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Bahrain needs to rethink..?

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By Zuhair A Tawfiqi
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Dubai has revealed that it attracted more than a million visitors last year. This, by any standards, is an enormous number.

Of course, this is thanks to the relentless efforts of the authorities concerned who have set up some of the world’s most attractive tourism projects in the Emirate.

In the process, they have benefited from the large influx of tourists, in addition to those who come for other purposes. All this greatly benefits the local economy and diversifies sources of income.

Take the case of Dubai Frame, for example. The entrance fee is AED50 for adults and AED20 for children. If we take AED35 as an average, we realise the Dubai Municipality has earned a massive AED35 million from this facility alone.

There are, of course, other expenses related to maintenance, employee salaries, electricity bills etc. but this does not affect the project’s high returns.

Decision makers in Bahrain do not need ideas from another planet. It is very simple.

They need to think only about the nation’s interest and put it above anything else. They also need to focus on implementing projects that will generate attractive returns, contribute to supporting the general budget and reflect positively on the lives of citizens and residents.

We need to attract successful investment projects that generate a lot of income for the national economy, people and investors.

We must do everything and anything to contribute to Bahrain’s well-being and support its development at various levels by finding new ways to diversify sources of income.

There is no doubt that there are many successful projects but they are mostly individually-owned. These do not serve the government or the economy.

Therein lies the flaw.

We have many beautiful beaches, but they are neglected. Why don’t we work to exploit them as tourist spots? Why not build a large aquarium, for instance? The project will contribute to education as well as be a boon for investors.

Visitors to Bahrain are keen to enjoy new and innovative attractions, other than the usual restaurants, cinemas and hotels.

It is true there are some ongoing projects, but they would never meet people’s expectations.

There is no specific Executive Authority involved in making courageous decisions.

We hear about a lot of attractive projects but they do not see the light of the day or they are too late in coming through.

The question, then, is why?

Where and what is the problem?

I hope to get some answers.

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