Bahrain’s F1 to stay

29 Jan, '07

Bahrain F1 Grand Prix 2005 - 107

The Bahrain Grand Prix extended its contract with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Monday.

The original deal with Bahrain, which hosted its first race in 2004, was due to expire in 2008 — but the new contract reportedly runs to 2013. No official details on the length or cost of the deal were available.

“Just three years ago Formula One — and motor sport in general — did not have any presence in the region,” Ecclestone said.

The Bahrain International Circuit was built for US$150 million (76 million pounds; €116 million) and this year’s race is on April 15.

“Bahrain has not only built a venue that is among the very best in the world and deservedly won acclaim for its grand prix, but has also built foundations for the current growth of interest and investment in Formula One across the Middle East,” Ecclestone added.
Associated Press via IHT

Good! Excellent! Bravo!

Now fix the damn management structure and stop bleeding money for God’s sake to protect this investment!

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Comments (18)

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  1. nurox says:

    That’s a great boost for Bahrain’s image!

  2. Finlandi says:

    thats gerat news… with all the bad news i had been hearing i was worried that the F1 race would be moving to another location..

    good to know its here to stay, atleast for a while longer.

  3. Dilmun says:

    A few months ago, or maybe a year ago the BIC people anounced an idea to utilize the land near the site for a variety of projects. There was a 3D rendering in the press for the proposed, hotel, retail, residential, office project. It didn’t have a name but it sounds like a great idea. It’ll support the track by keeping people close, and if it is a BIC project it will help cut their loses!! This way instead of just having Fuds and McDonalds there could be a variety of different things that attract locals and foriegners to visit the track year-round. And if there is a good sized 5 Star hotel, it would not only be great for F1, but for all the events that happen during the year. A clustered development in the middle of the desert would provide for breathtaking desert views not to mention the sea if they go high enough ….

  4. Butterfly says:


    Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort (Al Areen) is close by and I am sure that there are other plans for the land near the site. This is not the main problem, we need to have more attractive tourism projects all over Bahrain and not only within BIC area. This will promote F1 automatically.

    We also need creative PR and marketing inside and outside Bahrain.

  5. Isn’t there a planned water park for the area as well?

  6. Dilmun. says:

    Banyan Tree was supposed to be ready for the last Formula, it was a disaster, supposedly it will be ready for this one. It is being built by GFH & Al-Hamad, what a wonderful team that is.

    One Word = Tal9eeg

    And Al-Areen, are actually building the umm Dilmun Waterpark!! Lost Civilization of Dilmun, or something Dilmun. But anyway, expect delays, and leaks, and crappy quality.

    We do need a lot of PR and projects close and far away, check out our new advertisment on CNN. Bahrain’s advert, its not bad! Awal Mara.

  7. Butterfly says:


    I think that Al Areen Desert Spa and Resort will have a spa, a water park (Aqua Park), themed hotels, residential communities and a commercial district.

    I am not sure if this is the one you are talking about.

  8. Butterfly says:

    Check this out:

    It doesn’t look that bad but I am not sure if the project is ready by now.

  9. Adel says:

    Al Areen Water Park set for March opening
    Naila Barakat
    Business Reporter (Bahrain Tribune)

    The $50 million Al Areen Holding Company’s “Lost Paradise of Dilmun” Water Park project is set to open its doors for public for Formula One 2007, followed by a soft opening in the mid of March, said Paul Blunt, General Manager-Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park.
    “It is part of the plan to have the soft launch of the Water Park by the mid of March, which is subject to change depending on the work procedure and the weather conditions as some of the work on site was delayed because of the heavy rains in December,” he said.
    He said that the park’s work is in the final stages as 95 per cent of the construction is complete.
    He said: “Currently the work on landscaping, walkways, lights fitting and themeing is in progress. We are also in the progress to go on with the commissioning as there is a lot of electricity and mechanical element of the water park which needs to be tested and will take two months at least. We will also be testing the water pools and will soon launch the official logo of the park in the next few weeks.”
    He added: “After completion of the construction work, there will be a training period for the staff at the park. We will be recruiting 150 staff members, and also have an internal marketing team before the Formula One in the end of April”
    The “Lost Paradise of Dilmun” Water Park and The Banyan Tree Desert Spa and Resort are included in Al Areen’s first phase. Al Areen development overall is being built over two million square metres in the southern region of the Kingdom close to the wildlife sanctuary. This $1 billion luxury, mixed-use health, residential and family tourism development will embrace a world-class spa resort, a state-of-the-art water park and a range of residential, commercial, recreational and entertainment facilities.

