Bahrain’s Housing Projects Help Revive Economy

The Gulf state is slowly recovering from the costs of political unrest with strong government-backed spending on housing projects.



Bahrain’s housing and infrastructure projects have begun to pick up pace owing to strong government expenditure during Q2 2013, said a CBRE MarketView report.

According to the housing minister’s announcement, around $8 billion are expected to be spent on housing projects by the end of 2017, the report said.

“The residential market witnessed an increased level of activity with a number of new developments being announced in Q2. Durrat Marina, located just north of Durrat Al Bahrain, signed a memorandum of understanding for the sale and marketing of the first phase of development which includes a residential area, comprising villas and apartments, a ‘festival’ retail area and marina,” said Mike Williams, head of research & consultancy, CBRE Middle East.

There were several other project announcements in the residential sector.

The second phase of Wahat Al Muharraq, a 227-villa housing project was announced in Q2 2013, while 32 units at the Seavilla project on the reclaimed Dilmunia Island were released and successfully sold. A new 128 villas project at Durrat Al Areen was also launched, Williams said.

Many stalled projects were also re-started as the economy showed signs of revival.

“The BD20 million Oryx Hills housing project which is part of the Al Areen master planned community was restarted, and the foundation stone for a 4,500 unit government housing unit scheme was laid,” Williams said.

The prime office market rental rates remain subdued while rents in the residential units were reported to be stable.

The hospitality sector too showed signs of increased activity with the launch of new projects and stalled projects back on track.

The previously stalled Banader Rotana Hotel project, a five-star hotel and furnished apartments property, will soon be completed while Hilton Worldwide announced plans to open a 350 room, five-star Double Tree Suites in Juffair in late 2015.

Nama International, Swiss-Belhotel International and Domain Hotels also announced new properties in Bahrain, the report said.

Bolstered by revived oil revenues, employment rates in the Kingdom have also seen a rise due to government-backed housing projects.