Leading digital marketing academy, Growth Velocity, moves its headquarters to Bahrain

Growth Velocity Academy’s Bootcamps will offer Bahrainis invaluable skills and hands-on training to meet the rising demand for digital marketing.

Supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), leading digital marketing academy, Growth Velocity Academy announced moving its headquarters to the Kingdom of Bahrain to accelerate growth and tap into the MENA region’s growing markets.

Growth Velocity Academy will start operations by launching its Digital Marketing Accelerator Bootcamps, which offer a unique hands-on experience taught by industry-leading marketing professionals to provide world-class training for Bahrainis. The Academy’s programs focus on delivering cutting-edge practical skills & a growth mindset to all trainees, enabling marketers and entrepreneurs to gain confidence using various tools and frameworks to target and acquire customers online.

Commenting on this announcement, Munther Almudawi, Executive Director – Business Development at Bahrain EDB said: “We are excited to see Growth Velocity Academy moving to Bahrain and launching its training programs to upskill digital Bahraini talent. This is in line with the pillars under the country’s Economic Recovery Plan, which aims to train 10,000 Bahrainis annually until 2024 to create promising job opportunities and ensure Bahrainis are the first choice for employers.”

Howard Kingston, co-founder of Growth Velocity Academy expressed his enthusiasm about opening the courses to empower Bahraini talent, stressing the importance of Digital Marketing in today’s world. He said: “The world has changed. Right now, more than ever, we need the right strategies, the connection with the audience and the motivation to get ahead of the curve. The pandemic has forced every business to market online, creating the biggest new opportunity for Digital Marketers and Digital Businesses in the past decade.” He added, “it’s only the people who know how to market a business digitally that won’t get left behind.

We’re excited to continue to serve the MENA market and we felt that headquartering the business in Bahrain is the perfect launchpad for us to fulfill our vision.”

As part of the National Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain launched a Telecommunications, ICT, and Digital Economy Sector Strategy (from the years 2022 until 2026) which aims to establish a world-class Bahraini digital infrastructure, develop cybersecurity standards, attract big-tech companies to the Kingdom, and make Bahrain a regional digital innovation hub. Interested people can apply to join Growth Velocity Academy’s Digital Marketing Program by visiting: https://growthvelocity.academy/gva-bahrain

Bahrain attracts USD291 million worth of investment in the Tourism Sector

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), supported by Team Bahrain, has attracted USD291 million (BHD110 million) in direct investments in the tourism sector during the first three quarters of 2022.

Tourism investments are coming through eight companies expanding or entering Bahrain for the first time and are expected to generate over 1090 jobs over the next three years.

In total, Bahrain EDB attracted USD921 million (BHD348 million) in direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of the year. The investments are expected to generate over 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism.

Munther Al-Mudawi, Executive Director – Business Development for Tourism at Bahrain EDB, commented:“We are pleased to witness this momentum in the tourism sector post Covid-19. All the indicators showing that we are in the right direction to recover, and with our four-year Tourism Strategy under the Economic Recovery Plan, we are hoping to attract even more investments and welcome 14 million tourists by 2026.”

As part of the Kingdoms’ Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain announced a new 4-year strategy (2022-2026) for the tourism sector that aims to attract 14.1 million tourists by 2026. The strategy’s framework has four main objectives: To increase the contribution of the tourism sector to GDP to reach 11.4 percent in 2026, highlight Bahrain’s position as a global tourist hub, increase the number of targeted countries to attract more tourists, and diversify tourism products.

According to the latest statistics, Bahrain registered 6.9 million visitors by the end of September 2022. The hospitality and hotel sector recorded around 5.9 million tourist nights, and the total tourism revenues amounted to around USD1.7 billion (BHD 622.4 million) during the first half of 2022.

World’s 3rd largest freight forwarder DSV opens regional logistics hub in Bahrain Logistic Zone

14,000 sqm facility expands capabilities in key market

DSV, the world’s third-largest freight forwarder and leading global logistics provider opened a 14,000 square metre logistics facility in Bahrain Logistics Zone in Hidd to expand its warehousing capabilities in the area.

The new facility supports contract logistics with ambient, chilled and frozen storage, as well as solutions for high-value cargo. It will offer secure records management services, and storage/turnkey logistics for Bahrain-based manufacturers in the fast-moving consumer goods industry.