    Desert Paradise

    Construction work at Bahrain’s $1 billion-plus Al Areen development – a large scale, luxurious urban mixed use health and family tourism development – is moving forward according to plan with some of the key components set to be opened shortly and a host of new investment projects launched over the past year.

    Located close to the Al Areen Wildlife sanctuary and the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), the project aims to transform a 2 million sq m elevated desert site in southern Bahrain into a world-class health, residential and family tourism enclave. Its development is being spearheaded by the Al Areen Holding Company – a joint stock closed company owned by the government of Bahrain, Gulf Finance House and strategic regional investors. Al Areen’s master plan has been designed carefully to reflect and preserve the site’s environment, natural beauty and wildlife.
    The mega-project, comprises of a spa resort, a state of the art water park, five-star hotels as well as various residential, commercial, hospitality, recreational, and entertainment facilities, which are now in various stages of construction A landscaped buffer zone – the Linear Park – has been created along the boundary between Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary and the Al Areen development, providing visitors with a vantage point to view the wildlife, while enjoying a leisurely stroll along a strategically laid pathway.
    The Banyan Tree Spa, a world class spa resort, and the Lost Paradise of Dilmun water park are now receiving their final touches and are expected to open in the first quarter of 2007, while work on major developments including Sarab Al Areen, a striking retail and residential project, and two resorts – the Oryx Hills and Al Waha resort – are set to be launched over the course of this year.
    Besides boosting the inflow of international visitors into the region, the project is expected significantly stimulate foreign investments in the kingdom’s tourism sector. Over the past year, Al Areen has continued to attract a number of reputed developers from the GCC. A five star hotel that surrounds the water park is being developed by Al Hamad Construction Company, a leading UAE based construction firm, and Oryx Hills, a residential land parcel in the southern section of the Al Areen development, has been acquired by a subsidiary of Gulf Finance House. In the northern section of the development, a Kuwaiti consortium has bought the largest parcel to develop Sarab Al Areen.
    Other components include Downtown Al Areen and a number of residential, commercial, and health and hospitality facilities.
    “Infrastructure works for the entire site – including roads, electricity, water, and relevant landscaping – are well under way. The commercial district, hotels and a number of residential and mixed use clusters are next in line for immediate and short-term construction,” says a spokesperson for the project.

    Sarab Al Areen
    Work on the $300 million Sarab Al Areen, featuring a 116,000 sq m shopping mall with 160,000 sq m of parking, a 300-plus-room hotel and and 50,000 sq m of residential developments, is expected to start in March.
    Spread over a 176,000 sq m site, Sarab Al Areen is strategically positioned at the northwestern tip of the Al Areen development, forming a striking gateway to the development and overlooking the Bahrain International Circuit. It is owned by Rasmal Holding Company and being developed by Gulf Development Real Estate Company (GDREC). The engineering services as well as detailed design for the project are being done by Mohamed Salahuddin Engineering Consulting Bureau (MSCEB).
    Offering high standards of retail, office and living space, it will include four major components: the Sarab mall, a residential complex, an eastern suq and a state-of-the-art hotel. The Sarab Mall, designed to be a premier shopping destination in the southern half of the country, is at the heart of the development and is strategically located on the main Boulevard with 100,000 sq m of shops, a dedicated entertainment facility, a modern cineplex, a food galleria, a wide selection of restaurants and cafes and extensive basement parking. The Sarab residential complex will feature family condominium homes consisting of two and three bedrooms, with balconies and roof terraces, affording views of the entire project. A commercial zone, known as the East Suq, located at the east corner of the Sarab Mall, will consist of shops and restaurants at ground level with offices above. The luxury 300-room Sarab Hotel features a spa and various entertainment facilities.

    Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort, Al Areen
    The Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort, Al Areen – to be managed by the world’s largest luxury resort and spa operator, the Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts – is due to open soon. It is being built by the UAE-based Al Hamad Construction & Development Company.
    Situated in the heart of the first phase of the Al Areen development and spanning 131,000 sq m, the resort features 78 luxuriously appointed villas with a total built-up area of 32,000 sq m. The spa resort is being built at a cost of $170 million and includes 22 two-bedroom Royal Villas and 56 one-bedroom Desert Pool villas each with its own private courtyard, swimming pool and jet-pool.

    Boasting the world’s most extensive spa and hydrotherapy garden, Banyan Tree, Al Areen will provide a complete body wellness centre offering up-to-date sporting and relaxation facilities and including 12 deluxe and four Royal Spa pavilions, a vitality pool, ice igloo, foot spa and the world’s largest modern-day-built Hammam. It also offers an extensive range of meeting and banqueting facilities, six international standard restaurants, Banyan Tree Gallery, kid’s club, two tennis courts and a squash court.

