Al Bayrooni launches first stand-alone kidney treatment centre in Bahrain

With support from the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Al Bayrooni Dialysis, Bahrain’s first stand-alone dialysis centre for treating kidney diseases and conditions, has launched in Bahrain with a US $1.4M+ facility.

The centre includes a full-spectrum of high-quality kidney care services focused on the needs of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. It is dedicated to treating chronic kidney disease as well as a vast range of kidney conditions, including Hemodialysis, Transplantation Referrals, and Holiday Dialysis. Al Bayrooni also includes programs to prevent or postpone admission to dialysis.

Dr. Sandra Carmody, Administrative Director at Al Bayrooni, said: “Through the launch of the centre, our goal is to improve quality of life by providing the best care. We ensure this through our state-of-the-art technology and outstanding customer service.

“Bahrain’s healthcare sector has exciting growth opportunities and a workforce ripe for development. With our international team of specialists, we look forward to sharing our experience with the Bahraini medical community.” 

Commenting on the launch, Munther Almudawi, Executive Director of Investment Development – Education and Healthcare, at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said: “Healthcare is a promising sector and a critical focus area for our government. With the planned US$30 billion strategic projects under the Economic Recovery Plan, we aim to elevate the quality of healthcare for Bahraini citizens, amongst other long-term sustainable results.

“Unique projects like Al Bayrooni drive our healthcare sector forward, moving Bahrain a step closer towards becoming a leading centre for modern medicine. We hope to see their facility grow and serve more patients in Bahrain and the wider GCC.”

The healthcare market in Bahrain has been growing at an annual average rate of 5.7%, from an estimated $1.1 billion in 2018 to an estimated $1.3 billion in 2021, reflecting the growing investment opportunity within this key sector. Bahrain has a long history in healthcare, establishing its first healthcare provider back in the late 1800s. Today, Bahrain has more than 800 licensed healthcare facilities. Healthcare is an area of focus for the Kingdom’s Economic Recovery Plan and its 2030 Economic Vision.

FDI inflows to Bahrain increase by 73% in 2021, surpassing global average

Bahrain’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows increased by US$1.766 billion in 2021, marking a 73% year-on-year increase and surpassing the global FDI average growth, according to the 2022 World Investment Report issued by the United Nations Conference of Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

According to the report, the Kingdom’s inward FDI stocks increased by 6% from 2020, reaching US$33.47 billion in 2021. With a GDP value of US $38.8 billion in 2021 according to the Information & eGovernment Authority of Bahrain , Bahrain’s FDI stock relative to GDP reached 86 %, ranking as the highest in GCC and surpassing the global average of 47%.

Investment in 2021 was primarily directed at Bahrain’s financial services, manufacturing, and mining & quarrying industries, according to the Information & eGovernment Authority of Bahrain.

The World Investment Report focuses on FDI trends at a regional and country level, as well as emerging measures to improve its contribution to economic development. It highlighted that global FDI has recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2021 and has reached US $1.6 trillion, an increase of 64% from booming merger and acquisition activity, as well as rapid growth in international project finance from loose financing and major infrastructure stimulus packages.

H.E. Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), commented: “We’re proud of the progress achieved in 2021 and we look forward to achieving greater heights by attracting more direct investments across a diverse number of economic sectors, in line with the objectives set under Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan.”

In 2021, the EDB attracted $839 million in direct investment into Bahrain through successful projects that are expected to create a total of 4,861 local jobs, including Citi’s first MENA tech hub.

Bahrain Ranks 1st in Ground and Port Infrastructure according to WEF’s 2021 Travel and Tourism Development Index

Bahrain ranks first amongst Arab countries and second in MENA in Ground and Port Infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 Travel and Tourism Development Index.

The report also highlighted strong placements for Kingdom, including ranking 12th globally in business environment. Amongst GCC countries, Bahrain ranked second in the following areas: travel and tourism policy; price competitiveness; prioritization of travel and tourism; and demand pressure and impact – measured by inbound length of stay, seasonality of international tourist arrivals, interest in cultural and natural attractions, and quality of town and city centers.

