With infrastructure projects of $32bn planned or under progress in the country, there is a number of growing opportunities for businesses within Bahrain as well as in the region.
This is according to a report by Knight Frank ‘Bahrain overview 2017’, which notes “Bahrain has long attracted global occupiers looking to setup a base in the Northern GCC region, the liberal Island is also a firm favourite with expats, with Expat Insider’s 2017 survey ranking it as the best place in the world to live and work.”
“Bahrain is successfully positioning itself at the forefront of innovation at a time when the growth prospects for the Gulf economies are becoming increasingly tied to productivity,” the repot adds.
Non-oil growth in the first half of 2017 was broad-based with particularly strong momentum observed in sectors such as Hotels & Restaurants, Social & Personal Services and Financial Services, which all expanded more than 7% year-on-year, notes the Knight Frank report.
‘Growth in the non-oil sector of Bahrain’s economy reached an annual pace of 4.7% in the first half of 2017, ahead of the 4% non-oil growth recorded during 2016 as a whole’, according to the latest Bahrain Economic Quarterly published by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
This growth is just one of many factors that have resulted in companies moving to Bahrain.
Other key factors attracting global businesses include Bahrain’s favourable business environment, offering effective regulation, a favourable tax regime, lack of free zone restrictions and access to a young and educated workforce.
The Expat Insider Report 2017 from InterNations ranked 65 countries and placed Bahrain at number one for expatriates which is important in attracting talent. In addition to this, businesses need to have commercial premises, which are fit for purpose.
With this positive economic growth there is demand for prime, fitted (CAT A & B) office space, the report adds.
Citibank House, in the Seef district, is an excellent example of office space which provides corporate occupiers with flexible space, good access to key road infrastructure, the business community (Seef and Diplomatic Area) and amenities (hotels and shopping malls), which many corporates are searching for.
Fitted office space is required in order to minimise capex costs and therefore fixed overheads which need to be amortised over a short lease.
Shorter leases provide occupiers with more flexible opportunities, as their business grows and therefore the need to relocate, the report notes.