Since the Amwaj Gateway project was put up for auction, I thought of it a lot, and I think many other investors have also done so. Then I started contacting friends in order to form an alliance of dealers to buy this wonderful project, but unfortunately I could not convince them and break their reluctance.
This project was first offered for BD36 million. When the price of the project dropped to BD14.75m, my company entered the auction in partnership with another company, and we bought the project.
I must acknowledge that the provision of funds for this transaction required me to exit from other projects outside Bahrain, and the transfer of the necessary liquidity to purchase from several countries in which I have investments.
We still have a long journey to complete the Amwaj Gateway project. The project needs an additional investment of BD50m, as well as a lot of time, effort and patience before it starts to make a profit, perhaps this is why some failed to invest in it.
After buying the project, I received a lot of contacts, and my answer has always been to say that I think we have achieved a significant investment gain in the purchase of this project, and I can also say that we have succeeded in supporting the government’s efforts to close the file of troubled real estate projects in Bahrain.
This file has been frozen for more than two years due to the freezing of the sale of the Amwaj Gateway project.
If I am convinced that I am a successful entrepreneur, with a history of more than half a century of successes in the business world, starting from scratch and reaching where I am now, you should realise that my investment in the project Amwaj Gateway is only a new link in the success chain of my investments.
The Bahrain government recognised the importance of the real estate sector as a cornerstone of the economy and an important element in growth and development. This is why they paid special attention and took the initiative to enact laws and take measures to regulate it in all its branches, so that professionalism is a feature, and has gained the trust of all parties.
The adoption of the law on the organisation and establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, and the prohibition of practising any activity in the field of real estate management, and operating them only after obtaining a licence from the institution, are the foundations upon which a sound real estate sector and attractive to investments are built, making the Bahraini sector a role model.
The Amwaj Gateway project is just one of many projects that we hope will further promote the real estate sector in Bahrain. Others include Durrat Marina, Dilmunia, Zallaq, Bahrain Bay, Diyar Al Muharraq, Marassi Al Bahrain and North Hawar Islands development.
I am one of the very grateful Bahraini merchants of this country. I experienced the peak of its economic excellence in the 1970s, 1980s and even the 1990s. The economic press was issued from Bahrain to be distributed in the Gulf states through various means, including Gulf Air, which was a leader of the region’s airlines, when the financial sector was here and banks – both retail and offshore – were in full swing. That was when Bahrain was a destination for the most skilled cadres from all countries of the world.
At the time, our offices in Promoseven on Government Avenue in Manama had more than 400 employees. Our office was one of the largest in our group across the Arab world, including Cairo and Beirut, but as soon as our large corporate clients started to leave Bahrain for Dubai we found ourselves forced to migrate with them there, to be close to them, otherwise we would lose them.
I am a trader, first of all I am interested in profit, but those accounts are also supported by a host of other factors, factors that are not related to numbers and logic, as much as they are related to emotion, passion for a country, we should all continue to contribute to its construction, for our future and the future of our children.