Development continues in Bahrain's retail, hospitality sectors

Bahrain's retail sector is continuing to grow in both the tourism and community mall areas.

Information in Bahrain MarketView's second quarter report for 2015 showed growth related to established and newly completed centers as well as retail, food and beverage offerings that have been added to neighborhood areas.

Galleria in Zinj, a Dadabhai project that will feature 42,000 square feet of gross leasing area, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, followed by the completion of the $6.5 million Wadi Al Sail project in Riffa in 2016. Maalem Holding’s The Courtyard in the Seef District is set to open in in this year's third quarter and will offer three floors of dining and retail space.

Bahrain MarketView is compiled by personnel at CBRE Bahrain.

“The trend appears set to continue, on the back of the drive for improved local community services," CBRE Bahrain's director for Middle East Research Steve Mayes said. "First Bahrain has appointed key consultants as contractors to lead their $30 million planned development in Janabiya, which will also offer a courtyard style retail and food and beverage experience to customers over three floors."

The report showed the second quarter of 2015 was the busiest time of the year for the hospitality sector, largely due to the Bahrain Formula 1 Gulf Air Grand Prix in April.

“However, with Ramadan commencing in mid-June this year, the usual challenges of the Holy Month have come early for the industry, with projections of circa 40 to 60 percent average occupancy for the month, which is an improvement on previous years according to spokespeople for the hotels sector,” Mayes said. “Despite reported challenges in achieving optimum occupancy levels, the momentum of new proposed developments shows no sign of abating."

Marriott is also expected to open a hotel development sometime in 2015.

“Reportedly, Emaar Hospitality Group are also soon to introduce The Address and Vida brands to Bahrain, in association with Eagle Hills," Mayes said.

According to the CBRE report, the commercial office market remains stagnated, with limited movement quarter on quarter. “Newer stock and office developments that have failed to carve out a niche, in less popular locations, are struggling to attract occupiers," Mayes said.

There was little change during the quarter in the residential rental market. The report indicated demand for high specification industrial and storage facilities was driving development in the warehousing and light industrial sector.

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