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Bahrain mall to open five years after being built

Property firm fails to find single tenant for outlet in four years

The mall is located in Bahrain's Northern Governate, a short distance from the capital, Manama
The mall is located in Bahrain's Northern Governate, a short distance from the capital, Manama

A shopping mall in Bahrain that stood empty for five years after being built is finally expected to officially open at the end of the year, according to senior municipal officials.

Gulf Daily News reports that the $1.66m (BHD 630,000) complex was completed in 2007 and a private firm was appointed a year later to manage the property on behalf of the Northern Municipality.

However, municipality director-general Yousif Al Ghatam said the company was fired last month after failing to attract a single tenant.

He said the municipality had since taken direct responsibility for letting the mall and had already rented out 60% of the space. It hopes to fill the remaining 40% ahead of an official opening ceremony in December.

“I don’t understand why we needed to bring in the company in the first place,” he added.

“It was a decision taken by the previous municipality director-general, but I decided to pull the plug after discovering the real estate company didn’t rent out any shops.”

 The unnamed private real estate firm was paying just $9,289 (BHD 3,500) a month to lease the space at the mall, which is on Zaid bin Omaira Avenue - an area which has suffered from street violence.

The municipality predicts it can double its revenues by running the mall itself.

“We are expecting a revenue of $159,236 (BHD 60,000) a year from renting out shops, which is around double the amount we were receiving from the private real estate company,” said Al Ghatam.

“The municipality will also open an office in the mall to make it easier for residents of the area to access services,” he added.

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