What’s On The Horizon For: Bahrain International Airport

With a mission to connect Bahrain to the world as part of the country’s Vision 2030 economic program, Bahrain International Airport (BAH) has invested in multiple projects over the last few years.

The major development comprises a new $1.1 billion terminal, which officially opened in July 2022 after more than six years of work. The new terminal building spans 210,000 m² and boasts a handling capacity of 14 million passengers a year.

Zayed Bin Rashid Al Zayani, Bahrain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce & Tourism and Chairman of Gulf Air Group, says that while the infrastructure will fuel the national carrier’s growth, BAH is keen to attract new airlines to Bahrain as it seeks to boost tourism. The country hopes that inbound tourist spending will reach about $5.3 billion in 2026, up by 100% compared with 2022 levels.

“Being an island, air connectivity is probably the most important thing to us to connect tourists, business partners, and put Bahrain on the map,” Al Zayani says.

BAH’s new terminal has already received numerous accreditations from Skytrax, having been named as the World’s Best New Airport at the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2022, World’s Best Airport for Baggage Delivery and Best Airport Staff in Middle East at the World Airport Awards in 2023, and receiving a Skytrax certified 5-star airport rating for the second consecutive year.

In addition to such accreditations, BAH has also been recognized for its sustainability efforts by ACI Asia-Pacific. The airport was singled out for its commitment to combating single use plastics.

Ahead of hosting Routes World 2024, Al Zayani says delegates attending the event in October can expect to be exposed to Bahrain’s culture and rich history spanning over 5,000 years.

“With the restructure of the aviation ecosystem, the new airport terminal, and the rebranding of Gulf Air, it is the right opportunity to expose Bahrain once again to the aviation world,” he says.

“What better way to do it than host the most elaborate event which combines airlines and airports as the two major players in the aviation sector in Bahrain. I’m looking forward to hosting everyone in Bahrain. We are developing our ideas and we hope that our event will be memorable and successful.”

The global route development community will come together on 6 - 8 October 2024 for the 29th Routes World event at Exhibition World Bahrain.