An artist’s impression of the new exhibition centre.

Work is moving at a steady pace on the new Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC) in Sakhir with 30 per cent of the project already completed.

The foundation stone for the BD84-million ($221 million) mega project was laid by HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince Prime Minister, in January last year.

The project next to Bahrain International Circuit features exhibition halls and conference rooms fitted with the latest technology to host major shows and celebrations and seal trade transactions.

The 149,000-sq-m facility will include 10 exhibition halls covering a total of 95,000 sq m and a 4,500-sq-m conference hall, in addition to attached stores and independent entrances and exits. It will also feature two VIP majlis to receive high-level visitors, in addition to control rooms, internal roads, services and parking for 1,600 cars, of which about 130 parking spaces will be reserved for VIPs. Bahrain-based Cebarco is the main contractor on the project.

With the work in full swing, the expo centre is due for completion by the second quarter of 2022, said Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani after an inspection tour of the BIECC facility last month.

Al Zayani, who is also the Board Chairman of Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA), received a briefing on the latest developments in implementing the project.

He praised the efforts of the Ministry of Works, Municipality Affairs and Urban Planning for its supervisory role in supporting the implementation of the strategic project. The minister affirmed that the project is the biggest one carried out by BTEA and will provide an exemplary venue to host international events.

The centre will attract organisers of exhibitions and conferences to hold their international events in it, said Al Zayani.  This will further promote the tourism sector in the kingdom so as to diversify revenue streams and achieve the aspirations of HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, he added.