Established on October 5, 2004 in Kuwait as Baraq Al Khaleej Holding Company with a paid up capital of USD 3.5 million, the corporate name was changed to First Bahrain Real Estate Development Company in October 2004 with and an cash injection increased paid up share capital to USD 106 million (KD 30 million) in April 2005.
First Bahrain Real Estate Development Co. (First Bahrain) was originally established under the name of Baraq Al Khaleej Holding Company in 2004, with a paid up capital of KD1,000,000. Since its inception the organization has been guided by the principles of Islamic Sharia in all its daily operations and business interests.
In 2005, the capital was raised to KD30,000,000, and First Bahrain acquired a strategic plot of land in Bahrain’s Seef District , and this milestone was shortly followed by the conversion of the company from a holding to closed share holding structure.
This was the first step on the road to success for First Bahrain, when in April 2006 First Kuwait Al Seef Real Estate Development Company WLL was established with a paid up capital of BD100,000 specifically to manage the project in Bahrain’s Seef Area.
2007 was a year of intense growth for First Bahrain, with the appointment of its Management team, lead from the Bahrain office by Amin Al Arrayed as General Manager. First and foremost, Amin set out to build a professional team around him. New offices were acquired and fitted-out in both Kuwait and Bahrain as well. Additionally, land was acquired for a proposed warehousing development at the Bahrain Investment Wharf.
At the beginning of 2008, the Company made a strategic land acquisition in Janabiya, Bahrain, bringing the total land area owned or controlled by the company to over 1 million square feet. By the end of 2008, however, the world was reeling from the Global Financial Crisis and First Bahrain prudently and proactively decided to cancel its multi-tower development in Seef, preserving the Company’s capital in the face of uncertain times.
In early 2009, the Company pressed forward with a defensive strategy to develop its warehousing project near the new Khalifa Bin Salman Port. Construction began in early 2009 and the brand for our new wholly owned subsidiary, Majaal Warehouse Co. was launched in October 2009.
Construction for Phase I of the warehousing development was completed on-time and on-budget in January 2010. That same month, the project received recognition from HM the King of Bahrain at the inauguration of the newly established Salman Industrial City, of which the development is a part. Majaal welcomed its first tenants the following month. Phase I has maintained full occupancy since September 2011 with a diverse mix of twenty tenants representing a broad cross section of industries.
Given the strong demand for the SME-focused industrial facilities, the Company began construction in July 2012 on three additional buildings identical to Phase I. These buildings were delivered on time and on budget at the end of May 2013. A long-term lease with a single new tenant was signed to occupy these facilities immediately upon delivery in June 2013.
In January 2013, a long-term pre-lease agreement was signed with the Abudawood Al-Saffar Company to occupy 75% of the M-Type building which would be constructed on the final third of the land at BIW. The M-Type building is 50% taller with direct truck access bays to facilitate quick on and off load of materials. The building was completed and fully occupied in 2014.
The construction of both Phases II and III was financed through an agreement with BMI Bank, signed in February 2013, providing BD 5 million (USD 13 million) with repayment over seven years. This major finance agreement affirmed Majaal’s business model and the quality of its cash flows.
With the completion of its project at BIW, Majaal is poised for further investment and regional growth.
In 2015, the Company activated its holding in Janabiya, initiating the development of a neighbourhood retail centre. While construction was 93% finished by year end, contracts for 47% of the 50,000 square feet of leasable area had also been executed, notably featuring an anchor supermarket. The retail centre will be complete and the initial tenants expect to commence operations in Q2 2016.
Building on the success of the neighbourhood retail centre, the Board of Directors approved commencement of a residential project on the adjacent property in their last meeting of the year. The 150,000 square foot plot is to be subdivided for the construction of 42 single family homes, which are to be built and delivered by the end of 2017.
With the addition of commercial and residential developments to its portfolio of industrial properties, the Company is focusing on diversification and growth. Despite the potential negative economic shocks coming from lower oil prices, the Company sees good potential for its business in the years ahead as it takes advantage of low construction costs and adds new sources of revenue across multiple sectors. As it has done with Majaal, the Company is continuing to convert its raw land holdings into robust fully-developed income generating assets. Marked by entrepreneurial leadership, commitment and integrity, First Bahrain is actively putting its potential to work for benefit of all of its stakeholders.