Bahrain ranked first globally in transport and warehousing cost effectiveness: global ranking from fDi Intelligence

MENA region gaining on traditionally Asia-Pacific-dominated transport and warehousing sectors

HE Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed

HE Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed

  • 79 locations considered - Bahrain, UAE and Egypt all perform well in global rankings

Manama: Testament to the success of region-wide economic diversification efforts, Middle Eastern cities performed impressively in the inaugural Transport and Warehousing Cities of the Future ranking, produced by fDi Intelligence – a specialist division of the Financial Times. Middle Eastern economies' strong performance in a sector traditionally dominated by the Asia-Pacific region comes in spite of global supply chain disruption owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Al Hidd was ranked first globally in the Transport and Warehousing Cost Effectiveness category, which also saw both Egypt’s Port Said and Damietta as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi included in the top 10. In this category a range of data points were examined such as the cost of construction permits, fuel prices, electricity prices, and tax rates amongst others. Bahrain is one of the region’s most cost-effective distribution hubs. According to the KPMG Cost of Doing Business Report 2019, Bahrain offers up to 43% operational costs savings, and 33% savings in living costs when compared to the region, as well as, zero corporate and income tax and no free zone restrictions.

Bahrain and the UAE also ranked in the top 10 for the Economic Potential category. The top ranking for cities overall was awarded to Hong Kong, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi at fourth and sixth place respectively.

Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and  Telecommunications H.E. Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed commented: “Bahrain has long prided itself in offering the many global manufacturing and logistics players a place to call home with some of the most competitive setup and operating costs in the GCC. We are therefore delighted that Al Hidd City has been ranked so highly by fDi Intelligence for cost effectiveness in the Transport and Warehousing sectors – a testament to the Kingdom’s reputation as the region’s de facto transport and logistics hub.

“The year 2020 has been a challenging year for transport and logistics globally, but thanks to Bahrain’s strategic location at the nexus of the Middle East and our technologically streamlined customs processes, we have been able not just to maintain the continued flow of cross-border trade but enhance it, seeing a 13.5% year-on-year surge of shipments into Khalifa Bin Salman port in the first nine months of 2020. In 2021, we look forward to building on the successes of 2020, and welcoming many more global transport and logistics players seeking an efficient and cost-competitive gateway to the region’s largest market and beyond.”

Located at the nexus of the Middle East, Bahrain has earned a reputation as the region’s de facto transport and logistics hub and is fast emerging as the main regional distribution and fulfilment centre hub. The COVID-19 pandemic has catalysed the uptake of technology in these sectors, including the launch a first-of-its-kind "SmartHub" logistics warehouse for pharmaceuticals and food to be headquartered in Bahrain to serve the GCC market.

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About the Transport and Warehousing Cities of the Future 2020/21 ranking methodology

To create a shortlist for fDi’s Transport and Warehousing Locations of the Future 2020/21, the fDi Intelligence division of the Financial Times collected data using the specialist online FDI tools – fDi Benchmark and fDi Markets as well as other sources. Data was collected for 79 locations, under five categories: Economic Potential, Business Friendliness, Cost Effectiveness, Human Capital & Lifestyle and Connectivity.

Locations scored up to a maximum of 10 points for each data point, which were weighted by importance to the FDI decision making process in order to compile the subcategory rankings. The data was sourced from fDi Markets and Benchmark, in addition to external sources such as the World Bank.

In addition, survey submissions were collected under a sixth category, FDI Strategy, for which there were 9 submissions. Locations which ranked in the top three in this category were given bonus points, which contributed to their overall score. Together, the data subcategory rankings and the FDI Strategy ranking make up the overall ‘Transport and Warehousing Locations of the Future 2020/21’ ranking.

For more information, please contact:
Communications and Media Department
Economic Development Board

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, ICT, tourism, logistics and transport.

For more information on the Bahrain EDB visit; for information about Bahrain visit

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