MANAMA: A blue print for revitalising and the development of the Old Manama Souq has been presented on Sunday before the Committee for approval by the consultant Hank Dittmar Urban Futures.
The committee formed by His Highness Princess Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the 1St Deputy Prime Minister and Crown Prince for Manama Old Souq comprises HE Zayed Rashid Al Zayani, the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Khalid Al Zayani, the head of Old Manama Souk Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HE Shaikh Khalid bin Humood, Chief Executive of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, Economic Development Board and others will consider the Old Souq development master plan presented by the Consultant.
It may be recalled that BCCI had set aside BD3million for the revival of the Manama Souq and the matching grant will be provided by the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Affairs.
“Once the master plan is approved, the budget will be worked out and hopefully the development work will be initiated by the end of the year 2017,” HE Zayed Rashid Al Zayani, the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism told the Press Conference. In line with the directives of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad, the Manama Souq development will stir the tourism, trade and business activities in the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The Kingdom of Bahrain, one of the oldest trading hubs across the Arab region, has a rich heritage of family businesses like Manama Souq. The Consultant says the lost identity of the Souq will be brought back by reviving the Manama Souq as one of the key tourist attractions.
The Minister was joined by Khalid Al Zayani, the head of Old Manama Souk Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HE Shaikh Khalid bin Humood, Chief Executive of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, during the Press conference held at the Ministry Headquarters at the Bahrain Financial Harbour.
According the consultant plans, the Minister explained, the Souq will have 1500 parking spaces, one of the most crucial challenges face by the visitors and the tourists.
“We have rich history of family businesses as many family had been into trading over the generations and the revival of the Souq will be an effort to establish the link with the previous generations,” says HE Shaikh Khalid bin Humood, Chief Executive of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority.
This project is very important for the tourism, trade and business sectors of the Kingdom, says Khalid Al Zayani, Head of the Old Souq Committee at the BCCI. “The BCCI initially had allocated BD3 million for the Old Souq development but in light of the development plan, if the cost go up Chamber will be willing to increase the budget,” adds Khalid Al Zayani.