Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has taken part in the ground-breaking ceremony which kick started work on the cutting-edge Bahrain International Airport expansion project which will see Bahrain become a major aviation hub in the coming years and act as a catalyst for wider socio-economic development in the Kingdom.

His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, laid the foundation stone for the massive expansion project in the presence of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Abdul Redha Abdullah Khouri, the UAE Ambassador to Bahrain, as well as a number of senior officials in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The project is being funded from the AED9.19 billion (US$2.5 billion) grant provided by the UAE to Bahrain in 2013 as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) development programme for Bahrain. Administered by ADFD, the grant aims to support development projects in the Kingdom over the 10 years. Of this grant, AED3.373 billion (US$919 million) was allocated towards expanding Bahrain International Airport.

The US$1.1 billion expansion of Bahrain International Airport aims to increase its capacity to 14 million passengers per year to meet the anticipated growth in the number of passengers transiting through the airport and to ensure the airport’s infrastructure can handle the next generation of modem fleets which are coming on stream. In addition to the development and modernisation of the airport’s infrastructure, the project seeks to upgrade the services and facilities provided by the airport and ensure they are in line with leading international standards, while enhancing the competitiveness of the airport as a regional aviation hub.

His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), said: “Abu Dhabi Fund for Development enjoys outstanding relations with the Bahraini Government. These relations are built on solid foundations and close links, deeply rooted in the shared history of our countries. Through our continued collaboration and engagement, under the directives of our wise leaderships, we aim to support the Bahraini Government in its efforts to promote sustainable socio-economic development across the country, while at the same time promoting stronger synergies between the people of both countries. Investing in an exciting project such as this airport expansion is an important driver of these ambitions and we look forward to seeing the project progress and take shape.”

Thanking the UAE for its contribution to the airport expansion project, His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications, Bahrain, said: “Being Bahrain’s gateway to the world, the expansion of Bahrain International Airport will give a strong boost to the economy of Bahrain by enhancing its competitiveness and building world-class aviation infrastructure.”

He added: “The project involves the construction of a new passenger terminal with improved capacity to accommodate the anticipated growth in passenger number and air traffic, along with the construction of additional landing slots, a service building, and a hangar. The will help create hundreds of new job opportunities for the citizens of Bahrain.”

Under the grant provided by the UAE to Bahrain, ADFD also manages development projects across key economic sectors including housing, water, health, and transportation such as implemented 2,694 housing units in the Northern City and Heart centre project.