With a storage capacity of 24,000 pallet positions, the new facility increases DSV’s controlled-temperature warehouse capacity in the Kingdom of Bahrain to a total of 65,000 pallet positions and 75,000 square metres. The increase in capacity enables the company to continue to support its customers in a market of increasing interest and demand.

Since 1997, DSV has operated and grown its business in Bahrain, and with the 2021 acquisition of Agility GIL, the company further strengthened its operations in the region. The new facility in Bahrain represents an $18 million investment by DSV, and is the company’s second expansion in the country in just three years. It follows the 2019 opening of a 28,000 square metre warehouse, also in Hidd. DSV’s further expansion in Bahrain is a testament to the company’s commitment to the promising market.

Elias Monem Executive, Vice President for Solutions & Road, DSV – MENA region, says: “Bahrain is an important and growing operational market to DSV in the Middle East. Its advanced infrastructure and favourable geographical placement are central factors in choosing to extend our business in the country. The new facility in Bahrain Logistics Zone will allow us to respond to the high demand and better serve customers in the region.”

The facility was inaugurated on November 15 in a ceremony hosted by DSV and H.E. Mohamed bin Thamer Al-Kaabi, Bahraini Minister of Transportation & Telecommunication. Mr. Al-Kaabi is pleased with DSV’s investments in the country:

As a country undergoing constant economic growth, we have a strategic objective to strengthen Bahrain’s position as a leading maritime and logistics hub. Continuing to attract international investments such as this one from DSV is crucial in realising this goal. Bahrain’s favourable geographic location, attractive liberal business environment and economic potential makes it an obvious investment opportunity for global companies such as DSV.” he says.

As a booming economy, Bahrain represents an interesting market for DSV. According to a report issued by the Information & eGovernment Authority, in Q2 of 2022, Bahrain’s GDP grew by 6.95% in real prices and 22.87% at nominal prices. The growth is mainly attributed to higher growth in the non-oil sector.

H.E. Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), said:

“Bahrain offers the best-value operating costs for a logistics business, with strong connectivity by air, land and sea. This has encouraged several companies to utilize our strategic location and free trade agreements in order to set up businesses and access the GCC and wider MENA region. DSV’s investment in Bahrain’s logistics industry is testament to the business confidence that the Kingdom provides.”

The logistics sector is a priority sector under the Kingdom’s extensive Economic Recovery Plan, which aims to position Bahrain as one of the top 20 global destinations for logistic services and increase the logistics services sector’s GDP contribution to 10 percent.

G4S Cash Solutions invests more than US $3 million in expanding Bahrain operation the expansion will generate 160 jobs

G4S, the world’s leading integrated security company, specialising in the provision of security services and solutions to customers and active in 85 markets, will be expanding its Bahrain operation with an investment more than US $3 million and it will create 160 jobs in Bahrain within three years, with the support of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

G4S obtained the Ancillary Service Provider – Cash Processing Services license from the CBB, where G4S will provide multiple activities, including cash management and deposit preparation, corporate/retail consolidation, processing of deposits for banks, ATM balancing, reconciliation, and administration.

The Managing Director of G4S Cash Solutions Bahrain Christos Volis said: “This expansion will enable us to provide a wide range of services to customers. The Kingdom of Bahrain has been supportive throughout the set-up process, and we look forward to benefiting from the Kingdom’s forward-looking regulations and highly developed financial services sector. We would like to thank the EDB and CBB for their support in this journey.”

Ali Almudaifa, Chief Investment Officer at Bahrain EDB said: “We are pleased with G4S decision to expand their operation in Bahrain, this is a reflection of the growth of the financial services sector.”

Bahrain-grown Bambucorn obtains Crowdfunding Operator license CBB

Bahrain skyline during the night time

Supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), Bambucorn Bahrain WLL, Bahrain grown equity crowdfunding platform has obtained the license from the Central Bank of Bahrain to carry out activities of Ancillary Service Provider – Crowdfunding Platform Operator. Bambucorn will enable startups, SMEs and real estate projects to raise equity from both accredited and retail investors.

The license from the Central Bank of Bahrain will effectively enable Bambucorn to raise capital for issuers in Bahrain and those located outside Bahrain. One of Bambucorn’s group companies is already licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority to operate an equity crowdfunding platform in the UAE. The recent license obtained from the Central Bank of Bahrain further signifies the group’s commitment to contributing to the region’s growing Fintech ecosystem.

