Bahrain Bay – a $1.5 billion urban development set to change the face of Manama
Bahrain Bay Development B.S.C.(c) (Bahrain Bay BSC), a joint venture between Arcapita Bank B.S.C.(c) (Arcapita) and a Bahrain-based investment group, has been formed to oversee a $1.5 billion development off the North East coast of Manama in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Bahrain Bay will be a balance of commercial, residential and retail spaces, all set around the Manama waterfront and the centerpiece will be the Kingdom’s first Four Seasons hotel.
The project will be executed in three distinct phases. Phase One will involve a 430,000m2 land reclamation and infrastructure development, to commence in January 2006. Phase Two will involve the construction of the two anchor developments, the Four Seasons hotel and the new global headquarters building for Arcapita and is scheduled for completion in early 2008. Phase Three will involve the development of residential, retail and commercial sub-projects around the anchor developments. At final completion, expected in December 2010, the total built area will be over 1.1 million m2.
Master plans as well as architectural and design standards for the development have been completed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, a leading architecture and urban design firm, and are reflected in the concept designs completed for the Four Seasons hotel and Arcapita. The result will be the creation of an ultra-modern, urban environment featuring iconic structures.
Atif A. Abdulmalik, CEO of Arcapita, said of the development, “Just five months from the initial announcement of this project, the preparatory stages for design and planning considerations have progressed very well and Bahrain Bay BSC is able to launch Bahrain Bay ahead of schedule. A month from now, site work will commence on what we believe will be an outstanding addition to the Kingdom of Bahrain, as befits its place as a regional centre for banking and finance. With its futuristic, urban designs, Bahrain Bay will be a stunningly presented collection of waterfront residential, retail and commercial developments, representing a unique new focal point in Bahrain.”
The Four Seasons hotel will be the centerpiece of the development, and is expected to be the tallest building in Bahrain. The plans include 220 rooms, conference facilities and a private beach, all specified to the high standards of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. The Arcapita headquarters will be a further landmark within the development, whose innovative design will provide over 18,000m2 of office space for the growing global investment company.
“There are many aspects that make Bahrain Bay a particularly attractive opportunity” added Mr. Abdulmalik. “The demographic changes within Bahrain, its proximity to the rapidly growing Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and the location within Manama’s prime northern corridor make this a compelling project. Added to these, the early commitment of the highly regarded Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the innovative architectural design and the experience and track record of each of the companies involved in the development are among the many other components that make this a unique proposition.”
Additional support for the execution phase of the development will be provided by Turner Construction International and Atkins International, both of whom have considerable experience of premium, high-profile development projects, in the Gulf region and all around the world.
The reaction to the planned development has been very positive. Mr. Abdulmalik describes how the Bahrain Bay BSC has sought advice and support from many sources, including Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, which provided valuable guidance. “The project team has taken soundings from the marketplace throughout the planning stage” he said. “Response from every quarter has been excellent, and Bahrain Bay BSC is already in discussions with several interested parties to participate as developers of the other sub-projects of Bahrain Bay.”
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