17 March 2008

Bahrain's Real Estate Disaster

Almost a year after one of Bahrain's biggest symbols of being a financial powerhouse is open, it seems that not even half of it has been taken up yet.

Half of BFH towers yet to be let out

HALF of Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) is still unlet, it was revealed yesterday.

It could be a year until the current towers are fully let, according to the Bahrain Financial Harbour Holding Company and Financial Centre Development Company managing director Dr Omer El Mardi.

Isn't this a little worrying? You would expect that a development on the scale of the BFH would be gobbled up by willing suitors, and would have people fighting over office space, considering it is the 'most-prestigious' address in the country. But no, it turns out people aren't as willing as thought to be, which begs for a question; what about the other gazillion developments going on in the country?

Besides the BFH, office towers are springing up left, right and center; are these ever going to fill up? Or at least have enough tenants to justify their being? This and the World Trade Center isn't ready yet, and Bahrain Bay is still in it's mid-stages of development, as well as the coming stages of the BFH. Sure, it's all going to look nice and pretty when it's ready, but we sure seem to be on the brink of a bit of a disaster here.

And not only that; the residential developments going on all over the place are getting to the point where it's just, silly. Amwaj, Abraj Al Lulu, Marina West, and so on. Will these ever be occupied? Right now they're being bought and sold from (mostly non-Bahraini) investor to investor, rising in price as each investor makes a few dollars and passes it on. But whose the final buyer, who actually wants to live in these developments? Is there a final buyer? Are the people who would like to have some sort of residence (your local Bahraini's) actually able to afford these ridiculous prices? Already now the prospect of a house is out of reach of your average Bahraini, and if they don't have one already, they're pretty much screwed.

Looking a few years down, things don't look so bright. Way to go Bahrain.

More on similar issues:

Now BNP Paribas Moves in

Moving Too Fast

Steady Growth


eshda3wa said...

3ndina oo 3ndkom khair!
prices are ridiculous, an average person cant even begin to dream!
just a way for the rich to get richer. but putting it the way u did, it does seem were on the brink of disaster.

Anonymous said...

Soon enough the supply will outstrip the demand and prices will begin to go down. The prices can't continue to increase at these levels. End buyers can't afford such riduculous prices whether Bahraini or foreigners-that is the average folks anyway.

Redbelt said...

It could be because the fugly bright neon lights that have no meaning.
They look like the LEDs you see inside the speakers of cheapo cassette stereos poor laborers buy.
NOT very prestigious, mind.

SoulSearch said...

I would beg to differ on the L.E.D. lightings o BFH with you Redbelt. I think the only good aspect the BFH buildings are bringing to the skyline of Bahrain are those lights! I was having the same discussion with my husband the other day while we were driving around Juffair. The multitude of buildings is flabbergasting for the average Bahraini family. Who lives here? Do we actually have that many people in Bahrain? I can't imagine Bahrainis living in any of those buildings...
Besides, BFH and the WTC buildings belong to two opposing camps. So if you are on one side you rent in the WTC and if you're on the other side you rent in BFH, get my drift?

icon said...

That's just another tragedy bro!!
All these buildings (all kind of buildings)and developments are made for others.. for people who pay .. they just pay for houses, villas, malls, they have money to own things instead of who needs some ..


Aigre-doux said...

This is what happens when the ruling elite thinks the island is its personal property to buy, sell and profit off as and when they please. I still cannot get over living in a country where the bulk of its land is sealed off from the country's population (bahraini or non-bahraini, don't even get me started on issues of nationality and citizenship). And these schmucks wonder why there is so much dissent.

Zhu said...

Wish you guys could send some of these towers over there... French real estate is crazy right now, just not enough building for everyone (French don't build new stuffs), plus the market is really really high.

Still, these empty towers... must be weird. Not very sustainable development compliant right?

Shionge said...

There is a lot of publicity for people to invest in your country so I believe things would turn out well soon...good luck.

Coolred38 said...

Just wait bro

a few years down the line when these buildings and flats remain empty...suddenly they will eb happy to let them go to bahrainis for a nominal fee...anything to get the money losers off their hands for any kind of profit....just hang tough Bahrainis..a few years and you will be living in luxery....ha ha

Redbelt said...

Soulsearch> Lets see:


Yup, looks like a prestigious and serious business address to me.

Anonymous said...

The building looks like it belongs in Las Vegas! It is very tacky looking as it is supposed to be representing the financial center of this country which should be done with a professional, unique and elegant look - instead it looks like circus show!

moon-light7 said...

I think it's only normal that it's taking time. I mean sure Bahrain is a good place for business & all, but it's not Dubai you know!

The centres, the projects, the malls, they'll all fill up, in due time they will, that's what I think!

& didn't u say the poplulation is growing at a ridiculously fast rate? everything will fill up soon enough inshalla, don't worry :p

Shale bin Agnon said...

But we got over it last time...

SoulSearch said...

I still think the lights are cool. I don't think it looks professional at all, if I had a business I wouldn't want my investors to be dazzled by those lights, but my kids love it hen we drive by, and thats all I care about! Ha