Fareed Bader, Co-founder and Chairman of Bambucorn Group commented: “Bahrain has always been at the forefront when it comes to Fintech and the regulators are playing a pivotal role in ensuring that investors’ interests are adequately protected whilst at the same time providing enough opportunities for innovative Fintech companies to flourish in the country. We certainly look forward to working alongside all stakeholders to optimize the capital raising exercise for startups, SMEs and real estate projects.”

Narayanan Ganapathy, Co-founder of Bambucorn Bahrain commented: “Capital allocation has always been a challenge and oftentimes tricky, particularly when it comes to early-stage investments. Providing both accredited and retail investors the ability to write smaller checks towards early-stage ventures and real estate opportunities helps investors diversify their portfolios. Businesses looking to gain customer loyalty can resort to crowdfunding, providing their customers the ability to acquire equity interests in them through the platform. The CBB license certainly strengthens Bambucorn’s foothold in the region as an innovative Fintech company.”

Commenting on this occasion, Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director of Business Development – Financial Services, said: “Bahrain’s forward-looking regulators consistently made it the first choice for Fintech companies setting up in this region. We’re happy to see Bambucorn receive its license from the CBB, which is a testament to our robust financial regulatory system that has enabled many companies to innovate in Bahrain and serve the wider region.” Bahrain offers technology and financial services disruptors a gateway to the Gulf markets, providing traditional banking institutions, FinTech startups, and scaleups a collaborative space to test and scale new products across the entire region. Developing the FinTech subsector in Bahrain is one of the priorities under the Financial Services Sector’s Development Strategy that comes as part of the National Economic Recovery Plan to drive future growth.

Bahrain attracts US$72.7 million worth of investment in financial services

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), supported by Team Bahrain has attracted US$72.7 million (BHD27.5 million) in direct investments during the first three quarters of 2022 through nine financial services companies either setting up in or expanding their business within the Kingdom. The financial services investments are expected to generate over 840 jobs over the next three years.

Financial services companies attracted by Bahrain EDB include the leading global blockchain services provider Binance, locally grown open Banking company Spire Technologies, and new regional headquarters for Gulf Insurance Group (GIG).

Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director – Business Development for Financial Services at Bahrain EDB, said: “We are delighted to see more and more investors entering Bahrain’s financial services sector, benefiting from a strong and agile ecosystem led by a forward-thinking regulatory body. Financial services is a priority sector for us to grow investments and create jobs, in line with the objectives set out in Bahrain’s Economic Recovery Plan.”

Overall, Bahrain EDB attracted USD921 million (BHD348 million) in direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of the year. The investments are expected to generate over 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism.

Bahrain’s financial services sector is the most significant contributor to the Kingdom’s GDP after oil and is the oldest and most established in the region. Today the sector accounts for over 17% of Bahrain’s GDP and employs over 13,600, with Bahrainis representing almost 70%.

Through the Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain aims to grow the financial services sector’s contribution to GDP to 20% by 2026. The financial services sector development strategy focuses on five main priorities: creating job opportunities, developing capital markets, strengthening legislation and regulatory policies, growing the insurance sector, and developing financial services and fintech.

Tamkeen Announces a Pitching and Fundraising Training Program for Bahraini Entrepreneurs “StartUp Bahrain Pitch”

The Labour Fund (Tamkeen) announced the launch of a new series of entrepreneurship training programs under the name “StartUp Bahrain Pitch”, that focus on the fundamentals of fundraising and pitching to investors with the aim of empowering Bahraini entrepreneurs to secure the funds required to grow their startups. These programs are the result of a Team Bahrain collaboration that includes public and private sector ecosystem champions such as: the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Bahrain Development Bank (BDB), Bahrain Entrepreneurship Organization, and StartUp Bahrain alongside key players from the private sector.

The programs were designed in collaboration with the partners to support high potential Bahraini startups that have a strong potential for growth and expansion. Given the importance of fundraising to facilitate growth for startups, the program will begin with a phase that focuses on this topic through three courses: Investment Readiness Course, What Angel Investors Learn Before They Invest Course, and Qualified Angel Investment Certification. The programs will be delivered in two iterations that target early stage and growth stage startups. After the training, the shortlisted participants will be hosted in a pitching event where they will pitch their businesses to a panel of investors for the potential to raise capital and win cash prizes. The program aims to train 80 startups per year and host pitch events for 32 startups to get a chance to raise funding. The training courses will be delivered in collaboration with the World Business Angel Investment Forum.

