Bahrain, located on the Persian Gulf's coastlines, is more than an archipelago of islands; it is a nation in transition. The Kingdom's booming real estate market is undergoing a notable transformation. With a sustainable, equitable, and innovative vision, Bahrain's real estate sector has a strong future. A mix of affordable housing, sustainable development, and Proptech are shaping the Kingdom's real estate market. In this article, we will uncover why this is the case.
THE RISE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN BAHRAIN
As part of our Cityscape Ask the Expert Series, we spoke with Fay Abdulla Al Khalifa, President of Bahrain Smart City Society. Fay expressed how the rise of affordable housing is improving the well-being of the Kingdom’s citizens. It is also creating a sustainable future. But Fay is not the only one who has observed this affordable housing trend. The real estate consultancy Knight Frank has observed it too.
Knight Frank sees a rise in demand for affordable housing in its “Bahrain Real Estate Market Review Summer 2023” report. The authors mentioned how affordable housing projects offered via the Mazava Social Housing Finance Program are the most favoured by Bahraini nationals. This focus on affordable housing, as we pointed out earlier in 2023, is forming an accessible real estate market for all Bahrain’s citizens. It’s creating a future where nobody feels left out and unable to get on the property market.
With a strong focus on creating a more equal society, this push for affordable housing ties in well with Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030. An academic paper published in the international journal Sustainability observed this link back in 2014. The paper conveyed how Bahrain’s Vision 2030 has a strong focus on infrastructure, affordable housing, and a combination of tourism and leisure. Yet as we have observed, this focus isn’t slowing down. Given the role of affordable housing in sustainable development, it is without a doubt that affordable housing will continue as a key trend in Bahrain’s real estate market into the future.
A SHIFT TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
There is a growing interest in sustainable developments within Bahrain. Statista Market Insights emphasises how buyers in Bahrain are looking for energy-efficient homes that use sustainable materials and have a positive impact on the environment.
Bahrain has also made strong progress in sustainability through various initiatives. From adopting renewable energy sources to improving waste management and sustainable urban planning, the nation is working to reduce its environmental footprint. By diversifying its economy beyond oil and gas and participating in international sustainability agreements, Bahrain sets a strong example.
Yet a proposed £25 billion plan with sustainable development at its core makes will only enhance these initiatives. As documented by National Geographic on its website, Bahrain has proposed five new offshore island cities as part of an ambitious £25 billion plan. This will double the Kingdom’s land mass, adding an extra 180 square miles. The cities will have a strong emphasis on sustainable development with eco-friendly principles in mind. Part of the £25 billion plan also includes a further 22 new development projects in Bahrain. So this plan presents a forward-thinking and unique vision for a sustainable real estate environment in Bahrain.
THE RISE OF PROPTECH IN BAHRAIN
As we are also seeing throughout the MENA region, Bahrain is increasing its adoption of PropTech. This approach is heavy on the use of technologies like AI, IoT, and VR to make data-driven decisions about real estate. The aim is to improve efficiencies and aid a sustainable real estate environment. Bahrain's National Real Estate Plan 2021–2024 aims to create an integrated ecosystem that aids the use of PropTech, diversifying the economy and strengthening the real estate sector. With this plan in place, there are greater opportunities for Bahrain’s PropTech environment to expand in the future.
One company, Estater, pushed progress in Bahrain’s Proptech sector earlier this year. According to Wamda, the Bahrain-based PropTech company raised a $5 million Series A round in March 2023. Estater uses advanced data science and AI to create real estate apps for everyday people and businesses. It is the first company in the GCC region that has mapped its entire data on Geographic Information System (GIS) maps. This makes its apps interactive and easy to use.
Key players like Estater, and an increase in PropTech adoption, are creating an innovative real estate landscape in Bahrain. So, technology continues and will continue playing a key role.
A PROMISING FUTURE FOR REAL ESTATE IN BAHRAIN
These trends show that the nation's real estate market is making strong progress. not only is it evolving, but it is adapting to the needs and expectations of its citizens while embracing sustainability and innovation. The implications are clear. Affordable homeownership, a greener future, and a tech-driven, efficient market, ensure that Bahrain's property sector is both inclusive and forward-looking. So with all things said and done, a promising future awaits for real estate in Bahrain.