12 Jan 2022
With Bahrain having reinforced its commitment to developing its strategic projects by flagging off the prequalification process for the much-awaited Bahrain Metro project, the country's construction and real estate sector can look ahead at the New Year with optimism, says Dr Khalid A Rahim, Chairman and CEO of KAR Group of Companies.
“The Bahrain Metro project will have a significant knock-on effect on the market not only with supplementary construction associated with the metro such as car-parking, access bridges, incoming supplies but also in complementary developments such as shopping facilities, connecting roads, and residential and office construction closer to the metro stations,”.
Dr Rahim is a a veteran in the industry with a finger on the pulse of each facet of the construction industry, having set up the flagship of the group – Cebarco (Civil Engineering, Building and Construction) – back in 1992. The group now enfolds virtually the entire spectrum of construction-related companies to support Cebarco and the industry’s requirements – covering mechanical and electrical engineering and contracting services (Kartec), facades (KAR Facades), cranes (KAR TC), sanitary ware and tiles (Marmara Trading/Aqua Art), building products and equipment trading (KAR Trading), and PKE (electronics and security services). In addition, the KAR Group also has interests in the real estate sector (KAR Properties).
Cebarco is currently working on the BD83.6-million ($220.4 million) New Exhibition and Conference Centre (NECC) in Sakhir, which along with the proposed Bahrain Sports City that is planned to be built adjacent to it, will attract other businesses to the locality and will further enhance this area as a new standalone destination, Dr Rahim says.
The firm is also working on a design-and-build contract for the BD12-million Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) control centre for monitoring of Bahrain’s electricity and water networks. The scope of the package includes civil and electro-mechanical works for the new building, in addition to modifications in the existing control centre to turn it into an emergency control centre.
"The control centre for EWA will be the new nerve centre for the whole of Bahrain for the next 50 years. This is a unique building with a stepped and twisting structure, shielded from the sun by extensive shading to help reduce solar gains. Internally, the building will house complex operation and control system to ensure that electrical supplies in the kingdom are never subject to outages,” says Peter Sellers, CEO of Cebarco.
Cebarco’s showpiece infrastructure project, the Dilmunia Grand Canal at the nearby Dilmunia island was opened with much fanfare early last year and since then the contracting company has been awarded additional works to cover the extensions to previous phases as further land plots have been sold and new developments started within the island off Muharraq.
Another major accomplishment for 2021 was the 10,000-seat-capacity Al Dana Amphitheatre, which in November held its first concert to a sell-out crowd. While the facility was virtually complete when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, Cebarco has since carried out additional works to ensure that the amphitheatre can handle a multitude of events.