Commenting on this initiative, Ms. Maha Mofeez, Acting Chief Executive of the Labour Fund (Tamkeen) emphasized the importance of startups for the economy and Tamkeen’s ongoing support to ensure their sustainability and productivity. She stated: “Startups are catalysts for growth in any economy, they provide employment opportunities, drive innovation and advance technology. Fostering a startup ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs and helps startups thrive and grow is a goal that we are committed to.”

She added: “Through this program we are tackling one of the main challenges facing startups which is fundraising. Fundraising is crucial for their growth and expansion potential therefore we developed a program that will equip Bahraini entrepreneurs with the tools and skills required to secure funding for their businesses through a series of training programs and pitching events that put them in front of serious real-world investors who can add value to their companies both through funding and sharing knowledge and experience”

From her side, Mrs. Dalal Al Qais, CEO of Bahrain Development Bank said: “Such joint initiatives that come within the Team Bahrain collaboration encourage innovation and enhance the capabilities of entrepreneurs to start their business that ultimately supports in developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The program offers great opportunities to the participants and to the supporting institutions to be connected to an effective network that facilitates investment in startups and transforms the ideas of entrepreneurs into profitable projects. This reflects one of the important aspects and programs that Bahrain Development Bank is committed to support in partnership with other key stakeholder and supporting institutions, particularly the Economic Development Board, the Labor Fund “Tamkeen”, StartUp Bahrain & Bahrain Entrepreneurship Organization”.

Al Qais explained that investment and access to finance are key challenges to startups and Bahraini entrepreneurs, and therefore we are optimistic with the development of such initiative we can provide entrepreneurs with the necessary skills that will support them throughout the different stages of the business cycle increasing their chances to gain access to finance and investment opportunities.

Commenting on this, Nada Alsaeed, Executive Director of Strategy & Research at Bahrain EDB said: “Our skilled and tech-savvy workforce has been a major driver for innovative homegrown startups in Bahrain, and with continued initiatives like these, we will be able to witness even more growth in the Bahraini startup ecosystem, which will encourage sustainable economic development and create more job opportunities in the Kingdom.”

From her end, Mrs. Feryal Abdullah Nass, Founder and Chairwomen of the Bahrain Entrepreneurs Organization, stressed the organization’s keenness on empowering Bahraini entrepreneurs and enabling them to scale their businesses. She stated: “We are excited to collaborate with Tamkeen on this initiative which will equip entrepreneurs with the tools and skills they require to raise funding for their business ventures. Fundraising is vital for accelerating the growth and success of good business ideas and I look forward to seeing the unique concepts that graduate from this program”

Tamkeen will execute this program through “Startup Bahrain”, a platform that will serve startups and entrepreneurs locally, to build a strong network for the ecosystem, identify and solve the ecosystem challenges and connect startups with the suitable Tamkeen programs.

Bahraini entrepreneurs and startup founders who have a scalable business, an existing customer base and valid CRs are encouraged to apply for this program to reap the benefits of training with experts and access viable funding opportunities. Applications will be open from 30 October on the StartUp Bahrain website: startupbahrain.com/pitch


Binance.bh goes live in Bahrain

  • Bahrain users can now access newly launched and fully regulated binance.bh for making transactions related to crypto assets in local currencies by connecting bank accounts with binance.bh account
  • Collaboration with regulated entities continues to be the cornerstone of Binance’s expansion plans in the Middle East

Binance, the leading global blockchain services provider, announced today the launch of binance.bh, a new and fully regulated platform where users can access Binance’s full range of products and services – including direct deposits and withdrawals – in local currencies. New customers are able to sign up to the newly regulated platform and get access a range of products and services.

Having received its license as a Crypto Asset Service Provider (CASP) Category-4 (Crypto Assets Exchange) on 19 May 2022, the binance.bh platform now allows Binance to provide a full range of crypto-asset exchange services to customers.

Commenting on the announcement His Excellency Khalid Humaidan, Chief Executive at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “Bahrain’s strong commitment to crypto assets and fintech investments is longstanding. We are pleased to see Binance reaching different milestones in Bahrain, from receiving its first regional license to going live with bahrain.bh. The launch of binance.bh reaffirms Bahrain’s position as a leading hub for crypto services and Fintech innovations, not just in the region but around the world.”