Commenting on the index, Dr. Nasser Ali Qaedi, CEO of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), said: “Bahrain’s ranking in the report is another testament to the unique offerings within Bahrain’s tourism sector. The Kingdom is increasingly becoming a more attractive destination for tourists and investors alike. With our new tourism strategy, we look forward to seeing the sector contribute more towards the Kingdom’s economic growth.”

Ali Murtaza, Executive Director Investment Development – Tourism at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) said, “Bahrain’s recognition for its advanced infrastructure, business environment, and travel and tourism policy comes as a result of our efforts in strengthening public-private partnerships and increasing our competitiveness to increase the tourism’s sector contribution to GDP, attract more investment, and create quality jobs.” 

The new tourism strategy, as part of the Economic Recovery Plan, aims to increase the sector’s GDP contribution to 11.4%, attract 14 million tourists by 2026, increase average visitor spending to $198, and increase average tourist nights to 3.5 days. Bahrain has been ranked 15th among the world’s emerging competitive markets and fifth in terms of business fundamentals, according to the Agility 2022 Emerging Logistics Markets Index.

China’s iCOOL sets up a US$10.7 million manufacturing facility in Bahrain to serve Middle East, US and European markets

  • Investment expected to create 150 jobs and generate over US$31 million in revenue in first year of operation

KKC Industries WLL (iCOOL), a Chinese manufacturer of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) products has launched a US$10.7 million manufacturing facility in Bahrain.

Through its operations in Bahrain, iCOOL will produce and export air conditioning insulation pipes to the Middle East, US, and European markets, utilising Bahrain’s strategic location and duty-free trade through its FTAs with 22 countries around the world, including the first-ever US FTA with a GCC member.

As an HVAC manufacturer, iCOOL serves customers from 130 countries with an annual revenue of US $420 million. Approximately 80% of the machinery used by iCOOL is designed and developed by the company, which allows iCool to operate at 10% higher capacity than its peers.

Gary Xu, General Manager at iCOOL-Bahrain commented: “With two decades of experience, iCOOL continues to introduce new and innovative products that improve efficiency. We build customer-centric and products that are great value for cost, and Bahrain is the perfect location to capitalise on for our business through its refined manufacturing ecosystem, best-value operating cost and skilled workforce. We look forward to using Bahrain’s value proposition to generate high revenues as we target producing 480 containers of air conditioning insulation pipes within the first year of operation, equating to over US$ 31 million in revenue.”  

Ahmed Sultan, Executive Director of Investment Development – Manufacturing, Transport, and Logistics at Bahrain EDB, commented: “Manufacturing is one of the key sectors for the Kingdom’s Economic Recovery Plan and the investment opportunities it creates. This announcement is a reflection of Bahrain’s unique offering for investors. We are delighted that iCOOL did choose Bahrain as their hub to serve their needs for their markets in the Middle East, US, and Europe while creating over 150 jobs in Bahrain during the next 3 years.”

As per the Kingdom’s Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain aims to increase the manufacturing sector’s contribution to the overall national origin export to 80.1% of Bahrain’s total export by 2026. Manufacturing accounts for around 14% of GDP and is the second largest contributor to Bahrain’s non-oil sector.

Bahrain ranks 2nd in MENA and 3rd globally in Islamic Finance

The Kingdom of Bahrain ranked second in MENA and third globally in Islamic finance, one of the key areas in the 2022 State of the Global Islamic Economy Indicator by DinarStandard, a growth strategy research and advisory firm empowering organizations for profitable and responsible global impact.

The indicator measures the development of the Islamic economy based on multiple areas, which are the country’s Muslim friendly regulations, public awareness innovation, investments, and expenditure, in the following sectors: Islamic Finance, Halal Food, Muslim-Friendly Travel, Modest Fashion, Pharma & Cosmetics, and Media & Recreation.

Considering all areas, Bahrain’s overall rank in the indicator was fourth in MENA and sixth globally. The Kingdom also ranked first in MENA and fourth globally as the best Muslim-friendly travel destination, as well as eighth globally in Islamic finance assets 2020, with an asset value of $102.1 billion.

