Banyan Tree to open in Bahrain

Bahrain-based Al Areen Holding Company announced today that Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort will formally open in the first quarter of 20007. Al Areen Holding Company will also be participating in Cityscape 2006, the world’s largest business to business International Property Exhibition, which is being held in Dubai, from 4-6 December 2006.

Al Areen will showcase its distinguished projects as part of the larger Gulf Finance House stand. In its fifth edition, companies from more than 85 countries will participate in Cityscape.

On its part, Gulf Finance House (GFH) today said it will make key investment related announcements about its projects across the region and global expansion plans at the forthcoming Cityscape 2006.

Commenting on the participation at Cityscape 2006, Mr. Abdulrahman Al Jasmi, Deputy CEO of GFH, said: ‘During the past year, we have established our footprints across the region leveraging into new markets as part of our strategic expansion plans. Currently we have projects worth over US$12 billion under management across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and we have already started entering mature markets in the region like India through the Energy City India project.’

‘Our participation at Cityscape this year will highlight our strengths and aggressive expansion plans in Asian markets through the origination of projects and launch of innovative Sharia’a-compliant investment instruments which focus on maximising returns,’ he said.

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Highlighting Al Areen’s participation in Cityscape, Eng. Waleed Saffy, General Manager of Al Areen Holding Company, said: ‘Cityscape comes at a time when the region is witnessing a dynamic growth in the developmental and real estate projects. Al Areen’s participation in the exhibition offers us the right platform to showcase our projects and meet directly with our customers across the Middle East, and to further expand on our growing customer base’.

‘Our participation this year has a specific focus, as phase 1 of Al Areen is due for completion. In the first quarter of 2007, Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort will be open to the public, and also in the first quarter of 2007, we will enter the trial phase in preparation for the official opening. Our vision is fast becoming a reality,’ Eng. Saffy added.

Eng. Safi also mentioned that Al Areen Holding Company’s participation at Cityscape has been further strengthened by the presence of a number of project partners such as Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort, ‘The Lost Paradise of Dilmun’ Water Park, Al Areen Hotel and Sarab Al Areen.

The Banyan Tree Desert Spa & Resort is at the heart of the first phase of Al Areen’s development, built at a cost of US$ 170 million and will be operated and managed by the Singapore-based Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Asia’s leading luxury spa and resort operator.

The resort and spa will span 130,000 square metres, feature 78 luxury bungalows on a total built-up area of 32,000 square meters, including 22 Royal Villas which include two bedrooms and 56 Pool Villas, all with their own private garden, swimming pool, and jacuzzi. The resort and spa borders the spectacular grounds of the Al Areen Wildlife Sanctuary.

The main spa complex will provide facilities such as a world-leading hydro-therapy treatment center, a private deluxe spa pavilion and a swimming pool extending from inside the complex to an the open-air sports and recreational courtyard. It will also house a range of specialised medical and therapeutic treatments, signature massage and beauty services, conference facilities, a library, and a children’s play area.

Al Areen Holding Company was formed in July 2004 as a joint stock company owned by the Government of Bahrain, Gulf Finance House and strategic regional investors and partners. Al Areen is a large-scale, luxurious urban mixed-use health and family tourism development spread over an area of 2 million square meters, in the southern region of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Since its inception it attracted several international developers & investors until the total investments in it exceeded US$ 1 billion.
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