Bahrain has presented its new strategic projects plan, which calls for the construction of over 20 major projects worth more than USD 30 billion across the country.
The new multi-year projects represent one of Bahrain's largest ever infusions of capital investment, according to Deputy Prime Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, who announced the plan. The plan is designed to boost the country's long-term competitiveness and stimulate post-pandemic growth.
The plan, which includes 22 major projects in critical areas like telecoms, tourism, education, manufacturing, and health, will also help Bahrain achieve its Economic Vision 2030.
The establishment of five cities on newly created islands, which will increase Bahrain's overall land area by more than 60%, is one of the new initiatives.
The largest of these, Fasht al Jrim, will cover 183 square kilometers and will include a residential, logistics, and tourism hub as well as a new airport.
The new 25-kilometer, four-lane King-Hamad Causeway will improve cross-border trade and travel between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as increase political, strategic, economic, and cultural links.
A planned metro system in Bahrain will provide more transit options, reduce congestion, and contribute to the kingdom's plans to attain net-zero emissions.
The 109-kilometer metro network will connect all of the country's major population centers. The metro's first phase, with 20 stations, will connect Bahrain International Airport to Seef, a residential and business region in Bahrain, as well as Manama and the Diplomatic Area.
Technology investments in land and marine fiber optics will complement transportation connectivity, connecting all regions of the kingdom and boosting competitiveness.
The development of next-generation cloud computing services will be aided by substantial investment in a number of new data center projects.
The construction of Sports City, a complex that will include Bahrain's largest sports stadium and a multi-purpose indoor sports arena, would transform the country into a hub for events, leisure, and sport.
Officials say the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre will be the Middle East's largest ‘Conference City,' and that ‘Tourist City,' a chain of resorts in Bahrain's southwest, will boost the kingdom's standing as a global visitor destination.
The new projects announced under the Strategic Projects Plan will build on the kingdom's 2015 infrastructure plan, which included the new Bahrain International Airport terminal, the Line 6 expansion project of Aluminium Bahrain (Alba), the world's largest aluminum smelter outside of China, and the 350,000-bpd AB-4 Pipeline between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which will replace the 230,000-bpd link, he added.
Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy responded to the announcement by saying: “Bahrain is rising from the pandemic with a bold vision for the future that extends beyond economic recovery.
As young people grow into adults, this transformative investment will improve their educational and lifestyle prospects, as well as providing them with better healthcare, housing, and professional paths.”
“The Strategic Projects Plan is an investment not only in Bahrain's physical infrastructure but also in the Kingdom's people's future prosperity,” he said.