The Kingdom of Bahrain was also recently ranked second in MENA and fourth globally within the Islamic Finance Development Indicator (IFDI) 2021 issued by Refinitiv, a subsidiary of the London Stock Exchange Group, the world’s leading provider of intelligent information for businesses and professionals.

Central Bank of Bahrain issues revised Collective Investment Undertakings regulations

The Central Bank of Bahrain (“CBB”) has conducted a comprehensive review of its Collective Investment Undertakings (“CIU”) regulations governing the mutual funds industry as part of the CBB’s wider strategy to conduct a comprehensive review to the whole financial sector regulatory framework.  The new framework acknowledges the demands placed by the fast-paced changes in the fund management industry and therefore aims at lightning the administrative processes and simplifying the authorisation requirements for establishing and marketing CIUs.

The amendments to the regulations focus on dividing CIUs into two broad categories, the first category is targeting retail investors and the second category is targeting accredited and affluent investors. The regulations pertaining to the first category of CIUs contain details regarding the nature of investment in the CIUs and require receiving CBB’s prior approval whereas the second category only requires notification to the CBB by the placement agent.

The CIUs targeting retail investors are low risk with proper diversification and risk management, while CIUs targeted towards accredited and affluent investors contain high risk investments with the aim of delivering high returns.

The new regulations emphasize on the importance of key areas such as the corporate governance requirements, high standards of business conduct, safeguarding and segregation of investors’ money, and disclosure standards in line with international best practices.    

Bahrain has had a thriving funds industry since the 1980s.  Since then, the mutual funds industry in Bahrain experienced further growth and developments. As at the end of February 2022, the number of mutual funds stood at 1664, with a net asset value (NAV) of US$ 10.6 billion.

Commenting on the new regulations, Ms. Ebtisam Al Arrayed, Director of Financial Institutions Supervision Directorate at the CBB, said “The fund industry in Bahrain has established a long-standing track record, and the CBB is fully supportive to the industry. The enhanced regulatory framework forms part of CBB’s Financial Services Development Strategy (2022-2026) and will set the environment for the growth and progress of the industry.  Local, Regional, and international fund operators and global investors will find the Kingdom attractive for fund domiciliation as well as for using Bahrain as a launchpad for serving global markets” 

Ms. Shireen Al Sayed, Director of Regulatory Policy Unit at the CBB said “The CBB embarked on a comprehensive revision of the CIU regulations under CBB Rulebook – Volume 7 as part of a larger initiative to simplify and revise all the CBB Rulebook Volumes. The new CIU regulations are now combined under a single Module making it simpler and market friendly. They are largely principles-based leaving room for the industry to pave the way for building a sound funds ecosystem thereby boosting growth of the asset management industry.”

Mr. Musab Abdulla, Executive Director of Investment Development – Financial Services, Technology & Innovation – at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said, “Bahrain’s forward-looking regulations have always been a key competitive advantage that enabled our financial sector to expand and has always attracted new FS companies. These revised regulations are another step forward which will enable us to attract further investments into the Kingdom, in line with the strategies put forward under the Economic Recovery Plan.”

Ms. Najla Al Shirawi, Chief Executive Officer of SICO B.S.C. (c), has also commented on the enhanced regulations stating that “The updated collective investment undertaking regulations are a game-changer for local, regional, and global funds seeking an international jurisdiction to domicile their structures with a very flexible framework yet still within a solid regulatory environment overseen by the Central Bank of Bahrain.   Some of the benefits of these regulations include significantly reduced setup and ongoing processes which reduce operating costs, all factors that are prominent decision-making criteria in a manager’s choice of domicile.  Furthermore, the simplification of the regulations simultaneously provides a lot more flexibility on key fund terms including asset class, investor categories, service provider requirements and legal structure”

Mr. Brian Howard, Partner and Head of the International Funds Team at Trowers & Hamlins said “Following market consultation, the Central Bank of Bahrain’s new collective investment undertakings regulations offer speed, simplicity and flexibility and should make Bahrain the leading jurisdiction of choice in the region for the establishment of investment funds. Bahrain now makes a wide spectrum of investment fund structures available to prospective managers following a simplified notification process to the Central Bank of Bahrain.”

