The sector of retail in Bahrain has witnessed unprecedented growth especially in 2016.

And despite the economic challenges the Kingdom faced, but its real estate sector was able to hold still and even grow, offering opportunities for potential growth in what can only be described as an unforeseeable market.

With many retail projects launched during 2016 such as Marassi Galleria 178,000 sqm and the 55,000 sqm unique retail destination, Dragon City at Diyar Al Muharraq; the sector of retail in Bahrain is surely at its highest peak right now.

Which brings us to the important question: what are the factors that contributed to the growth of the sector of retail in Bahrain?

We rounded up 6 factors that are a major contributor to the boom in the sector of retail in Bahrain.

1- Infrastructure projects

Infrastructure projects

In 2016 fourth quarter, the construction sector in Bahrain expanded by 7.2%, according to CBRE report.

Foreign investments in large-scale infrastructure projects have greatly supported the growth of the sector of retail in Bahrain.

The hospitality and luxury sectors have positively affected the growth of the sector of retail in Bahrain.

With almost 111 operating hotels in Bahrain, 2017 is expected to witness the opening of many 4-star and 5-star hotels.

That’s not all, as many luxurious residential complexes are set to commence in 2017.

Villamar project, the residential development will be a mixture of 5-star hotels, residential units as well as restaurants, shopping malls and cafés.

Also, the mixed-used Hamala project which is scheduled for completion in 2018 will act as an attraction to many locals and tourists alike.

2- Tourism


The tourism sector in Bahrain is expected to be worth 1 billion dollars by 2020.

This brings us to the fact that the tourism sector in the Kingdom is rapidly growing thanks to the Kingdom’s never-ending and continuous growing investments in the tourism sector and the country’s abundance of tourist attractions.

Bahrain is currently working on multi-billion dollars expansion of Bahrain International Airport to accommodate more tourists.

The government has also exerted a huge effort in upgrading the capacity of its beaches and resorts to accommodate more tourists.

And during the holy month and Islamic holidays, Bahrain witnesses an influx of travellers especially from neighbouring countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

3- Growing Population

Growing Population

Given the fact that Bahrain doesn’t impose any sort of taxes on income or wealth when compared to other neighbouring countries, Bahrain became the most favoured destination for many to live and work in.

And above all the low cost of living has encouraged many expats to take Bahrain as their second country.

The Kingdom also allows expats to own real estate in different areas in Bahrain which gives them the right to have a self-sponsorship residence permit.

All of these factors have contributed to the increase in the Kingdom’s population which helped in drawing more retailers to the market to satisfy their wants and needs.

4- Cultural Diversity

Cultural Diversity

As mentioned in the point above, Bahrain’s population has been growing in an uncontrollable way in the last couple of years.

And according to recent reports, 45% of the Kingdom’s population are expats.

This has lead to a cultural diversity which in return was reflected in the way Bahrain’s residents eat and dress.

All of which made Bahrain a large platform for displaying the world’s different lifestyles in one place.

And this was clearly shown in the multiple cuisines introduced to Bahrain’s culinary scene, the multinational joint ventures and franchising chains that entered the country.

5- Stable Market

Stable Market

Despite the huge slump in oil prices, but the real estate sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain has continued to grow remarkably all throughout 2016.

Which what drove real estate investors from inside and outside of the Kingdom to move towards the real estate especially retail sector that showed extreme resilience.

This interest from investors comes due to the fact that the Kingdom of Bahrain dependence on the non-oil sector positively affected its economic situation in the region.

6- High Expectation

High Expectation

Becoming one of the favoured countries when it comes to investing in real estate sector, Bahrain’s construction sector has never been more vibrant and active.

Hence, consumers expectations have risen when it comes to providing high-end and quality real estate products that meet their expectations and fulfil their demands.