Bahrain seeks boutique image

Sheikh Salman

BAHRAIN wants to position itself as the Gulf’s boutique destination, high-lighting its history, culture and tradition.

It is no longer about competition with Dubai: the objective is to be different and yet successful.
With cultural and sporting attractions drawing more and more tourists, experts believe that Bahrain, with its 5,000-year history and the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, is well placed to benefit from this trend.
Major projects covering tourism infrastructure, in-cluding hotels, theme parks, malls and more are coming up at various locations around the kingdom.
Bahrain's hospitality sector is also set to nearly double its hotel room inventory to cater to the forecast growth.
“Several bodies are working hard to develop this extremely dynamic component of Bahrain. We will do everything we can to make it a world-beater,” declared Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa earlier.  He said Bahrain’s shortcomings in developing the tourism industry were “minor, temporary glitches and will soon be ironed out”.
Bahrain attracted nearly six million tourists last year and forecasts a growth of around 10 per cent this year.