Arla Foods completes $63mn Bahrain production site expansion

  • Arla Foods’s yearly production has increased from 20,000 tonnes to 80,000, producing Puck and Kraft processed cheese and sterilised cream products

This content was published on Construction Week.

Arla Foods, European dairy cooperative, completed its $63mn production site expansion in Bahrain, to increase capacity as part of its long-term plan for the country.

Yearly production has increased from 20,000 tonnes to 80,000, producing Puck and Kraft processed cheese and sterilised cream products with 95% of volumes distributed to the MENA region.

CEO of Arla Foods, Peder Tuborgh, called it a ‘gamechanger for our MENA (Middle East and North Africa) business’ when he announced the acquisition of the production site in 2018.

He added: “We have a growing business in MENA and has as such clearly identified it as one of our core markets in our latest five-year strategy, Future26. Bahrain and the site in Manama play a key role in our plans and it’s with great pleasure that we now see the site running at full capacity and delivering on its potential.

“A massive thank you to the team on the ground and the many partners involved in this project that made this possible.”

Immediately after taking over the plant from previous owner Mondelez International, substantial plans for increasing capacity were initiated and the site is now delivering on its full potential.

Arla’s site expansion drives local impact

With the completion of the site in Manama, Arla Foods has moved parts of its production to Bahrain with subsequent benefits of improved product shelf-life, minimised costs for transportation, and product development from the on-site pilot plant.

Contributing positively to the local development has been a key focus area throughout the process and as a result of the investment 200 direct jobs and approx. the same number of indirect jobs have been created.

Tuborgh added: “This project is a great example of strong cooperation by everyone involved and working closely together with local partners, including Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, and the Economic Development Board has played an integral part in making it a reality.

“We are grateful for the welcoming nature of the Bahraini people and are excited about what the future brings for Arla Foods in Bahrain,”

Arla’s investing in a greener future

The latest update to the site in Manama includes a $1.3mn investment in green energy with 8,000m2 of solar cells making it one of the biggest solar power plants in Bahrain.

This renewable energy source has a capacity of 1,7 megawatt and produces approximately 20% of the site’s yearly energy consumption while also reducing its overall CO2 impact by 1,600 tonnes per year.

Under the patronage of H.E. Jameel Ben Mohamed Ali Humaidan: talabat announces the establishment of one of the largest regional local shared services centers in Bahrain, providing 1,000 jobs in Bahraini’s

Talabat Press Conference
  • This is a result of a joint initiative between talabat, Ministry of Labor and Social Development, Tamkeen and the Bahrain Economic Development Board
  • The center will generate 1,000 employment opportunities for Bahrainis over two years with the support of tamkeen.
  • The center will serve talabat customers in the region

Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain — ** March, 2022: talabat, the region’s leading local tech organization, today announced in a press conference under the patronage of H.E Jameel Bin Mohamed Ali Humaidan; Minister of Labour and Social Development, the establishment of one of the region’s largest shared services centers, which will be based in Bahrain, with the support from Tamkeen and Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).

The announcement was made during a press conference attended by H.E. Jameel Humaidan Minister of Labour and Social Development, H.E. Khalid Humaidan CE of Economic Development Board, Mr. Husain Rajab CE of Tamkeen, Mr. Tomaso Rodriguez CEO of talabat MENA, and Mr. Hesham AlSaati Managing Director of talabat Bahrain.

The center will provide exceptional customer service to talabat customers in the GCC region, in both Arabic and English, along with providing technical support around the clock to vendors available on the platform. This is a result of a joint initiative between talabat, Tamkeen and the Bahrain Economic Development Board and it will generate 1,000 employment opportunities for Bahrainis over a 24 months period with 400 jobs to be filled as soon as July 2022. This will include several administrative, supervisory and leadership positions in the areas of customer service, quality assurance, and training.

