MAF Investments set to build City Centre in Bahrain

It is claimed to be the kingdom’s first shopping resort community development

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By  Eudore Chand Published  March 5, 2005

Majid Al Futtaim Investments has carried out the ground breaking ceremony for what is being billed as Bahrain’s first leisure and shopping resort community. During the ceremony, the UAE-based firm unveiled a model of its successful ‘City Centre’ shopping, entertainment and leisure brand to Bahrain. The main contractor for the three-level shopping centre will be finalised by May. The ground breaking ceremony for the island’s biggest retail complex in Manama was attended by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance, and the Governor of Manama, plus other dignitaries. The final plans were unveiled and the architectural model was shown for the development. The gross built-up area is about 450 000 m2 and gross leaseable area will be 140 000 m2. The main facilities include (according to the developer) the Middle East’s largest 20-screen Cineco Cinema, along with more than 350 stores and a 5400 m2 family entertainment centre. The complex will also house two hotels with a total of 700 hotel rooms. MAF Investments plans to build the largest temperature-controlled indoor water park in the Middle East, covering 13 500 m2 within the resort. “Bahrain is a very exciting market and a natural progression for the regional expansion of the ‘City Centre’ brand name,” said Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Majid Al Futtaim Investments. “Like all of our malls, Bahrain City Centre will have several ‘firsts’ for the region, both in terms of its sheer size and scope, as well as its offering of a fully integrated shopping and leisure destination,” he said. Leasing interest in the property has already been significant, with lease offers for almost 70% of the new centre already. The target opening date has been set for early 2007.

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