A masterplan in Bahrain

Major new developments will be launched in Bahrain in around two months with plans for the unveiling of the long-awaited business park alongside the Bahrain International Circuit. The aim is for this to house an "automotive cluster", a technology park, a university (with a centre of excellence for motoring) and possibly several hotels as well. The circuit is examining a link with an established US or UK university.

The first building in this programme was the Ruf company headquarters that was opened at this year's Grand Prix with the launch of a new mid-engine super sports car. Because Bahrain has a Free Trade Agreement with the United States the majority of the cars built there will go directly to the US.

The business park will be the design of Anglo-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, who designed the new concert hall in Abu Dhabi.

The circuit says it is quite happy with the news that there will be a race in Abu Dhabi in 2009 as it will increase the F1 fan base in the region and thus increase the circuit's earning potential.

The circuit says that it is also looking at building a new grandstand to increase the crowd capacity at the track after this year's sell-out.

The problems of rampant overcharging by Bahrain's hotels remain but until new hotel rooms become available the existing ones will be hocked at a premium.

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