Atbahrain is a company focused on developing, managing, and marketing Bahrain as a travel and tourism destination. What are the activities that you have engaged in, in order to bring about this goal?
Atbahrain distinguishes itself from other travel entities in the Kingdom by being solely focused on increasing inbound tourism to Bahrain. Currently Atbahrain is identifying opportunities that will bring more visitors to the country. As part of Atbahrain’s efforts to identify and attract major events and bring more people to Bahrain, we offered our services to Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical giant, and provided them with a full-fledged conference and events service for their Annual ME & West Asia Senior Management conference which was successfully held at the Four Seasons hotel last February. We were also the official travel partner for large events in Bahrain, including the Shop Bahrain Festival, IRONMAN 70.3 Middle East Championship.
Tell us about the tourism packages you have developed and how this serves the tourists and the country?
The packages we have created provide a real Bahraini experience, whether it is a five day ultimate adrenalin trip to ‘the home of motorsports in the Middle East’, a watersports extravaganza visit, or a culinary adventure where travelers learn authentic Bahraini cooking by world class chefs. Visitors looking for a more cultural experience can sign up for our four to seven day cultural packages where they can immerse themselves in the heart of the Gulf and discover the rich history of Bahrain: ride camels, bargain with traders in traditional souqs, explore historical forts, heritage sights and attractions, including the Tree of Life, the first oil well in the gulf, the Bahrain International F1 circuit and much more. We also have education travel packages with courses delivered by the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance.
What key players have you partnered with in order to strengthen Bahrain’s tourism position?
Our close association with the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority (BTEA), has given us ample tools to capitalize on events in order to collectively make Bahrain attractive to inbound travelers. We are also very fortunate to be wholly owned by Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company (“Mumtalakat”) which enables us to create synergies with other subsidiaries such as Gulf Air, Bahrain International Circuit and Bahrain Airport Company not to mention our ability to capitalize on Mumtalakat’s network to facilitate the process from a procedural standpoint.
How can Atbahrain support economic growth?
By increasing inbound tourism, Atbahrain facilitates the economic progress of the Kingdom by generating more jobs for Bahrainis, and by being a catalyst for real growth and development in the Kingdom’s tourism industry. Hopefully Atbahrain customers who book packages with Atbahrain will share their positive experiences online and by word of mouth to become powerful promoters of the destination.
One of the things that tourists think about when visiting Bahrain is (a) there are no beaches; and (b) due to the 100% tax increase in drinks sales introduced in May, it has now become very expensive to enjoy Bahrain’s hospitality and nightlife. Does this not make your job a lot more difficult to encourage international tourists to visit the kingdom?
Al Dar Island, Jarada Island and Hawar Island offer quick island hopping experiences within the archipelago and have beautiful beaches and facilities for beach holiday travelers.
Atbahrain is concerned with bringing visitors to Bahrain – and facilitating uniquely Bahrain experiences while they are here. There are a lot of tourists who are not interested in alcohol-and therefore a price increase would not affect their holiday.
For a comprehensive list of things to do in Bahrain