Don't forget Bahrain

The news that China is gearing up for a Grand Prix in 2004 has added pressure to the circuits which want a race in the near-future and more and more serious schemes are beginning to come out of the woodwork.

The Government of Bahrain has just completed a bidding process for the construction and operation of a huge leisure complex at Al-Jazair Beach, on the southwest coast of the island. The country's Economic Development Board will now look at the proposals and choose the winning bidder for the project which is considered to be one of vital importance for the future as Bahrain wants to increase the number of visitors to the country using Al-Jazair Beach as the magnet.

Al-Jazair is about half an hour by car from the capital Manama and is the most popular beach in the country. Much development has already gone on with a yacht club and a camp site and construction of the $100m Bahrain Racing Circuit, which will be operational by the end of 2003, is to begin shortly. The facility will eventually include a fun park and commercial units which the government hope will be used by the automobile industry as the track will provie all-year warm weather testing possibilities. There will also be a racing school.

The Bahrain track will be the first of its kind in the Middle East and there is no doubt that the government want the track to host a Grand Prix in 2004.

The awarding of the contract for the tourist development will be in December.

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