New investment to drive Bahrain Al-Areen project

Bahrain’s Al-Areen project is renewing its momentum with an upgrade of existing hospitality and leisure infrastructure, and the introduction of new facilities.
Senior executives from Al-Areen Holding Company made this announcement at an investors’ seminar held at Al-Areen’s Client Relations Center.
Esam Janahi, representing the owners, unveiled a partnership with US firm Avenue Ventures (AV) — who have completed global transactions valued at $ 15 billion — to acquire a 35 percent stake in Al Areen Holding Company.
AV will be a key partner in upgrading the existing hospitality and leisure facilities, and will also advise on the development of new facilities and components.
Robert W. Sweeney, senior executive vice president of Avenue Ventures, and General Wesley Clark, retired US Army officer, adviser to AV, and former US Presidential candidate and NATO Supreme Allied Commander, were present at the seminar and endorsed the partnership, while also praising excellent relations between Bahrain and the US.
Esam Janahi said the new partnership represents significant foreign direct investment for Bahrain, in a particularly challenging economic climate.
As part of the investment in Al-Areen City, they will offer advisory expertise and internationally renowned professionals to further enhance the quality of the development.
This will enhance the vision of Al-Areen to provide the highest standards of master development and facility management services to sub-developers.
During the seminar, Janahi said existing facilities will be enhanced by the refurbishment of the Al-Areen Palace and Spa Hotel and the addition of a Clinical Spa and Spa Therapy Training Center, purpose-built and managed by an international operator.
The Lost Paradise of Dilmun (LPOD) Water Park will be upgraded by the addition of an interactive educational component, new rides and other attractions all under a new operator. It was also announced that a key component of the Al-Areen City development will be a new specialized medical center.
In addition to the medical center, new components of the development will include an organic village to provide locally grown produce to the Kingdom’s consumers whilst training a new generation of Bahraini entrepreneurs.
At the same time, Al-Areen’s existing facilities will be modified to bring them into line with environmental best practices, including solar energy for all installations, advanced wastewater treatment plants and the associated production of biogas.
All of these initiatives are expected to attract considerable interest from local and regional visitors, and further details on these two newly introduced components will be announced in the near future.
General Clark emphasized the positive message this new investment sends to the Bahraini market.
He said: “After years of economic and social challenges globally and locally, an investment of this magnitude by a well-established American company in this project at this time shows that the project will realize its long term viability.”
He added: “It also reaffirms the continued attractiveness of Bahrain as a gateway destination for investment capital which will contribute to the future growth prospects of the region as a whole.”
Following the briefing and a tour of the facilities, Janahi said: “In the current financial climate, it is heartening to see that foreign direct investment can still be achieved, mirroring the model we introduced years ago with foreign investors injecting private equity into in Bahrain.”
Janahi added: “Al-Areen City will not only bring international operators into the country but will also create jobs for hundreds of Bahrainis, and enhance the South of the island as a leisure and tourism destination.”
Robert Sweeney of AV said: “We welcome this exciting investment opportunity in the further development of Al-Areen City.”
He added: “We feel that our expertise in similar developments abroad can add value to the development with its leisure, hospitality and residential offerings. Plans are already in place for the development’s upgrade and we look forward to being part of the announcement of further details in the coming months.”