    “The Lost Paradise of Dilmun” Water Park
    This first-of-its-kind park in Bahrain, designed and operated by Malaysia’s Sim Leisure Consultants, is being built at a cost of $50 million. Being developed by the Al Areen Holding Company and included with The Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort in Al Areen’s first phase, it comprises a giant wave pool, lazy river, spectacular water rides for the whole family and swimming pools, shops, a food-court and rest areas over a 77,682 sq m site.
    The theme of the water park, which can cater to 4,000 visitors at any one time, is based on Bahrain’s rich history and the Dilmun civilisation. Its state-of-the-art facilities have been supplied by Canadian-based White Water West, the world’s leading water park equipment supplier.

    Downtown Al Areen
    The hub of the development, Downtown Al Areen, which was launched last March, will include restaurants, cafes, high-end retail outlets, public gardens and private homes and cultivate a socially and culturally active environment over a 261,466 sq m area. This $360 million residential and commercial development is the first project to be developed by the Kuwait-based Gulf Holding Company.
    Al Areen Downtown will be divided into 10 zones, providing business and tourism opportunities. It is linked by a main boulevard and will feature a series of complexes along both sides of the pavement, including residential and office space on the top three floors, with the ground floors reserved for restaurants, cafés and retail outlets. The main promenade stretches from this boulevard to the idyllic Old Town, which is inspired by historical Arabian architecture. Bordering the Old Town will be traditional townhouses. To be constructed using strict environmentally-friendly techniques and materials, these homes will be accessed through semi-enclosed green gardens and a pedestrian walkway that will be closed off to all vehicular traffic.
    Two clusters of select villas will also be constructed – the first area will be located to the east of Old Town, and the second will be on the western edge of the town houses. Further residential housing will be offered through spacious terraced apartments, each of which will have a commanding view of the Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve.

    Al Waha Resort
    Positioned at the northeast of the Al Areen development, this 55,00 sq m area plot will house a holiday hotel with 206 rooms, 110 serviced apartments, a ballroom, and seven exquisitely-designed buildings offering apartments for sale. The resort – which sits adjacent to the main shopping mall and offers views of the desert cliffs to the east and BIC to the north – is being developed by Ensha Real Estate Company at a cost of $100 million. Australia-based Pentago Spowers is the designer.

    Hotel, Al Areen
    Hotel, Al Areen will feature around 342 spacious rooms including two presidential suites and four junior suites, 24 luxury duplex villas, several restaurants and lounges, comprehensive sports facilities and a state-of-the-art 35,000 sq ft convention centre. The hotel is directly linked to The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park, just a short walk away. The hotel, to be developed at a cost of $150 million, will be a mix of traditional style and hospitality with a comprehensive range of modern facilities.

    Oryx Hills
    Oryx Hills, the residential component located at the southern end of the Al Areen development, will spread over around 143,000 sq m and consist of 106 luxury villas of three different types, with floor areas ranging from 750 to 1,200 sq m within a unique modern environment that combines traditional Arab features with modern-day facilities and amenities.
    Being developed by Khaleeji Commercial, Oryx Hills residences are offered for sale on a freehold basis to all nationalities.


  10. mahmood says:

    thanks for the comprehensive report Adel.

  11. Butterfly says:

    Thanks Adel.
    I heared that Banyan Tree in Phuket is amazing. I hope that the one in Bahrain will be of a similar standard.

  12. Adel says:

    You Welcome

  13. Krinkle says:

    Mahmood – do you know where one might get an English copy of the ‘transparency report’ (or even just its main bullet points) you mentioned some time ago? I’d like to know a bit more about the internal workings of the BIC.

  14. mahmood says:

    I couldn’t find any website for the department which produced the report. I don’t think it is available in English, but will keep looking. They are part of the Royal Court though, you might want to give them a call and just ask.

  15. khalil alhaiki says:

    they have to bulid 6 stars hotel next to bic something like uae palace

  16. Adel says:

    Khalil are you in Bahrain? Banyan Tree is a 5+ stars Desert hotel and resort, it’s been open for more than 5 months now. They are currently working on the 5 star Dimna Hotel in the Lost Paradise Of Dilmon which will be adjacent to the park.

    Mahmood I can’t believe you haven’t been to the Lost Paradise Of Dilmon or blogged about it yet, WAKE UP take your kids and have some water fun.

  17. mahmood says:

    too much busy sahib, maybe soon but do send in your pictures though, I would love to see them.

  18. Adel says:

    wish there where pictures, was busy having so much fun with the family, maybe next time.

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