It was a mere ten years ago that the Arabian Gulf waters were nearly touching Bahrain International Airport runway in Muharraq. It wasn’t much earlier that a law was passed allowing non-Bahrainis to own property on the island.
Nowadays, with huge residential projects using reclaimed land, such as Amwaj Islands and Durrat Al Bahrain, the island offers more plots than ever to investors of every nationality. The most recent addition is the much-awaited Diyar Al Muharraq and, within that, the waterside urban community Marassi Al Bahrain by Eagle Hills – a mammoth project that’s spent years in planning stages and is now inching closer to reaching completion.
Within weeks, a modern sales centre, which highlights the various elements of the project, will open to the public alongside a one-kilometre stretch of sandy beach, complete with food and beverage outlets, allowing everyone to experience what’s to come with this waterfront neighbourhood.
And what’s to come is pretty exciting. Luxury hotel brands The Address Hotels and Resorts and Vida Hotels and Resorts will make their Bahrain debut here. So will major retailers, family entertainment, sports and leisure facilities, and restaurant chains within a whopping 190,000 square metres of built-up area. Meanwhile, seafront apartments and residences with a canal-side promenade aim to attract home-seekers and investors from all over the world.
The Abu Dhabi-based developers have also put huge emphasis on sustainability, with planned attempts to minimise waste, maximise natural cooling and also offer 170,000 square metres of open space and parks (featuring plenty of play opportunities for the kids).
Significantly, once the project is complete, it will create 1,200 new and permanent jobs. Dr Maher Al Shaer, CEO of Diyar Al Muharraq and managing director of Marassi Al Bahrain, says, “[It] will have significant benefits for the Bahraini economy in terms of both job creation and boosting tourism… People have more confidence in the project due to our partnership with Eagle Hills who have a track record of creating urban hubs, which helps with economic diversification and reinvigorates the areas they develop, for example their projects in Nigeria, Serbia, Jordan and Morocco.”
Somewhat uniquely for Bahrain, too, is that all of the funds for this project are already in place. Plus, new regulations in the Kingdom protect investors more than ever before, following the past years’ controversies regarding off-plan buyers and stalled projects.
So, whether you’re in the market for an ocean-facing property or you’re simply an island dweller excited at the prospect of more things to do, there’s no denying this is big news for Bahrain. While phase one isn’t due to be completed until 2019, with the opening of this new sales centre, beachfront and numerous restaurants, we can all be a part of the future of Muharraq right now.
The project in numbers
Square metres (Also known as 86.5 hectares or 214 acres).
Of land being offered to investors in phase one.
Seaside residences will be up for sale for buyers.
Total retail space in square metres – a shoppers’ paradise.