• Bahrain created more tourism jobs than any other MEA country in 2020
  • Minor Hotels, Accor and Hilton announce new property developments in Bahrain

Manama, Bahrain – Bahrain ranked first in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for attracting the highest tourism capital investment in 2020, according to the fDi Intelligence Tourism Investment Report 2021. Last year, major investments from UAE-based property developers helped Bahrain’s tourism sector remain buoyant and created jobs during the worst ever period for the global tourism industry.

Bahrain secured $492 million of tourism capital investment in 2020, mainly made up of investments from global property developer Emaar Properties and real estate developer Eagle Hills, despite the overall regional decline in capital investment in 2020.

Capital investment into MEA last year decreased 82% from 2019, dropping to $1.6 billion. The number of tourism jobs created in the region also experienced a similar decline, decreasing from approximately 17,400 in 2019 to 2,800 in 2020. Despite the pandemic, Bahrain ranked first in MENA for the number of tourism jobs created in 2020 and second for the number of tourism FDI projects.

Prior to Covid, Bahrain was attracting around a million visitors a month on average and the tourism sector contributed around 7% to GDP. As the first economy in the GCC to diversify away from oil, the Kingdom has positioned its tourism offering to cater for a broader set of visitors through new attractions, hotels, F&B, and retail.

During the pandemic, the country continued developing its strategy to transform its tourism sector, allocating more than $10 billion to tourism infrastructure projects, including the $1.1 billion modernisation of its international airport. More recently, Edamah, the real estate arm of Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund, Mumtalakat, also announced several new upscale property projects in the country.

Accor, a hospitality group with over 400 hotels, Minor Hotels, which has a portfolio of 527 hotels and resorts, and Hilton DoubleTree unveiled plans to launch new properties in the Kingdom. Bahrain is now home to global hotel brands including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Rotana, Intercontinental, Wyndham and Sofitel.

Anticipating a significant rebound in tourism numbers, Bahrain is growing its portfolio of five-star hotels and is set to have around 9,300 rooms by the end of 2022. Bahrain is also anticipating a return in demand and growth for beachfront affordable brands.

Mahmood Al Aradi, Chief Investment Officer at Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, said: “Despite the obvious challenges, we have continued to progress with our ambitious tourism infrastructure and real estate plans, which have attracted some of the world’s most renowned hotel brands and the Gulf’s largest property development groups, including Emaar.

“As well as being one of the region’s top holiday destinations, Bahrain is widely regarded as the best place to live and work in the GCC. Locals and expats are well-integrated both socially and professionally, which is unusual in the region. As part of the Kingdom’s infrastructure transformation initiative, we have a significant pipeline of projects in various sectors including industrial, hospitality, real estate and retail.

“And as the pandemic eases and restrictions lift, there will be a greater opportunity for regional connectivity and cooperation. We hope to welcome even more foreign hospitality groups looking to capitalise on Bahrain’s position as an outwardly-facing, expanding tourism hotspot.”


For more information, please contact:
Mahmood Ali
Executive Director, Communications
Economic Development Board
E-mail : internationalmedia@bahrainedb.com 

About Bahrain Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the Kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate.

The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment.

The EDB focuses on several economic sectors that capitalise on Bahrain’s competitive advantages and provide significant investment opportunities. These sectors include financial services, manufacturing, technology and innovation, tourism, education, healthcare, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit www.bahrainedb.com 

Send us your press releases to pressrelease.zawya@refinitiv.com

© Press Release 2021

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release was provided from an external third party provider. This website is not responsible for, and does not control, such external content. This content is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither this website nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this press release.

The press release is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Neither this website nor our affiliates shall be liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the content, or for any actions taken by you in reliance thereon. You expressly agree that your use of the information within this article is at your sole risk.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, this website, its parent company, its subsidiaries, its affiliates and the respective shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, advertisers, content providers and licensors will not be liable (jointly or severally) to you for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages, including without limitation, lost profits, lost savings and lost revenues, whether in negligence, tort, contract or any other theory of liability, even if the parties have been advised of the possibility or could have foreseen any such damages.