THE Bahrain Chamber, representing the private sector, is urging the government to prioritise educational tourism, aiming to attract 20,000 to 40,000 students from the Gulf and Arab nations by 2030.Professor Yusuf Mohammed, chairman of the Education and Training Committee at the chamber, highlighted collaboration with government agencies to develop a plan for establishing Bahrain as a regional educational hub.

The committee has submitted proposals with initial support and sees potential revenue generation reaching billions of dinars by 2030.“We believe Bahrain has the potential to become a leader in education, attracting students from across the Arab world,” stated Prof Mohammed.Collaboration between different ministries is crucial to achieve this vision, he emphasised.The committee advocates for incorporating educational tourism into Bahrain’s overall tourism strategy, particularly the 2026 plan.“We are seeking a bold plan to support private educational institutions, ensuring their inclusion in future tourism efforts,” added committee vice-chairman Dr Ahmed Al Koofi.“There’s a gap in infrastructure that needs to be addressed,” he said.

“While Bahrain has potential in educational tourism, proper student accommodation and other facilities are essential to attract students from abroad.”A joint meeting is planned with representatives from Hospitality, Tourism, Real Estate, and Construction committees. This meeting will delve into matters related to educational tourism, including streamlining visa processes, university accreditation for tourism-related programmes, promoting existing entertainment options and attracting investment for new educational tourism projects.A roadshow is also planned to showcase the offerings of Bahraini private universities across GCC countries. This initiative aims to attract students from the region, added Dr Al Koofi. Finally, the committee will explore avenues for activating a memorandum of understanding signed between Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman.

This activation aims to unlock potential opportunities for the Bahraini private sector within the education landscape of these neighbouring countries.Looking at the local landscape, the officials noted that Bahrain’s education sector is attracting investor interest, but navigating the landscape requires a keen eye for both challenges and opportunities.“Bahrainis are increasingly prioritising quality education for their children, creating a demand for innovative approaches to learning.

The government itself is actively investing in the sector, opening doors for public-private partnerships. Furthermore, there’s a growing emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, presenting a lucrative opportunity for investors to develop specialised schools or programmes,” explained Prof Mohammed.Bahrain’s high Internet penetration rate positions it well for a boom in educational technology (EdTech) solutions, said Dr Al Koofi. “Investors in this space can expect strong demand. Finally, the growing recognition of early childhood education’s importance creates fertile ground for investment in pre-schools and daycare centres.”

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