US $2.65bn Uptown Bahrain shelved

Project may never be built, says FIH

Uptown Bahrain has been shelved indefinitely
Uptown Bahrain has been shelved indefinitely

The US $2.65 billion (BHD 1 billion) Uptown Bahrain development has been shelved indefinitely and may never be built according to a senior source at Fortune Investment House (FIH).

The proposed megaproject was due to start construction in the first quarter of 2009 but there has since been no activity on-site and no comment from the developer.

FIH’s head of private equity Adil Chikhi today confirmed with Construction Week that the Uptown Bahrain office had closed and the project was on hold.

“It’s purely an investment decision, it was a huge project and it just didn’t stack up in the current market,” he said.

“We’ll probably have another look at it in a year or so but there are no guarantees either way that the project will go ahead in the future. It all depends on market conditions.”

The project was intended to become a new commercial and residential hub for Bahrain’s Seef area with a total built up area of 780,385m2 and three 75 storey towers.

Bahrain’s property market has suffered a severe slump in sales since the onset of the economic downturn at the beginning of the year.

Several large projects such as the $1 billion Samba Resort by Sama Dubai and the $450 million Seef Project by First Bahrain were also cancelled.

Meanwhile many ongoing megaprojects are said to have drastically slowed the pace of construction due to a lack of sales and liquidity.

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