Al Areen project to boost Bahrain’s tourism sector

An artist’s impression of the spa

Al Areen is a large-scale, luxurious urban mixed-use health and family tourism development spread over an area of 2 million sq m, and is located on an elevated desert plot in the southern region of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The main components of the development are a world-class spa resort and a state-of-the-art water park, as well as various residential, commercial, hospitality, recreational, and entertainment facilities.
In July 2004, the Al Areen Holding Company was established as a joint stock closed company owned by the government of Bahrain, Gulf Finance House BSC, and strategic regional investors and partners.Further to the countless contributions from private and institutional entities, the strong backing from the government of Bahrain has shaped Al Areen into a prestigious development of national impact. Besides boosting the inflow of international visitors into Bahrain, Al Areen will significantly stimulate foreign investments in the Kingdom’s tourism sector.
The concept behind Al Areen envisions transforming a unique desert plot into a diversified blend of health, residential, hospitality and entertainment conveniences that will cater to the growing demand for exclusive and creative real estate projects in the local market, and meet the requirements of regional and international tourists alike. The development aims to deliver luxury facilities of the highest standards, exceptional deluxe villas and apartments, world-class entertainment facilities, and will serve as an ideal setting for pleasurable visits, cultural excursions as well as business trips.
The Al Areen development is creating an authentic desert experience to be established as an attractive regional and international tourist destination. It will incorporate a world-class spa resort, a group of lavish residential communities, five-star hotels, a distinctive water park, and access to the adjacent wildlife sanctuary as its featured components. The image of Al Areen will consequently be that of a resort town, with a degree of formality and grandeur in parts, but with quiet, hidden-away village centres and private residences.
The Al Areen Holding Company has two offices operational in the Kingdom – the headquarters is located near the centre of the capital city of Manama, and the client relations centre (CRC) is adjacent to the development site as well as the Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary.
Al Areen’s master plan reflects an urban blueprint for the development that is rooted in the fast-evolving cultural lifestyle of Bahrain, and addresses this rapidly growing sophistication within an economy moving to greater diversification. The character of the area surrounding and including Al Areen reflects both a landmark site and a place of retreat and recreation, which makes it all the more attractive for investors and consumers alike. Neighbouring the Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain University and the Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary, the development is a mere 25-minute drive from the city centre of Manama, 35 minutes from the Bahrain International Airport and 20 minutes from the King Fahad Causeway connecting Bahrain with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Visitors to the area can benefit from all the various activities located in a tranquil, yet excitingly dynamic region in southern Bahrain.
Construction is already under way at the central spa component to be managed by the world’s largest luxury resort and spa operator (Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts), and infrastructure works for the entire site are well under way to pave the way for roads, electricity, water, and relevant landscaping. The water park, commercial district, hotels and a number of residential and mixed-use clusters are next in line for immediate and short-term construction.
The Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort, Al Areen, is scheduled for completion before the second quarter of 2006, prior to the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix in March, 2006. The bulk of excavation work for various components of the Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort, Al Areen, including villas, a conference facility, buggy paths, hydrotherapy complex and spa facilities, have been completed. Almost 73 per cent of the total amount of single bedroom villa foundations and structures, and 95 per cent of double bedroom villa foundations and structures have also been completed on schedule.
As for other land parcels currently under development, a five-star resort hotel that engulfs the water park (The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park) has been purchased by a leading UAE-based construction firm, and a sister subsidiary of Gulf Finance House BSC has acquired a sizable mixed-use, residential plot in the southern section of the Al Areen development called Oryx Hills. In the northern section of the development, a Kuwaiti consortium bought the largest parcel, which represents the massive commercial district of Al Areen, the Arabian Souq. The development is expected to be completed in 2008.