Hotels, shopping malls planned for underused land across Southern Governorate of Bahrain

Posted on 8th January 2015

A desert oasis of hotels, resorts and shopping malls is being planned for underused land in the southern half of Bahrain.

bahraintree of life

The Southern Municipal Council yesterday revealed its plans to draw up a list of all government-owned land in the Southern Governorate, which covers an area stretching from Sakhir to Zallaq and includes Askar, Riffa and Isa Town, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN).

This land will then be parcelled up according to its size, location and investment potential before being offered to developers on long-term leases. "What is now wasteland in most of the area covered by the governorate will in the next 10 years turn into an oasis of multi-million dinar investment projects," said council chairman Ahmed Al Ansari. "There is a lot of municipal land that we could utilise better by offering it to investors rather than being left unattended.

"We have asked the municipality to provide us with a list of these plots of land urgently, which will be organised by location, size and the possible projects that could be carried out on them before being offered to investors at the next stage."

The idea is to promote the Southern Governorate as a major tourist destination ‘throughout the year,’ Al Ansari said, not just when events are being held at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) or during the Bahrain International Air Show, for example.

"There are only two hotels in the area and it could certainly support at least a couple more for those who enjoy a desert view rather than staying in Manama or Muharraq," he said.

"We could also have more family attractions such as the Lost Paradise of Dilmun - while Askar and Jaw, which will become frequent destinations for travellers once the new bridge between Bahrain and Qatar is built, could also benefit from a shopping complex, luxurious resorts and other attractions."

Al Ansari said that the council was looking to improve the Southern Governorate, while maintaining those aspects of the area that already make it attractive. "We have to think business and how much municipal revenue from other services and fees the government could make," he said.

"Bahrain is an attractive destination for visitors, tourists and investors and we can do a lot over the next few years to maintain its attractiveness and at the same time allow development to take place.

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