Prediction of an AI boom in the Middle East, contributing $320 billion to the region’s economy by 2030.

“Bahrain readies for $320bn Mideast AI boom.” 6 Nov, 2019

The World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network has hosted a workshop in Manama to discuss the future of public Artificial Intelligence (AI) procurement, in partnership with the Bahrain Economic Development board and Bahrain’s Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA). 

The workshop follows closely on from the WEF Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China.  During the major global event, the WEF had announced that Bahrain would pilot new guidelines for the procurement of AI in the public sector, produced by WEF’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The three-day workshop which concludes tomorrow (November 7) brought together Bahrain government stakeholders, entrepreneurs and experts to identify key opportunities and challenges for the high-tech industry.  

The sessions also helped to gather evidence and feedback on the guidelines for AI procurement in the public sector and developed a roadmap to advance this goal among the government of Bahrain, said a top official. PwC predicted an AI boom in the Middle East, with the sector contributing $320 billion to the region’s economy by 2030 – positioning Bahrain and neighbouring nations as a strategic development “springboard.” Eddan Katz, the project lead, AI and Machine Learning of Wef C4IR, said: “The readiness of Bahrain’s public sector for the social and economic development anticipated by the dawn of artificial intelligence is impressive.” “Visionary leadership enabling multidisciplinary coordination across sectors demonstrates how a commitment to responsible innovation can transform how government works and help improve people’s lives,” stated Katz. 

Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) Chief Executive Khalid Humaidan said: “Bahrain is a world leader when it comes to the testing, governance and regulation of emerging technologies, making it the ideal partner for this World Economic Forum project.” The EDB is an investment promotion agency with overall responsibility for attracting investment into the kingdom and supporting initiatives that enhance the investment climate. The EDB works with the government and both current and prospective investors, in order to ensure that Bahrain’s investment climate is attractive, to communicate the key strengths, and to identify where opportunities exist for further economic growth through investment. “Governments around the world may be hesitant to adopt AI systems when faced with complex procurement processes, but by working together we can create a model that truly powers the public sector into the next generation of technology,” stated Humaidan. 

Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, Chief Executive of the iGA said: “Government of Bahrain recognizes the importance of possessing the necessary know-how supported by rules and guidelines for the procurement of AI solutions. The guidelines for public procurement of AI, as determined by the WEF, present us an opportunity to learn and utilize how we should acquire and deploy AI based solutions.  They put in place an innovative and reliable method for the procurement process, drawing from the input of experts in the field, and maximizing the benefits of science and technology for our society.”

Rera’s new Real Estate Databank to pilot in Q1 2020 benefiting investors and property developers.

Oommen, Anup “Bahrain’s Rera to launch Real Estate Data Bank pilot phase in Q1 2020” 7 Nov 2019

The Board of Directors of Bahrain’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Rera) has revealed that the Real Estate Data Bank – which aims to provide investors and property developers with accurate, reliable, and timely data in order to make informed investment decisions – is expected to launch on a pilot basis during Q1 2020.

According to the Bahrain News Agency, Rera believes that the Real Estate Databank will stimulate increased investment in the kingdom’s real estate market.

The board of directors, chaired by Shaikh Salman bin Abdullah bin Hamad Al Khalifa, president of Survey of Land Registration Bureau and Rera chairman, reviewed Rera’s business and operational activities, during the meeting.

The board commended the achievements of the Executive Management in the process of preparing and issuing the Bahrain Valuation Standards (BVS).

Shaikh Salman also thanked the board for the attention given by His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister, to the real estate sector and for the support of the Executive Committee chaired by His Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister in the implementation of real estate programs and projects.

Award-winning UK company wins contract to upgrade the Tubli Reclaimed Water Production Centre in Bahrain.

UK-based Bluewater Bio, water and waste-water treatment specialists with a presence in over 80 sites globally, will use its technologies to more than double the plant’s water re-use capacity. To read more click here.

Bids for multiple tenders are opened at a key meeting in Bahrain.

Bids for sixteen tenders were opened by Bahrain’s Tender Board for eight purchasing authorities during a key meeting in Manama on 3 October. See article at

Tenders worth $11m (BHD4.1m) were awarded in Bahrain in August 2019.

Fourteen tenders were awarded by Bahrain’s Tender Board with nine tenders covering roads, sanitation, construction and maintenance projects. To read more click here.

Bahrain SME’s have until 20 December 2019 to register for value-added-tax (VAT).

Officials are urging SME’s to register by the December deadline to avoid hefty penalties and/or imprisonment. To read more click here.

Bahrain to Host the 18th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference

Bahrain has been selected to host the 18th Arab Businessmen and Investors Conference (ABIC) and the third edition of the World Entrepreneurs Investment Forum 2019 (WEIF 2019) November 11-13. It will attract an expected 1,500 participants across a broad range of expertise including key policy decision-makers, regulators, business investors, entrepreneurs, and global influencers. To read more click here.

Bahrain floats RFP for Historical Design

Bahrain’s Municipality building is to have a new design and invitations for structural consulting companies are out for them to submit tenders. To read more click here.

Major Highway Expansion

Emirati company, Western Bainoona Group, has been awarded the contract for the construction of  Phase One of the Sheikh Zayed Highway development project in the kingdom. The construction will significantly reduce congestion in a number of highly trafficked areas with more than 50,000 vehicles passing through per day. To read more click here.

Bahrain to allow foreign companies to take 100% stakes in oil, natural gas extraction projects

The order, issued by Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al Khalifa on the 2nd June, states that foreign companies can own 100 percent of oil and natural gas extraction projects as long as they have signed, or be in the final stages of signing an exploration and production agreement with the government.