Published September 18th, 2006 - 06:29 GMT

Dr. Zakaria Hejris, Deputy Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board (EDB), has unveiled plans to develop a new family-focused tourism project on the western coast of Bahrain.  Dr. Zakaria said that the project will be built to meet international standards creating a leisure and entertainment centre with a full range of visitor facilities close to Al-Jazaair Plage to serve Bahraini families.

The project ensures that AlJazaair Plage remains a public bay open to everyone. It will feature a promenade opposite the bay with shops and services for all. Top priority is given to leisure type facilities.  Additional details and an action plan for the development will be announced by the end of the year.

Dr. Zakaria said that the EDB was delighted to be working in partnership with the private sector, represented by the Ithmaar Bank, to implement a key national project. He stressed that the project will "provide high quality tourism services that make the Kingdom a prime visitor destination."

He added that "in order to encourage family tourism – for both Bahraini citizens and for visitors from across the GCC - the project places great importance on providing a diverse range of activities and entertainment. There will be facilities to suit all ages with something for every member of the family."

Dr. Zakaria emphasized that "The project will be developed to provide an exciting and accessible leisure destination that caters to Bahraini citizens and residents first and foremost, as well as to visitors and tourists. The project places great importance on ensuring that AlJazaair Plage is a resource that is developed for the public."

Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Managing Director, Private Banking, at Ithmaar Bank, commented: “This project will bring many economic benefits for the Kingdom of Bahrain. It will create job opportunities and enhance our status as a key regional tourism centre. It will also provide Bahraini businesses with high-quality training to increase the quality and capacity of the tourism and hospitality sector." He pointed out that the project would prove to be a major draw for attracting additional interest and investment from the international tourism and leisure industry.

Shaikh Salman said that the EDB plays a key role in encouraging and supporting landmark projects in the Kingdom. He valued the support by the EDB for the project, "from which everyone in Bahrain will benefit".


About the Economic Development Board

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) is a dynamic public agency with overall responsibility for formulating and overseeing the economic development strategy of Bahrain, and for creating the right climate to attract direct investment into the Kingdom.

The role of the EDB is to provide leadership by uniting all of the Kingdom's shareholders through a common vision, and to develop key strategies for growth. The EDB also acts as a facilitator, helping Bahrain's stakeholders to understand and adopt the changes necessary for progress. The organisation project manages the reform process to ensure that all agreed initiatives are implemented in an effective and timely manner.

The EDB is responsible for attracting inward investment into Bahrain, and is focusing on target economic sectors in which the Kingdom offers significant strengths. These include financial services, downstream industries and tourism.

More information on the EDB is available on EDB’s website on www.bahrainedb.com


About Ithmaar Bank

Ithmaar Bank B.S.C. was incorporated in Bahrain in 1984 as Faysal Investment Bank of Bahrain, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shamil Bank of Bahrain. The Bank’s name was changed to Ithmaar Bank in 2003, following the sale of Shamil Bank’s shareholding to Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust (DMI).

Ithmaar Bank, which has a paid-up capital of US$360 million, is a full service Islamic investment bank with operations spanning the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, as well as Asia and Europe. Besides holding significant investments in the banking and financial services sector in different markets, the main activities of the Bank include underwriting business (equity and debt), private equity (structuring, participation and portfolio management), project financing, and advisory business (capital market, merger & acquisitions and project advisory).

Ithmaar Bank’s flagship companies include Solidarity, an Islamic insurance company based in Bahrain; Faisal Finance (Switzerland) and Faysal Bank Limited (Pakistan).

The Bank’s shares are listed on the Bahrain Stock Exchange. For more information on Ithmaar Bank, please visit the Bank’s website on www.ithmaarbank.com


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