New hotels to open in Bahrain

Five new hotels in the three and four-star category will open in Bahrain within the next two months, according to assistant tourism under-secretary Mubarak Al Atwi.

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By  Shilpa Mathai Published  May 3, 2004

Five new hotels in the three and four-star category will open in Bahrain within the next two months, according to assistant tourism under-secretary Mubarak Al Atwi. The hotels will open in Manama and the Seef area in Bahrain. Al Atwi predicts the number of tourists to Bahrain this year will cross the five million mark for the first time in the Kingdom’s history. “We are making all efforts to make maximum number of hotel rooms available for visitors. Currently, there are 10,759 beds in a total of 88 hotels of different classes. Besides, there are 240 beds in two resorts and 1,863 beds in 29 furnished apartments,” he said. Bahrain received 4.84 million tourists last year, a 1% increase over 2002. A new tourism law is being drafted to focus on tourism investment, covering timeshare projects, tourist guides and operational rules for various tourism outlets. The Information Minister is currently perusing the draft law that will later be deliberated upon by the Parliament and the Shura Council. After cabinet approval, the draft becomes a law. There has been a spurt in inbound tourism to Bahrain and a total of 205,737 travellers used Bahrain airport and seaports in March compared to 132,663 in March 2003. According to a Nationality, Passports and Residence statistics statement, 860,824 travelers crossed the King Fahad Causeway in both directions as against the 608,060 for the same period. Not to be outdone by its other GCC neighbours, Bahrain is also promoting its tourism sector. According to a recent report by the Ministry at Works, the Kingdom of Bahrain is set to spend BD320 million over the next decade to create roads and flyovers. Projects underway include the man made Amwaj island, the Al Dana Resort, Durrat Al Bahrain, the Bahrain Qatar causeway, expansion of air and seaports and the Bahrain Financial Harbour. Freeholds have been extended to expatriates in the US $1.2 billion Durrat Al Bahrain, a development one-third larger than downtown Manama, expected to be completed by 2006. The resort will consist of 13 different islands and include more than 2,000 villas, apartments, hotels, shopping centres, marina and an 18-hole golf course. Dredging and land reclamation is underway, when completed it will add an extra 30km of coastline to Bahrain.

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