Bahrain plans ambitious nine beaches project at a cost of US$ 52.3 mn on West Coast

Posted on 4th December 2014

An ambitious project to create nine public beaches on Bahrain's west coast is under way.

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The government plans to buy private land along the shore over the next five years for the project, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi told the Gulf Daily News (GDN), before the Cabinet was dissolved on Sunday (November 30).

He said the purchases would cost an estimated BD20 million (US$ 52.3 million) in total and deals had already been reached with landowners at two locations. The Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry imposed a development ban on the coast in September, preventing private landowners from building on land earmarked for the beaches.

Nine locations chosen include three in Demistan, two in Malkiya, two in Karzakan and one each in Saddad and Hamala.

"Under the ban, landowners have been denied construction permits to force them to sell their lands, since they constitute the core of the beaches," explained Dr Al Ka'abi in an exclusive interview."

"Our plan is to have public beaches for each village on the western coast and a jetty for fishermen and maritime sports. We have, within the past two months, managed to get land in Demistan and Malkiya and we are currently in negotiation with landowners in Karzakan. Others will follow and, in a maximum of five years, all will be public property. The Works Ministry and Electricity and Water Authority have been contacted to acquire lands that lead up to the coasts, so roads and lighting can be installed. The current routes are bumpy," he added.

The beaches project was scheduled to begin more than three years ago, but stalled following the outbreak of anti-government protests in 2011. Foundation stones were laid at two of the nine sites by Dr Al Ka'abi on February 12, 2011 just two days before opposition groups took to the streets of Bahrain.

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