IKEA selects Bahrain to open GCC’s largest store

H.E. Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa - Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Gulf Air’s Board of Directors

MANAMA: His Highness, Shaikh Khalid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister has patronized the GCC region’s largest IKEA Bahrain’s ground breaking ceremony on Sunday.

The IKEA Bahrain is located in Salmabad will have a total retail area of 37,000 square meters and will further strengthen the brotherly ties between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. IKEA Bahrain is expected to create 700 jobs and the store is being opened in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman Furniture Trading Company, IKEA Saudi Arabia.

With expected opening of BD47 million IKEA Bahrain by mid of 2018, the store will have a total retail area of 37,000 square meters, Saud Ghassan Al Sulaiman, the CEO of IKEA Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, told reporters on the sidelines of the ceremony.

“We have been striving hard to seek expansion and grow this innovative brand into high potential markets since the start of partnership between IKEA and Ghassan Ahmed Al Sulaiman Furniture Trading Company dated back in 1983. The Kingdom of Bahrain is an attractive investment and business destination for retailers giant like IKEA, thanks Bahrain’s vibrant economy and favourable business climate,” Saud Ghassan Al Sulaiman, added.

“Along with our belief in the long-term viability of the Bahraini market, what has encouraged us to make this investment is the strong bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and brotherly relationship has strengthened over the years. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia share a common history, heritage and social bonds, so it comes as no surprise that we find new ventures to fortify that relationship further,” he said.

The ground-breaking ceremony was also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers, businessmen, and guests. The construction is under way and the main contractor for the project is G P Zachariades. IKEA Bahrain showroom consists of 6200 square meters in addition to a market hall covering the area of 6000 square meters. The store will have a self-serve area of 5,000 square meters and 4,000 square meters of full serve area.

The store will have a 2500 square meters with a total capacity of 800 seats, the biggest restaurant in Bahrain where customers can take a break, enjoy Swedish delicacies or a local favourite at the restaurant, Fruto Hernandez, IKEA’s Expansion Manager, said. The bistro and Swedish food market, which facilitates grab-and-go snacks and take-home meals respectively, will take up about 500 square meters of the total area.
IKEA is the world’s largest retailer for furniture and is known the world over for its ready-to-assemble furniture and other home appliances. IKEA has 385 stores spread over 48 countries. The IKEA Concept focuses on offering a range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at competitive prices. IKEA offers over 9,500 products, all focused on being sustainably conscious. IKEA Saudi Arabia has three stores in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran with a total area of 78,000 square meters employing over 1,300 workers in a diverse multicultural environment.

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