Manama, Bahrain: Under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) held a foundation stone-laying ceremony on Tuesday, January 7, 2020, to mark the commencement of above ground construction works on the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre in Sakhir. The project comes as part of BTEA’s efforts to stay ahead of the competition in light of the growth of the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) tourism sector, in addition to its strategy to continue to develop the Kingdom of Bahrain’s tourism sector as a whole.
The total cost of this milestone national project is approximately BHD 83.6 million, and construction is expected to be completed within the next two years. The new exhibition and conference centre will support the Kingdom of Bahrain’s efforts in creating a vibrant environment conductive to attracting additional business and commercial opportunities, as well as foreign investment, in order to further strengthen the Kingdom’s position as the leading business and investment hub in the region.
The Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre in Sakhir will be built on a 309,000 square metres of land. The 149,000 square metre main building will include ten exhibition areas, totalling 95,000 square metres, along with dedicated areas for retail and events. The facility will also include a 4,500 square metre conference hall divided into three separate hi-tech rooms, in addition to 27 small and medium sized conference and meeting rooms with the capacity of accommodating approximately 4,000 guests.
Throughout the year, alongside launching major activities and initiatives the BTEA continues to host exhibitions at the existing Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC) in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which span across various industries, with an overall aim of further developing the MICE sector and increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to the National Economy. To name a few, events include the Bahrain International Garden Show, the Autumn Fair, as well as Jewellery Arabia 2019, which was recently held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.
Commenting on the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer of BTEA, Mr. Nader Al Moayyed, said, “We are incredibly honoured and would like to extend our gratitude for the patronage of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister. As we commence the first phase of construction works for the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, we look forward with excitement at the potential opportunities this vital national project will pave the way for in the future, such as encouraging international companies to host their events in light of the new centre’s modern amenities, spacious halls, and advanced facilities; thereby attracting businessmen and visitors into the Kingdom and increasing the MICE sector’s contribution to the national economy.”
“In 2019 alone, the BIECC hosted more than 70 events, and upon the completion of the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, the Kingdom of Bahrain will be capable of hosting a larger number of leading international events and conferences. This will further strengthen the Kingdom’s position as an ideal tourism destination, thereby increasing the tourism sector’s contribution to the local GDP,” he added.
BTEA plans to continue to develop unique tourism projects in line with its long-term strategy that focuses on four pillars - awareness, attraction, access and accommodation; this includes improving the overall accessibility of the Kingdom of Bahrain, attracting exhibitions and conferences in larger numbers, enhancing the quality of services in the tourism infrastructure and hospitality sectors, and finally strengthening the position of the Kingdom as an ideal tourist destination for international tourists, with a special focus on families.
© Press Release 2020