A groundbreaking ceremony was held last month for a $100-million project to develop King Faisal Corniche into a prime leisure spot in Bahrain.
Bahrain’s Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa laid the foundation stone for the public-private partnership project, which will see the development of a 1.5-km-long corniche area that includes an open seafront area accessible to the public as well as a shopping centre, on the lines of The Avenues mall in Kuwait operated by the Kuwait-based real estate company Mabanee.
The project is being developed by the King Faisal Development Company set up by private Bahraini investors in partnership with M H Alshaya, a leading retail company based in Kuwait, and Mabanee Corporation, owners of The Avenues Kuwait.
Mohamed Salahuddin Consulting Engineering Bureau (MSCEB) is the lead project consultant and Gensler the design consultant. The project is expected to be completed by March 2016.
Elaborating on the project, Mireille Babti, a spokesperson for the project, said: “It will be a family-oriented public destination. The entire corniche development will have playground areas, parks, green areas, a 40-m-wide promenade, public-accessible waterfront areas, a six-hall cinema complex, and food and beverage and retail outlets.”
The entire development will occupy a site area of 265,000 sq m, of which the Avenues mall will cover 36,000 sq m, stated Babti.
According to her, the mall will be built over one level only so that views to the sea are not obstructed. It will have an ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) roof and the indoor climate will be controlled, she added.
Babti said more than 60 per cent of the open space would be green areas. The parking lot will have space for 1,400 cars. The waterfront will comprise two sections, the first being open to the park and the second part featuring food and beverages outlets.
Babti said the idea behind the corniche development is to provide a unique experience, combining the ambiance provided both by malls as well as parks.
Sheikh Khalid said that projects like the King Faisal Corniche development will attract further investment due to their prime location on the coastal front. The project, he noted, will offer several opportunities since it involves many sectors including food and beverage, leisure and others.
Speaking at the event, Dr Juma bin Ahmed Al Kaabi, Minister of Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, said the development is part of Bahrain’s 2030 vision and that of the ministry to develop the coastal areas of the kingdom and attract investment.