MANAMA: A deal to set up a multi-million dollar hospitality project in Bahrain was signed yesterday.
The agreement to set up the $30m Marriott Residence Inn project in the Water Garden City (WGC) project in Seef was signed between International Trading and Investment Company and the American hospitality company Marriott International.
The first of its kind project in WGC will be the third Marriott property in Bahrain, after the Marriott Residence Inn and Marriott Executive Apartment, both in Juffair.
The residential building consisting of 22 floors is expected to be operational before the end of this year, according to its top officials.
The agreement was signed at Albilad Real Estate Investment Company headquarters in the Financial Harbour, who is the master developer of the WGC project.
International Trading and Investment Company chairman Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Khalifa and Marriott International managing director Alex Kyriakidis signed the agreement, in the presence of Albilad Real Estate Investment Company general manager Ziyad Abdullatif Janahi.
Speaking to the GDN on the sidelines, Mr Kyriakidis said that the investment climate in Bahrain was positive.
“We have been in Bahrain for many years now and the investment climate continues to be strong,” he said.
“We continue to see Bahrain attracting investments from the Gulf and we also see the expansion of leisure or shopping projects in the country.
“We appreciate what Bahrain is doing by way of these investments, which is building a legacy for both business and leisure tourism, particularly focusing on the family segment.
“We are very optimistic about the future of Bahrain and we remain committed as partners in the nation’s development,” he added.
He said that Bahrain has always remained a positive market for the Marriott, despite occupancies being a minor challenge.
“Bahrain continues to be one of our profitable markets and we find in Bahrain, unlike other parts in the Gulf, the overhead costs, particularly manpower cost, are lower than its competitors in the Gulf.
“For that reason, while the market is a smaller one, it is a profitable one and for us and our owners it’s a market that’s delivering outstanding returns.”
Shaikh Mohammed stressed that the hospitality and tourism sector in Bahrain was an attractive investment opportunity due to its solid foundation and the good reputation the kingdom enjoys in the field of family tourism.
“Starting from what we have learnt based on our previous experience in the field of family hospitality, our choice on developing the WGC project was based on careful study of several locations in Bahrain with focus on the Seef district.
“We, as developers, in partnership with Marriott International, agreed on developing the project,” he said.
“Indeed, the distinguished location of the project, its unique design and the general plan have greatly impacted our choice.”
Shaikh Mohammed pointed out that the suitable location, appropriate address and waterfront, whenever available, constitute an important factor for the project’s success.
Mr Janahi expressed his delight over the project, noting that the International Trading and investment Company was one of the sub-developers who invested in the project through the development of one of the most important plots overlooking the marina.
“Albilad Real Estate Investment Company will play a very active role through its technical co-ordination office in the issuance of the necessary licences and co-ordination with government agencies and will ensure development is in line with the project’s general plan,” he said.
“This building, which will be developed by International Trading and Investment Company, occupies a privileged position and is considered one of the most important sites of the project, with a financial boulevard and a restaurants area,” he explained.
“WGC, developed by Albilad Real Estate Investment Company since 2008, has more opportunities for real estate investment, with the largest number of investment land plots, classified as multi-storey investment places with homogeneous buildings that generate greater revenues for developers,” he added.
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