THE fourth edition of a month-long shopping festival has been declared a huge success.
The total value of transactions during Shop Bahrain reached a record high of BD19.1 million, compared with last year’s BD8.1m, revealed an official.
The largest annual festival, organised by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), took place between January 11 and February 10 and focused on stimulating three main sectors – tourism, retail and food.
“The numbers exceeded all expectations,” said BTEA chief executive Shaikh Khalid bin Humood Al Khalifa at a Press conference at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre yesterday.
“The festival introduced new goods to the market and promoted Bahrain as a tourist destination.”
The festival attracted more than 122,000 visitors from neighbouring countries.
“It included more than 22 different family-oriented events, including the Festival City at Bahrain Bay, the Taste Tour featuring restaurants and the VIVA Winter Wonderland at Al A’ali Shopping Complex.
“Besides, activities were also held at participating shopping malls.”
Twenty-seven hotels took part in the festival this year compared to 22 last year, 21 shopping malls as opposed to 18 and 41 restaurants featured in the Taste Tour compared to 29 last year.
The festival also provided more than 300 job opportunities for the Bahraini youth.
More than 145,000 transactions were recorded this year compared to last year’s 130,000 and over 137,000 shoppers registered in the loyalty system compared to 48,000 last year.
More than 80,000 prizes were awarded this year, as opposed to 38,015 last year, including a luxury apartment in Juffair from House ME, 20 cars from Y K Almoayyed & Sons (13 last year), 6,000 discounted airline tickets from Gulf Air (100 free tickets last year) and over 30,000 instant prizes from VIVA Bahrain.
Shaikh Khalid and Shop Bahrain director Yousif Khan attributed the festival’s huge success to support from the private sector, and the extravaganza coinciding with holidays in Bahrain and the neighbouring GCC countries.