Richard Teng, Regional Head of Europe and MENA, Binance, commented: “Witnessing the Kingdom of Bahrain’s forward-thinking perspectives towards the crypto asset industry has been an excellent experience. Bahrainis have become steadfast early adopters of crypto assets, and it is fantastic that Binance can play a part in addressing the local population’s keen interest to be on the cutting edge of financial innovation.”

Tameem Al Moosawi, General Manager Binance – Bahrain, added: “Working closely regulatory bodies in the Kingdom of Bahrain is a vital part of our approach to market; not just from a compliance perspective, to safeguard users by providing consumer protection and market security. We see huge potential in Bahrain, and it is fantastic to be able to contribute and be a part of this region’s journey towards flourishing as a global hub for all things blockchain.”

Binance has viewed the Kingdom of Bahrain as a key business hub which will provide areas for growth and employment within the wider industry. Furthermore, Binance’s focus on robust compliance and security controls, as well as its commitment to working closely with regulators in the region to champion user protection and market integrity, have allowed the company to establish a strong foothold in the GCC and contribute to the region’s status as a fast-emerging global crypto asset hub.

Saudi FDI stock in Bahrain amounts to USD9.8 billion

Commenting on the Bahrain-Saudi relations during the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Institute held in Riyadh, Ali Al Mudaifa, Chief Business Development Officer at the Bahrain Economic Development Board (Bahrain EDB), said that FDI stock coming from Saudi investments in Bahrain has amounted to USD9.8 billion, making up around 29% of the total inward FDI stock in Bahrain, which has reached USD33.5 billion in 2021.

He added that these investments, attracted by Bahrain EDB and its partners, came as a result of the strong economic relations between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, as well as the support from the leadership in both countries. These investments come from a number of sectors such as financial services, ICT, manufacturing, and logistics. The financial services sector had the largest share of these investments by (68%), followed by the industrial sector (19%).

Al Mudaifa pointed out that Bahrain EDB has witnessed strong interest from Saudi investors in Bahrain’s business friendly environment, which encompasses its best-value operating costs, skilled workforce, forward-looking regulations, and advanced infrastructure that connects both Kingdoms.

He expects more Saudi investments coming in the near future in light of the increased economic cooperation between both countries, in addition to the launch of the Bahraini Economic Recovery Plan, which targets investment of more than USD30 billion in strategic infrastructure projects and other priority sectors.

Overall, Bahrain EDB attracted USD921 million in direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of 2022. The investments are expected to generate over 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism.

Bahrain attracts USD98 million worth of Direct Investments in ICT Sector

The investments are expected to create 770 Jobs

Bahrain’s Economic Development Board (EDB) attracted USD98 million (BHD37 million) worth of Direct Investments from 14 prominent international companies in its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector in the first 3 quarters of 2022. These investments will further economic growth and are expected to create over 770 jobs to help achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Economic Recovery Plan.

Through the Economic Recovery Plan, Bahrain launched a 4-year Telecommunications, ICT, and Digital Economy Sector Strategy (2022-2026) earlier this year. The strategy has four main pillars, including the development of the telecommunications infrastructure, supporting the digital economy, enhancing e-governance, and developing digital capacity. The strategy aims at improving the Kingdom’s overall global position in the e-Participation index of the UN eGovernment Survey, establishing a world-class digital infrastructure, and increasing the efficiency of government services through e-transformation.

Commenting on the investments, Musab Abdullah, Executive Director of Investment Development – ICT at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said: “We are pleased to see more and more ICT companies calling Bahrain home for their regional operations. The continuous development in the ICT sector is a strategic priority for the Kingdom. The Kingdom’s highly qualified local talent, best-value operating costs, as well as its strategic location and connectivity to the entire region positions Bahrain as the destination of choice for global ICT companies.”

As a result of the government vision to position the Kingdom as a regional leader in ICT, and a regional hub for ICT industries such as gaming and internationally connected data centers, today Bahrain is ranked first in MENA for ICT readiness by the UN.

The ICT sector is a major pillar in Bahrain’s economy. The sector generates large numbers of high-value jobs, of which 59% of jobs are held by Bahraini nationals. According to statics released by the Ministry of Finance and National Economy, the ICT sector contributed 6.8% to Bahrain’s real GDP at the end of Q4 2021.       

Overall, Bahrain EDB attracted USD921 million (BHD348 million) in direct investment from 66 companies during the first nine months of 2022. The investments are expected to generate over 4,700 jobs over the next three years in key sectors, including financial services, ICT, logistics, manufacturing, and tourism.

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