

    Bahrain will increase refining capacity from 267,000 to 380,000 barrels per day through the Bapco Modernisation Programme (BMP), which is the largest industrial project in the history of Bahrain.

    As part of the new strategy, the private developers will be able to bid for contracts to develop government land through the Sharaka program.

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