The Gulf Cooperation Council region (GCC) is not what most people outside the region, who have never been here, expect and so can often pleasantly surprise. Most of the GCC states are looking to the future and so are investing heavily in infrastructure and other physical developments to reduce their future dependence on oil and gas revenues. This diversification strategy has been underway longest in Bahrain and Dubai, and in Abu Dhabi and Qatar most recently.
Tourism and hospitality are both important economic drivers and so creating attractive destinations for a wide variety of tourists is key. Whilst it may not be a surprise that in 2013 Dubai had 11 million tourist visits a year, it may surprise some to know that Bahrain in 2014 recorded 9 million tourist visits a year.
Art and culture definitely play a major part in creating and maintaining a place as an attractive destination. Here in Bahrain we are just about to enjoy the start of ArtBahrain which is on from 13th to 16th October. ArtBahrain is an art event which will host and showcase world class, internationally renowned and local artists.
ArtBahrain is being held in a variety of venues around Manama including on land within the Bahrain Financial Harbour master-plan.