Bahrain - Economic

Bahrain Infrastructure Report

Despite being highly vulnerable to disturbances in Saudi Arabia’s market, Bahrain’s economy is much more diversified than Saudi Arabia’s, and has a relatively solid and resilient financial sector. Bahrain’s economy has continued to demonstrate significant resilience throughout the period of depressed oil prices. The non-oil economy has been at the forefront of economic growth in Bahrain ever since the second half of 2014, while the oil sector either marginally contributed to the growth or even lagged behind (as in 2015). According to Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), future growth will be driven by a high level of continuity in the non-oil economy, and the commitment of regional governments and investors to long-term projects. The non-hydrocarbon sector is expected to remain around 3.4% in 2016 and 3% in 2017, underpinned by construction, manufacturing, tourism and social and personal services.

Bahrain Economic Outlook












Project Name 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Real GDP growth (%) 4.5% 2.9% 2.9% 2.5% 2.2%
  Non-hydrocarbons sector 4.9% 3.9% 3.4% 3.0% 2.6%
  Hydrocarbons sector 3.0% -0.9% 2.0% 0.5% 0.5%
Nominal GDP growth (%) 2.9% -4.8% 4.8% 7.6% 5.6%
Inflation (CPI %). 2.8% 1.8% 3.8% 2.0% 2.0%
Current account (% GDP) 4.5% -0.2% -2.7% 0.0% 1.2%
Fiscal balance (% GDP) -3.6% -12.5% -13.0% -10.5% -8.9%

        Source: Bahrain Economic Development Board

Amid declining revenues from the energy sector, Bahrain is pushing ahead with new projects to stimulate growth. MEED Projects in mid-June estimated the overall project pipeline in Bahrain at USD 72.7bn, 4.7% higher than last year’s. Of this, a large pipeline of "strategically significant" priority infrastructure projects carried out by the government, the GCC Development Fund, and the private sector was estimated at around USD 32 billion.

Top Bahrain Infrastructure Projects'

Project Name Project Value (USD mn) Completion
Albilad - Water Garden City  6,600 2020
BAPCO - Sitra Refinery Upgrade and Expansion  5,000 2020
Alba - Aluminium Smelter Line 6  3,500 2019
Eagle Hills Diyar - Marassi al Bahrain development  3,000 2017
CBCORP Bahrain - Marsa Al Seef  2,500 2018
Arabtec Construction and TAV - Bahrain Airport Modernization  1,100 2020
Bahrain EWA - Power Grid development project     750 2017
GPIC - Manama Ammonia and Urea Plant     700 2019
NOGA - LNG Import Terminal     651 2018
Gulf Holding Company - Villamar Residential Complex     650 2017


Whispering Bell is a leading financial and risk management consultancy advising clients in high-risk environments throughout the Middle East and North Africa. We establish an in depth understanding of the political, economic, and security environments in which our clients operate. Get in touch with our business advisory team for Bahrain requests or other countries within the MENA region.

Download the report