Bahrain’s tourism sector has received ample boost from UAE-based property developers in the form of major investments. The investments from the UAE developers have enabled the Middle East country’s tourism sector to recuperate from the aftermaths of the COVID19 pandemic.
The Recuperation of Bahrain’s Tourism Sector
In 2020, the Kingdom of Bahrain acquired USD 492 million capital as an investment in the tourism sector. According to the fDi Intelligence Tourism Investment Report of 2021, Bahrain has secured the highest amount of funds in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region owing to the investments from real estate biggie Eagle Hills and Emaar Properties (Dubai-based).
In 2020, capital investment in MENA’s tourism sector dropped to USD 1.6 billion (an 82% decrease from 2019). The region also witnessed a reduction in the number of tourism jobs created, which fell from around 17,400 jobs in 2019 to 2,800 jobs in 2020.
However, even amid the ongoing pandemic, the Kingdom of Bahrain was graded first in the number of jobs created in MENA’s tourism sector in 2020. Bahrain also ranked second for the number of fDi tourism projects. (According to the fDi report)
Bahrain’s Economic Development Board’s Chief Investment Officer, Mahmood Al Aradi, stated that notwithstanding the pandemic’s evident challenges, the country has constantly strived for progressive real estate plans and tourism infrastructure. This has allowed Bahrain to receive the attention of the Arab League’s biggest property development entities, like Emaar, and the world’s most celebrated hotel brands.
Before the COVID19 pandemic, on average, the Arab country was visited by approximately 1 million tourists every month. The tourism sector subsidized around 7% of the GDP of Bahrain.
During the pandemic, the nation constantly strived to develop its strategies associated with the transformation of its tourism sector. More than USD 10 billion was allocated to tourism infrastructure projects. This included the USD1.1 billion up-gradation of its international airport. In recent times, Edamah, the real estate wing of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has also declared numerous property projects in the Gulf country.
The Hilton DoubleTree, the Accor hospitality group (portfolio of over 400 hotels), and Minor Hotels (with a portfolio of 527 hotels and resorts), have revealed plans to release new properties in the Gulf country.
The country also boasts the residence of renowned hotel brands like Four Seasons, Rotana, InterContinental Hotels Group, Ritz-Carlton, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and Sofitel Hotels & Resorts.
Al Aradi also stated that as the pandemic restrictions are lifted, the country will acquire the goals of greater opportunities in regional cooperation. The country is seeking more foreign hospitality entities to capitalize on its geography to expand its already booming tourism sector.