First F1, now Bahrain wants to host Olympics

UPDATE (GMM) Bahrain could launch a bid for the Olympic Games, off the back of its highly controversial return to the formula one calendar.

"Why not? Yes, we will," an official for the island Kingdom's ministry of works said.

The Olympics will take place in London later this year, and in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro four years later.

04/27/12 After their successful run at hosting Formula One, Bahrain could now be gearing up to bid for the Olympics.

“Why not? Yes, we will," Rajaa Yousif Al Zayani, Chief of Strategic Planning, Ministry of Works in Bahrain told this website. Zayani was in Dubai to participate in the Middle East Balanced Scorecard Forum.

The official elaborated on how hosting the Formula One was a huge achievement for Bahrain in the sporting world.

“During the Formula One race, I was crossing my finger all the way. And, when we passed, all my friends started congratulating me. It was like I had graduated or something," she beamed.

Shifting focus on the recent financial meltdown that left Bahrain fairly unaffected, Zayani explained it could’ve been due to “(the) strong regulations in place in the financial section".

“The impact of the recession on Bahrain was not felt very much. It could also be, like you said, because we were a late starter in major free-hold projects."

She elaborated on Bahrain’s development plans, with infrastructure appearing on the top.

“Ministry of Works is really the construction arm of the government. We are handling the work for sanitary, roads and public buildings.

“And, we are gearing to do more on these aspects so that we will give momentum for the economic gear in our country."

With an “exponentially increasing" population and “limited resources", Zayani is positive about tapping in on their human resource for the country’s development.

“Our main investment is our people. So, we will invest in our competencies to build the nation."

It is this core value that initiated their growth in the financial sector, with Zayani asserting, “In the financial sector we have proven to be one of the best, especially in the Middle East".

Expanding on Bahrain’s new projects, she said, “Our priority this year will be (to provide) housing for the Bahrainis.

“We are concentrating on anything that touches Bahrainis. Health and education are the critical areas for us."

And, tourism also features great opportunity for Bahrain.

“I believe we have the potential. Bahrainis are simple people… warm, welcoming.

“This year we are especially concentrating on our culture and heritage. And, we are building Manama as our cultural capital.

“This is a big movement for us. And we will introduce many events and hope to attract tourists to Bahrain."

With a current estimate of government projects valued between Bhd600 and Bhd700 million, Zayani is confident that they will achieve their targets.

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