15 Hotels Worth $10 billion to open in Bahrain by 2020
The Kingdom of Bahrain’s hotel and restaurant sector witnessed robust growth at a rate of three per cent, according to figures released in the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly (BEQ) by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
This was underpinned by plans to establish 15 new five and four-star hotels and beachfront resorts, with a collective investment value of more than $10 billion over the next five years.
“These future investments in the hospitality sector will bring several new international hotel chains to the Kingdom and raise the profile of existing ones. It is expected to increase hotel capacity by around 4,000 hotel rooms in the country by 2020 and fill the gaps in the market, especially in the mid-market and luxury sector – for example, in the development of all-inclusive premium resorts,” said HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive at the Bahrain EDB.
The list includes world-renowned hotel brands including: The One&Only Resort, Wyndham Grand Hotel, Fairmont, Vida Hotel & Resort, The Address Hotel & Resort, Ibis Hotel and Pullman Hotel. These hotels will add to the Kingdom’s existing portfolio of over 190 hotels and resorts. This includes 18 five star hotels, 48 four-star hotels, 35 three star hotels, 81 serviced apartments and 11 resorts.
These hotels currently offer a capacity of more than 16,500 rooms, with big names such as the recently opened Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay, ART Rotana Amwaj Islands Hotel & Resort, Downtown Rotana, the Westin and Le Meridian Hotel Bahrain City Centre.
In order to continue to attract new visitors and support demand, Bahrain unveiled its brand-new tourism identity–“Ours. Yours. Bahrain” as part of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority’s (BTEA) commitment towards reinvigorating the Kingdom’s tourism industry. The campaign’s strategic and infrastructural initiatives aim to increase this amount to $1 billion by 2020, effectively doubling tourism’s contribution to Bahrain’s GDP from 3.6 per cent to 6.6 per cent.
BTEA also established six international offices to help drive development and raise awareness of Bahrain’s tourism in key global markets such as: UK, France, India, Germany and Russia.
Al Rumaihi added that these new developments will both help to meet rising demand and attract new visitors to the Kingdom. Bahrain showed strong growth in tourist numbers in 2016, witnessing a six per cent increase in the number of tourist arrivals, receiving 12.2 million. Bahrain is a regional hub for tourism, with over 300 million people within two hours flight, of which the majority are regional visitors travelling from within the GCC.
The tourism sector is an essential pillar of the Kingdom’s economy. Bahrain views the sector as a key area of growth, and has been focusing its efforts towards its development alongside financial services, manufacturing, ICT, transportation and logistics.
As a result of strong fundamentals and new investment the sector is expected to continue to grow. In 2015, the tourism sector accounted for 6 per cent of the total GDP and contributed revenues of $1.9 billion to the Kingdom’s economy. The Kingdom’s tourism market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.8 per cent, reaching $1 billion by 2020. In 2014, Bahrain’s tourism sector was the highest direct contributor to GDP of any economy in the Gulf.
The Kingdom has a strong pipeline of infrastructure projects worth over $32billion, some directly supporting the tourism sector. They include a second causeway linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia which will connect the two countries by road and by the proposed GCC rail network, in addition to the $1.1 billion Bahrain International Airport modernisation programme, which on completion will increase the airport’s capacity by 65 per cent to receive up to 14 million passengers per year.
Alongside the expansion and modernisation of Bahrain International Airport, Gulf Air–Bahrain’s national carrier–announced on the side-lines of the 2016 Bahrain International Airshow that it will expand its aircraft fleet with an order valued at $7.6 billion consisting of 16 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, 17 Airbus A321neo and 12 Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Cruise-ship holiday-makers are also a target for the Kingdom, and Bahrain has received over 90,000 passengers in the 2016-2017 GCC cruise season.