This center will provide attractive opportunities for Bahraini graduates in the technology sector, as talabat is one of the largest companies operating in this field in the region. In addition, it will provide an opportunity to gain experience in dealing with clients from all over the region, and provide equal opportunities for training and development for all employees.

H.E Mr. Jameel Ben Mohamed Ali Humaidan, Minister of Labour and Social Development congratulated “talabat” on launching its local shared services center to support their clients and stakeholders, which will provide many jobs with progressive career plans, and assured that launching this center reflects the success of the Kingdom of Bahrain to attract more foreign investments due to its stimulating investment environment.

He highlighted that the establishment of this center is part of talabat’s efforts to expand its business in Bahrain and providing more jobs for the locals, as the organization is creating 400 jobs this year, and 1000 jobs in total by the end of 2023 in different positions, praising the efforts of the company in employing citizens, highlighting the high percentage of Bahraini management at the company as it has reached 100%.

H.E. Mr. Jameel Humaidan also highlighted all the incentives that the Ministry of Labour and social development provides to the private sector specifically to employ Bahrainis, emphasizing that the national talents have proven themselves as one on the main elements of companies development and profitability, due to the high efficiency of the Bahraini staff and their perpetual quest for personal development.

Tomaso Rodriguez, CEO of talabat said: “We selected Bahrain as the ideal place to launch our customer service center because of the talented pool of qualified and creative talent, along with the Kingdom’s attractive investment environment. We are heavily invested in Bahrainisation, with above 70% of our office employees being Bahraini, and we are proud to grow the technical expertise of the Kingdom’s youth.”

“From an investment perspective, Bahrain’s business friendly environment would support our growth and development plans.”

Hesham Al Saati, Managing Director at talabat Bahrain also expressed his pride in bringing this project to the Kingdom.

“It is our pleasure to establish one of the largest regional local shared services centers in Bahrain. Bahraini youth have proven to have an energy capable of excelling in the technical areas, and we are confident that this move will help talabat in its efforts to provide a higher quality service to our customers and vendors” Al Saati added.

“The technical sector is growing worldwide, and in Bahrain in particular launching this center will contribute to increasing this prosperity, diversifying and increasing the expertise in the technical field among Bahraini youth,” he said.

H.E. Husain Mohamed Rajab, said: “Tamkeen is fully committed to realizing its key objectives, including making Bahrainis the preferred choice for private sector employment and making the private sector the engine of economic growth. We work very closely with all our partners in the Team Bahrain ecosystem to encourage and incentivize employment, training and investment across all sectors, with a great focus on high-potential sectors. We welcome Talabat’s expansion in Bahrain and their great commitment to supporting employment and growth for Bahrainis over the long-term.”

Bahrain EDB CE, H.E Khalid Humaidan said: “This project is aligned with the Kingdom economic recovery plan and its pillars as it will generate employment and training opportunities in Bahrain. This also reflects our ability in Bahrain to provide professional services at a regional and a global level.” 

talabat is the leading food delivery and q-commerce platform in the region, with over 25,000 vendors and nearly 50,000 branches of these brands throughout the region. The company operates in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar, in addition to the United Arab Emirates.

talabat continues its continuous endeavor to provide more opportunities for Bahraini youth in the company, as it plans to offer 500 jobs in the logistics sector, which will make the total jobs created by talabat for Bahrainis is 1500 by the end of 2023.

Customers can download the talabat app from Google Play Store the iOS App Store, and Huawei App Gallery.

– ENDS –

About talabat

When you think of food delivery in the MENA region, we’d be pretty surprised if talabat didn’t pop into your mind first! Since delivering our first order in Kuwait in 2004, we’ve grown quite a lot over the past 17 years into the leading local tech platform in the region.

We deliver hundreds of millions of food orders, grocery items and other products per year, to our customers in nine countries throughout the region. Our food delivery business works with well over 25,000 brands and almost 50,000 branches, while our q-commerce concept, talabat mart, now delivers groceries to customers in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman Qatar, and the UAE in many cases, 20 minutes or less!

