The second edition of Bahrain Shopping Festival, ‘Shop Bahrain’, is set to be the biggest nationwide festival with a unique 30-day celebration of Bahrain’s heritage, hospitality and tourism offering for the entire family running from December 24th 2015 until 23rd January 2016.
The announcement was made today during a press conference held at Al A’ali Shopping Complex, the first shopping Complex to sign up for Shop Bahrain, in the presence of the festival’s partners.
Tamkeen’s Chairman and Acting Chief Executive, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa, said that the objective of the festival is to stimulate the national economy and attract tourists from neighboring Gulf countries.
“Based on the success of the inaugural shopping festival, the organizing committee of the festival has been working hand-in-hand with the partners from the public and private sector in order to ensure the success of this year’s festival,” said Shaikh Mohammed.
“Last year, over 2,000 retailers took part in the festival and we witnessed BD18 million worth of shopping during the six-week festival with a surge in tourists from across the Gulf region. This year the line-up is bigger and better,” he added.
Shop Bahrain will mirror the Kingdom’s position as a welcoming, accessible, family destination with an incredibly diverse range of retail experiences from luxury malls to traditional souks to luxury boutiques coupled with unbeatable bargains and promotions.
Further commenting on the festival, Shop Bahrain Director, Nawaf Al Kooheji said, “This year our main focus is the shopper. Our aim is to create an unforgettable experience for shoppers in Bahrain and across the region; hence we have developed a unique raffle mechanism that truly rewards the shopper.”
The second edition’s calendar of events includes ‘VIVA Shop & Skate’ the largest outdoor skating rink housed outside Al A’ali Shopping Complex and ‘The Family Fair’ an exciting carnival held during the New Year’s Eve Weekend at Prince Khalifa bin Salman Park in Hidd.
Other highlights include the return of Al Riwaq’s ‘The Nest’, showcasing local and regional talent, in addition to ‘The Taste Tour’ taking place in the center of it all – Adliya. Mega raffles will also offer visitors and residents the opportunity to win big and amazing prizes.
Registration for Shop Bahrain runs until the 22nd of November 2015, providing retail outlets the opportunity to be a part of the Kingdom’s largest event. Participating retail outlets will also receive numerous benefits based on the selected package.
Speaking during the press conference, the Assistant Undersecretary for Tourism at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Sheikh Khaled bin Humood Al Khalifa confirmed that the shopping festival will contribute to the development of the economic sector and stimulate tourism visitors between the Gulf Cooperation Council countries thus resulting in the increase of the number of visitors to the Kingdom.
Sheikh Khaled bin Humood stated that: “In light of the expected tourists by gulf nationalities and residents with the start of school holidays, the festival will be an added value to the tourism sector and will reflect positively on the occupancy rates in hotels, retail sales, aviation, and other services.”
Shop Bahrain will create a fun atmosphere through various promotions and entertainment events that will position the Kingdom of Bahrain as a shopping destination for many tourists. The festival will be one of the leading events in a Manama the Capital of Gulf Tourism for the year 2016.
Gulf Air A/Chief Executive Officer Mr. Maher Salman Al Musallam spoke at the event: “Now in its second consecutive year, the fruitful partnership between Gulf Air and Shop Bahrain Festival is key to the airline’s mission to actively support the Kingdom’s economic development. Gulf Air boasts significant sponsorship agreements such as the Bahrain Grand Prix and biennial Bahrain International Airshow – which are key to promoting Bahrain across the globe. Our involvement with Shop Bahrain Festival is in line with this and we are delighted to further promote Bahrain on a regional and global level.”
Furthermore, Ulaiyan Al Wetaid, VIVA Bahrain CEO, commented on the partnership: “We are pleased to be a strategic partner of Bahrain’s largest shopping festival, ‘Shop Bahrain’. This is a fitting platform for VIVA to extend support to a nation-wide event that will create economic and commercial benefits for the Kingdom.”
Tamkeen also announced that American Express Middle East (AEME) will be the Preferred Payment Card of Shop Bahrain. Commenting on the initiative, Mazin Khoury, Chief Executive Officer, American Express Middle East, said: “As a company headquartered in Bahrain for more than 30 years – and with a mainly Bahraini workforce – we have a long-standing commitment to the local economy so we’re delighted to be able to team up with Tamkeen to become the Official Payment Card of Shop Bahrain and support the country’s retail and tourism sector. As one of world’s leading payment brands, we are renowned for the service and security we bring to our card members and we look forward to helping build Shop Bahrain into one of the region’s most exciting retail and cultural festivals.”