Bahrain Review Financial Harbour’s $1.3bn showcase November 2003 1159 Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH), the $1.3 billion (BD491.4 million) development set to consolidate the Kingdom’s status as the leading financial centre of the Middle East, was showcased at the UK’s WaterfrontExpo. BFH chairman Esam Janahi and the lead project architect Ahmed Janahi unveiled the visionary project during the conference at the Excel Conference Centre in London Docklands.Work is currently underway on BFH, which has been called the Canary Wharf of the Gulf, on a prime waterfront site in the heart of Manama. The two magnificent towers comprising the first phase are among Bahrain’s tallest buildings.They will accommodate leading regional financial institutions alongside other prestigious international companies and a Financial Mall - site of a number of financial markets, including the Bahrain Stock Exchange.This single, strategic location will offer access to a $2,000 billion (BD756 billion) regional investment pool. The BFH project will leverage Bahrain’s 30-year pedigree as the financial gateway to the Middle East.BFH is the Middle Eastern focal point on the world’s financial map, combining access to global markets with the latest technologies, accommodation and leisure facilities.The centre is located on a high-profile site on the Manama corniche, directly opposite the Manama suq and retail district and only 15 minutes from the Bahrain International Airport.‘BFH is a revolutionary project that will give global investors and executives access to the Middle East while providing an unparalleled international focus for local business people,’ said Janahi.The first tenants will move in by the end of 2006, in advance of the December 2009 target date for completion of the entire project.BFH will comprise 26 individual developments, forming part of a harmonious and integrated design. The first four of these will be released in early December 2003.Only 20 of the 38 hectares will be built upon, leaving the remainder for public space, roads, a leisure resort and a concert hall.Of the gross building area of 570,000 sq m, some 266,000 sq m will be allocated to residential space, 250,000 sq m to commercial and 54,000 sq m to retail.A pleasure-craft harbour basin will reflect the mercantile heritage of the city of Manama, overlooked by the first stage of the development, comprising 47 floors of business centres, office suites, exclusive residential apartments and health and recreation facilities.Harbour House provides 10,800 sq m of offices for media-based enterprises specialising in business, finance and investment. It is attracting letting enquiries from broadcasters, publishers, marketing and media consultancies.BSE will be among the bourses active in the Capital Financial Market section of the project. Among the leading institutions to have signed letters of intent to relocate to BFH are Gulf Finance House, the Islamic investment bank, and Solidarity, the life assurance and long-term annuity Savings Company.GFH will occupy more than 11,000 sq m of floor space, creating a springboard for future expansion, backed by full-service resources and infrastructure.‘Bahrain is long established as the financial capital of the Middle East and the the BFH will give this status a genuine global dimension,’ said Solidarity’s founders’ committee chairman Khalid Abdulla Janahi.