Indian consortium to invest $150m in Bahrain

MANAMA — An Indian business consortium is to invest $150 million in Bahrain in a real estate development project.

By Our Correspondent

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Published: Fri 23 Mar 2007, 9:53 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 10:53 PM

Bahrain Bay Development B.S.C. (c) has signed a letter of intent with an Indian business consortium to acquire land and develop a $150 million project within the Bahrain Bay masterplan during the last week's visit to India by Crown Prince and Commander-in-Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), Shaikh Sulman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The signing of the letter of intent commences a two and a half year development timetable, targeting completion during 2010. The joint venture consortium consists of Ajmera Group, a $450 million conglomerate based in Mumbai, and Mayfair Housing, a major Indian urban residential property developer. Together, they have developed over 30,000 units in the Indian market during the last decade, including some of the largest developments in India. Their commitment to Bahrain Bay marks their first development outside their home market, and they intend to develop one of the tallest residential buildings within the project, positioned next to the ocean front on the main canal of the masterplan.

"We are very pleased that once again, the quality of the Bahrain Bay project is proving attractive to major international investors from outside the Gulf region," said Bob Vincent, chief executive officer of Bahrain Bay, adding that this commitment from one of India's largest development groups represents a major strategic step for Ajmera and Mayfair Housing. This declaration of interest from a prominent Indian consortium builds on Bahrain Bay's existing success in drawing international investment to the Kingdom, following the decision by CapitaLand, one of Asia's largest real estate companies, to develop their premium Raffles City concept within Bahrain Bay.

"This latest announcement, representing further significant interest by investors from outside Bahrain, is another powerful endorsement of Bahrain itself, and the progress being made by Bahrain's Economic Board with the support of the Crown Prince," said Atif A. Abdulmalik, chief executive officer of Arcapita, the bank behind the Bahrain Bay project.

Abdulmalik also pointed out that the project has already attracted two other international strategic partners. It will house the Kingdom's first Four Seasons hotel, and it has also attracted European energy services giant Dalkia, which has invested $150 million into a joint venture whose first investment will be in building a world class waste and energy services facility for Bahrain Bay. In a statement issued here, Rajnikant S. Ajmera, managing director of Ajmera Group, was quoted as saying that the decision was taken after an extensive research into competing markets and opportunities.

"We are very excited at the opportunity we foresee with this investment in Bahrain Bay. Having worked for over a decade alongside Mayfair Housing to build a substantial position within our home market, we are looking outwards for high quality opportunities in overseas markets,"Ajmera said. Commenting on the project, Nayan A. Shah, chief executive officer of Mayfair Group, said "Bahrain, and Bahrain Bay, offers a clear path for us to grow our footprint abroad, within a stable and growing economy. As well as designing and building to meet demands of the local market, we also believe that we will be able to attract further Indian and Asian investors and end users into Bahrain."

Development progress of Bahrain Bay to date is on schedule, and reclamation and piling is complete for the Four Seasons hotel, as well as for the Arcapita headquarters. Overall, reclamation for the entire project is 85 per cent complete and on completion, the project will encompass a total area of 423,000 square metres. The Arcapita headquarters is expected for completion by early 2009, the Four Seasons Hotel by 2010 and Raffles City Bahrain is expected to open in 2010, along with the Ajmera and Mayfair Housing project. The remainder of Bahrain Bay is scheduled for phased completion from 2012.

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