Our customers, our partners, our people, our riders, and the communities in which we operate are at the heart of what we do. In 2021 alone, we facilitated the donation of well over 900,000 meals to those in need, as well as donated over 2.2million dollars to charity with the help of our partners and customers. talabat is part of Delivery Hero, the global leader in online food delivery and q-commerce.

Binance awarded crypto-asset service provider license in the Kingdom of Bahrain

Binance, the world’s leading blockchain and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, today announces that it has been granted a crypto-asset service provider license from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB). This landmark achievement for Binance represents its first license as a crypto-asset provider in The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and demonstrates its commitment to being in regulatory compliance as the first of its group of companies in the region.

Changpeng Zhao (CZ), founder and CEO of Binance, said: “The license from Bahrain is a milestone in our journey to being fully licensed and regulated around the world. I would like to thank Team Bahrain, guided by the visionary leadership of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for the great work in facilitating this achievement. Team Bahrain has shown considerable foresight in its development of crypto regulations and provides the regulatory protections that consumers should come to expect from regulators around the world.

I’m proud of the hard work of the Binance team to meet the stringent criteria of the Central Bank of Bahrain, not just locally but globally by ensuring that we meet and exceed the requirements of regulators and protect users with strong anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing policies.”

The crypto-asset license will allow Binance to provide crypto-asset trading, custodial services and portfolio management to customers under the supervision of the Bahrain regulators.

HE Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain commented: “Developing regulations aligned with global trends is a key objective for us at the CBB. We continue to work with partners and industry leaders such as Binance to develop regulations that enable innovation and best practices.”

Khalid Humaidan, CEO of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) added: “Team Bahrain has built a world-class infrastructure to support the fast-growing blockchain and crypto industry, with robust regulations and diverse talent within the financial services, fintech and technology sectors. Collaboration with industry leaders such as Binance will further enhance our mission to establish the Kingdom of Bahrain as a leading business hub.”

Bahrain among top 15 markets worldwide in the Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index

The Kingdom of Bahrain ranked 15th overall among the world’s most competitive emerging markets and fifth in the area of business fundamentals, according to the 2022 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index.

The Index ranks 50 countries by factors that make them attractive to logistics providers, freight forwarders, shipping lines, air cargo carriers, and distributors. It measures logistics performance based on multiple areas: (1) Business Fundamentals, (2) Domestic Logistics Opportunities, (3) International Logistics Opportunities, (4) and Digital Readiness.

Gulf countries dominated in the area of business fundamentals, with the UAE ranking first, followed by Saudi Arabia which ranked third. Bahrain followed, jumping two spots from last year to rank 5th.

According to the report, “Bahrain offers free zones across a range of manufacturing sectors as well as 100% foreign ownership of enterprises. The country also plans to attract more manufacturers to its shores with investment to boost the production of aluminium, petrochemicals and renewable energy as part of its 2022-2026 economic recovery plan.”

Ahmed Sultan, Executive Director of Investment Development – Manufacturing, Transport, and Logistics at Bahrain EDB, commented, “In parallel with the economic recovery plan, our aim is to increase the logistics sector’s contribution to 10% of the country’s GDP, by leveraging Bahrain’s strong infrastructure and further expand our logistics offering. We aim to continue promoting Bahrain’s strategic location, FTAs, and business-friendly environment to attract more manufacturers and logistics service providers.”

Over recent years, Bahrain has emerged as the most efficient and cost-effective logistics gateway in the GCC, offering 45% operational cost savings compared to neighbouring countries as well as the shortest transit time between seaport, airport and logistics zones. Now, Bahrain’s National Logistics Strategy, as part of a wider Economic Recovery Plan, aims to increase the sector’s GDP contribution and rank it amongst the top 20 logistics hubs globally.

Key projects of the logistics strategy include Bahrain’s Global Sea-to-Air-Hub, the fastest in the middle east, leading to 40% cost savings and a 50% reduction in average lead time, creating a real opportunity not only for global logistics companies but also for e-commerce and fulfillment operators.

Go to top