Bahrain has announced 15 five-star hotel openings between now and 2020 as the country continues to position itself as a luxury destination. $10bn is being invested in the projects.
One & Only Seef Bahrain, a beachfront resort set on the northwestern coast and the brand’s first foray into the country, is among the list with 150 rooms, suites, villas, shops and a Givenchy spa scheduled to open within the next three months.
It follows hot on the heels of The Grove Hotel & Conference Centre Bahrain, which opened this summer in the Amwaj Islands, 10 minutes from the international airport.
Other hotel names are yet to be confirmed, but Nouf Ahmed, tourism relations specialist for the tourist board, told Travel Weekly: “There are a lot of major chain hotels opening and they’re all five-star. Currently we have 17 five-star hotels and up to 63 four-star hotels, so this will have a big impact.”
The island will also be re-launching the ancient sport of pearl diving on the north coast in mid-2018. The sport was illegal for 80 years but a law change is opening it up to tourists who are Padi qualified.
“It was made illegal because pearls weren’t getting their chance to develop, but now it will be controlled under the tourism authority,” said Ahmed. “This will make Bahrain one of the only places in the world that offers pearl diving to tourists.”