Bahrain Bay – a $1.5 billion urban development set to change the face of Manama

Published December 12th, 2005 - 07:46 GMT

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.”
Headquartered in Bahrain with offices in Atlanta and London, Arcapita’s four lines of business are corporate investment, real estate investment, asset-based investment and venture capital. To date, the Bank has completed 49 transactions with a total value exceeding $9.8 billion and has an equity capital base in excess of $300 million. Arcapita’s mission is to provide innovative and distinctive Shari’ah compliant investment opportunities that generate superior risk-adjusted returns.

SOM is a leading architecture and urban design firm with a track record of designing some of the world's most distinguished urban developments such as the AOL Time Warner Center in New York, the Trump International Hotel in Chicago, the Burj Dubai in Dubai and Sears Tower in Chicago.
Founded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is the world’s leading operator of luxury hotels, and invented luxury for the modern traveler.  Four Seasons currently operates 68 hotels in 31 countries, with more than 20 properties under development and continues to lead luxury hospitality with innovative enhancements, making business travel easier and leisure travel more rewarding.

Headquartered in New York, Turner International has been providing professional building services through the planning, design and construction of general building projects throughout the Middle East since 1975. Turner has been responsible for several projects in the GCC including: Dar Al Tawhid Makkah Hotel (Saudi Arabia); Royal Terminal King Khaled International Airport (Saudi Arabia); Burj Dubai, Dubai International Financial Center, Ibn Battutah Shopping Mall (Dubai) and The Emirates Palace (Abu Dhabi).
Atkins is an international consultancy firm specializing in architecture, engineering and construction management. Atkins has a strong presence in the GCC and in Bahrain where it has a licensed office. Atkins was responsible for providing project and construction management, concept and detailed multi-discipline design services for Burj Al Arab Hotel and Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai.



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