Bahrain named ‘Middle East City of the Future’
Bahrain has been awarded the title of Middle East City of the Future by the FT business magazine, FDi after a rigorous judging process and comprehensive survey by the publication specialising in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities. The awards were announced today at Cityscape in Dubai. This two-year award will allow Bahrain to keep the title until the end of 2008.
Beating off regional rivals, Bahrain took the overall title ‘Middle East City of the Future’ as a result of its strong performance across numerous economic categories. These cover all aspects of business and home life in cities across the Arab world, as well as the economic reform programs that have been initiated and completed. Bahrain took two other top spots - claiming the awards for Best Human Resources, and Best FDI Promotion Strategy. It was also awarded runner-up in four additional categories – Best Economic Potential, Best Quality of Life for Expatriates, Most Secure, and Best Telecoms and Transport.
Shaikh Mohammed Bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board which coordinated the responses to the survey with all government and private sector agencies, was delighted - but not surprised - at the results.
He said: “The Middle East is home to some of the world’s most dynamic and exciting cities, so for Bahrain to take the overall title is a source of great pride. At the Economic Development Board, we and our partners in Government and the private sector have been working hard to create the right climate to fuel economic growth and develop the nation’s potential. Having this effort recognised by the judging panel is truly rewarding – and we hope this gives a message to the world about how much Bahrain has to offer.
“We’re particularly pleased to have been awarded Best Human Resources in the Middle East. When people consider the natural wealth of the region, they think of oil and gas. But we understand that our real natural wealth is the people of Bahrain. By investing in training and education we aim to build the best possible future for citizens, and provide an unrivalled incentive for investors.”
Dr. Zakaria Hejres, Deputy Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board attended the awards ceremony in Dubai on Wednesday, 6 December 2006, to officially collect the awards on behalf of the EDB.