Commercial property recovery stagnates in Bahrain

Even as Bahrain's retail sector grows, the country's commercial property segment is yet to recover following economic and political upheaval

Bahrain's commercial sector is yet to fully recover from economic upheavals.
Bahrain's commercial sector is yet to fully recover from economic upheavals.

Retail developments are gaining an upward trajectory in Bahrain, with neighbourhood shopping centres and food & beverage outlets emerging as market trends. 

Steve Mayes, director for Middle East Research at CBRE Bahrain, said:  “Developments range from smaller complexes, anchored by supermarkets, which also offer retail space for services and convenience stores to larger developments that provide a fully comprehensive mall experience to customers, such as Seef Mall Muharraq, which also houses a cinema.

"The deviation from the established mindset of retail being purely Manama oriented, has firmly taken hold and opened up opportunities for developers and investors.”

According to Arabian Business, CBRE's latest report, Q3 2015 Bahrain MarketView, said the commercial office market is yet to see the same level of recovery as has been registered in other sectors following the economic and political challenges of recent years. 

The current needs of occupiers tend to be geared towards smaller units (sub 200 sq m), fitted space, and cost effective turnkey solutions with flexibility in lease terms.

Incentives, such as additional parking, are also being sought in what remains a tenant’s market.

Mayes said there is still some call for larger traditional offices in a shell and core condition.

However, this is limited and mainly led by government organisations and established international firms with an existing presence in Bahrain.  

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