The Minister of Industry and Commerce who is also Chairman of Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority (BECA), Dr. Hassan A. Fakhro, on Monday said that Bahrain has witnessed 100% increase in holding exhibitions in Bahrain.
Dr Fakhro, who chaired BECA’s board of directors meeting held at the Ministry premises on Monday, said that the major international events as of August 2012 attracted 2,038 local and international exhibitors compared to 1018 exhibitors as of August 2011 rendering a 100% growth.
“The total number of operating days of held events at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) as of August 2012 increased to 407 days from 317 days as at August 2011 subsequently increasing the total booked gross space to 1.6 million square meters compared with 1.3 million square meters in August 2011. In addition, the number of countries which participate in major events is projected to reach 75 by end of 2012 compared to 54 countries in 2011 whilst visitors for major events is expected to increase as well by up to approximately 300,000 visitors by end of this year,” the Minister added.
At the outset of the meeting the Minister extended appreciation and gratitude to the continued generous support of the Kingdom’s leadership and Government to the exhibition industry in strengthening the sector’s role and contribution to the national economy and its strategic position in the international exhibitions and conventions market.
The board reviewed the latest developments on the financial and operational performance as well as the plans and programs of the Authority for the remaining months of the year 2012 and 2013. The Expo City Project’s Phase 1 which is scheduled to be constructed in Sakhir area adjacent to the Bahrain International Circuit is undergoing active review and discussions with the Private Sector, Banks and Financial Institutions with respect to invitation for equity participation in the Project. BECA executive Management revealed that as of August 2012, the number of booked exhibitions and conferences held in the BIEC during 2012 reached 61 compared to 22 events for the same period in 2011 thereby representing an increase of 177%.
The Board also reviewed the status and progress of various projects to enhance and upgrade the Centre facilities including the completion of the Renovation of VIP majlises and MIEC main entrance and upgrade of communications and IT systems and CCTV systems, Construction of additional wash rooms facilities in Hall 2, installation of ceremonial lights around the exhibition centre, replacement of hall one air conditioning system, and installation of park shades, among others.