Bahrain ranked first in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) for attracting the highest tourism capital investment in 2020, as perfDi Intelligence Tourism Investment Report 2021.
Last year, major investments from UAE-based property developers assisted Bahrain’s tourism sector to remain afloatgenerating jobs during the pandemic.
Bahrain secured $492 million of tourism capital investment in 2020, comprising investments from global property developer Emaar Properties and real estate developer Eagle Hills, in spite of the overall regional decline in capital investment in 2020.
Capital investment into MEA last year declined 82 per cent from 2019, going down to $1.6 billion. The number of tourism jobs in the region also experienced a similar decline, decreasing from approximately 17,400 in 2019 to 2,800 in 2020. Despite the pandemic, Bahrain ranked first in MENA concerning the number of tourism jobs created in 2020 and second concerning the number of tourism FDI projects.
During the pandemic, the country continued to improve its strategy to renovate its tourism sector, granting more than $10 billion to tourism infrastructure projects, including the $1.1 billion renovation of its international airport. Accor, a hospitality group with more than 400 hotels, Minor Hotels, with a portfolio of 527 hotels and resorts, and Hilton DoubleTree unveiled plans to launch new properties in the Kingdom. Bahrain is home to global hotel brands including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Rotana, Intercontinental, Wyndham and Sofitel.