Abu Dhabi Investment House (ADIH), one of the leading investment institutions in the region today announced the commencement of piling work for the construction of “The Lagoon” Bahrain project, the one-kilometer-long waterside retail and dining destination on Amwaj Islands off the coast of Muharraq in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The announcement was made in a press conference held in Ritz Carlton Bahrain in front of investors, media, and VIPs, who were given an interesting 4x4 tour of the site.
With inspiration from bustling ‘dining destinations’ such as London's Covent Garden and Cockle Wharf in Sydney, The Lagoon Bahrain will provide premium freehold opportunities for new concept food and beverage outlets and boutique retail, a first for the Gulf, which has previously only offered rented commercial space.
The 55,000 square metre project, which is scheduled for completion by September 2007, will lie at the heart of the island’s new community and attract visitors from Bahrain and throughout the GCC.
Abu Dhabi Investment House’s executive director of real estate, Nick Fraser, said: “We are delighted that construction on the project is now underway.
“There has already been an extremely enthusiastic response from retail and commercial investors who are keen to be among the first in the Gulf to fully own their units on a freehold basis”, he added.
The Lagoon has awarded the piling contract to Simplex while Davenport Campbell, an international firm of architects that was founded in 1977 in Sydney, has been appointed to undertake the architecture and design of the project.
According to Fraser, the company’s distinctive talents and expertise perfectly fit the requirements of The Lagoon. “Davenport Campbell’s expertise is focused on retail and entertainment, hospitality and residential, corporate office, hospitals and education”.
The first artistic renderings of the project have been published, with the visual representations clearly demonstrating how this iconic project will be one of the most favorable statures of Bahrain.
Amer Al Khan, Development Director of “The Lagoon” commented: “There was a lot of interest in this particular contract and in the end we opted for Simplex based on their intimate knowledge of Amwaj Islands where they have already undertaken many piling contracts. We also considered their short mobilization requirements and the price and delivery of the piling works themselves”.
“The Lagoon” will be a day and nighttime venue with the development strategy highlighting a vibrant nighttime environment. And “The Lagoon” will soon announce the appointment of a specialist lighting consultant who will be mandated to design accent and themed lighting for the project.
Interestingly enough, “The Lagoon” marketing office has already been inundated with requests for information from potential buyers and tenants alike.
More and more extreme interest is being raised each day and in the space of a week four reservation agreements were signed.
Ali Mahmoud, Executive Director for Investments, ADIH said: “Clearly these “early bird” reservations that have taken place prior to any major marketing effort underlines the attractiveness of the Lagoon as a major lifestyle destination and I am extremely encouraged by these developments.
“We boast that 35% of the whole development has been already sold, even though the sales campaign has not yet started”, he added.
ADIH has already put in place a very powerful and multi-channel advertisement and media campaign for The Lagoon. 180 banners will be placed throughout Bahrain to promote the project. There will also be numerous creative artworks published in the leading Bahraini and regional paper media, as well as advertisements in the leading TV and Radio stations in Bahrain and the region.
“This exciting waterfront landmark will attract families, couples and tourists to the area, throughout the day and night, and is sure to have a positive effect on the local economy. The idea is to redefine quality lifestyles through the aspirational design of the top-flight stores and restaurants”, explained Fraser.
He concluded: “The investment instrument was conceived with strategic focus on the service sector growth that the Kingdom of Bahrain’s economy is experiencing, and it is certainly being well received”.
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