The total value of tendered projects in Bahrain, under the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC's) Development Fund, increased to $4.1 billion in 2017 compared to $3.9 billion in 2016, while the total value of commenced projects for the same period rose to $3.3 billion from $3 billion, Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) said in its latest quarterly report.
In its December 2017 quarterly report, EDB said the cumulative amount of money disbursed, under the GCC Fund, almost doubled to $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017 from $751 million in the corresponding period in 2016, and added that “a significantly larger increment is expected in 2018.”
The major projects expected to be tendered soon include the Al Dur 2 Independent Water Power Project and the Engineering, Procurement, Construction (EPC) contract to develop BAPCO’s $1.5 billion Aromatics Complex, the report said.
In the healthcare sector, three new health centres are planned, two existing ones are due to be expanded and the Sitrah Maternity Hospital will be rebuilt, it added.
The report noted that Bahrain was estimated to launch some 78,000 square metres (sqm) of new retail space during 2017. This is projected to increase to 93,000 sqm by 2018 and 455,000 sqm by 2020. The pipeline of retail schemes includes 21 projects with a total value of 277 million dinars, all due to be completed by the beginning of 2020.
The kingdom has 14 strategic projects valued at approximately $13 billion under way in the tourism sector, the report said, adding that the sector’s growth is supported by a sharp 12.8 per cent increase in tourist arrivals to 8.6 million in the first nine months of 2017.
“Light manufacturing also has wind in its sails”, the report noted.
“At the moment, 89 per cent of government land earmarked for industry is in use. New spaces are set to become available by early 2019 when the East Sitrah industrial area begins operations and the Northern Town development makes available space for light industry”.
The GCC Development Fund is a $20 billion fund which was established in 2011 to finance development projects in Bahrain and Oman. Both countries were allocated $10 billion each by neighbouring.
(Writing by Sowmya Sundar; Editing by Anoop Menon and Bhaskar Raj)
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