International investment expected into Bahrain’s retail market
The new King Hamad Causeway, due to be constructed between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, is expected to benefit Bahrain’s residential market following increased interest by Saudi nationals looking to purchase homes in the country.
“We have recorded a steady rise in demand from Saudi nationals seeking to purchase weekend homes in Bahrain this year. The announcement of a second connection to Saudi will no doubt boost the performance of the residential and retail markets further,” Harry Goodson-Wickes, head of real estate consultancy Cluttons’ Bahrain office said.
“In addition, the steady level of domestic housing requirements has prompted several developers to make a return to the market to capitalise on this growing pool of buyer demand.
“There will be an obvious long term boost to the broader market with more traffic expected to flow into Bahrain from Saudi Arabia,” Goodson-Wickes added.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are currently linked via the 26km long King Fahd Causeway, which recorded 19 million crossings in 2013. King Fahd Causeway has been credited for growth in Bahrain’s retail and industrial markets.
Faisal Durrani, Cluttons’ international research and business development manager said the King Hamad Causeway could also similarly benefit both countries.
“The Bahraini economy, which is still working to find its feet following the global downturn and unprecedented national tensions, will receive a tremendous boost from improved connectivity with the rest of the GCC,” Durrani said.
“The Kingdom already serves as a critical logistics hub for the central Gulf, and the new $5 billion-worth King Hamad Causeway will further strengthen the attractiveness for logistics and industrial occupiers looking for additional hubs in the region, aside from Dubai,” Durrani continued.
“Bahrain already has an impressive network of industrial estates, all of which further enhance its proposition as a go-to logistics hub on the door step to Saudi Arabia.”
The retail sector in Bahrain is also expected to benefit from the new causeway, and Cluttons’ Goodson-Wickes said he expects the number of retail investors in Bahrain to increase once the King Hamad Causeway is operational.
“We are already seeing Chinese and other major regional and international brands seeking out space in retail developments such as The Lagoon and Alargan Village in Bahrain,” Goodson-Wickes said.
“This announcement will no doubt drive further interest in this exciting segment of the real estate market.”