His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander, and First Deputy Prime Minister attended the Manama Capital of Gulf Tourism 2016 launch event, which was held under his patronage, at the iconic Bab al Bahrain landmark in Manama.
During the event, His Excellency, Mr Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, announced an initiative by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince to renovate and revitalize areas of Bab Al Bahrain and the old Manama Souq.
The initiative forms part of the Crown Prince’s commitment to supporting and maintaining the Kingdom’s heritage and improving services for citizens. The initiative will be implemented under the supervision of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, in cooperation with the Old Souq Committee of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
During the event, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince praised the launch of the event from the location of Bab Al Bahrain, which is considered a symbolic landmark and an important location for Bahrain’s commercial trade. His Royal Highness added that the renovation of the Manama Souq is an important aspect of enhancing commercial trade and tourism in the Kingdom, and that the souq has become an important tourist attraction due to its connection to Bahrain’s history and development.
His Royal Highness highlighted that Bahrain’s rich cultural heritage has contributed to Bahrain becoming a global and GCC tourist destination. His Royal Highness further praised the GCC’s efforts towards strengthening and supporting cooperation across a range of areas, which has contributed to Manama’s selection as the “Capital of Gulf Tourism 2016”. In this regard, His Royal Highness noted GCC countries’ efforts to promote the tourism sector to support wider GCC economies.
His Royal Highness then commended the growth of Bahrain’s tourism sector and the development of associated services that support its growth, in particular the implementation of new e-visa policies over the last two years. His Royal Highness noted that e-visa reform has contributed to the increase in the amount of countries able to enter Bahrain without delay, and that it has contributed to the attraction of investment within the tourism sector.
The event, which was attended by a large amount of guests and various officials, began with a speech given by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, which highlighted the Kingdom’s leadership’s unwavering support to the tourism sector. His Excellency further highlighted the pride expressed by the Kingdom of Bahrain in the selection of its capital, Manama, as the 2016 Capital of Gulf Tourism, by the GCC Ministers of Tourism.
His Excellency stressed that the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism will continue its endeavors to further develop the Kingdom’s tourism sector, and its continued collaboration with GCC partners to support the tourism sector. His Excellency then noted that a number of programmes and initiatives, suited to both individuals and families, will be announced to mark “Manama – Capital of Gulf Tourism 2016”.
A short documentary about Bahrain’s rich culture and history was also presented at the event, which highlighted the Kingdom’s tourist attractions and the historical milestones achieved by the Kingdom.
The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior police cavalry participated in the event and various shows of cultural folk art were presented by the Galali Band. The event also featured a fireworks display.