Grand Prix once again puts Mideast in the limelight

Formula One returns to our TV screens this week and once again it is helping put a global spotlight firmly on the Middle East. Indirectly, that shines on real estate too.

The Bahrain Grand Prix is a tantalising sporting prospect: at least four teams and eight drivers look capable of winning races this year and the grid is slightly expanded as cost-cutting measures have enticed other players to join the established names.

It is no less tantalising a prospect for the region's economy.

Who could forget the dramatic hotel and theme park on Yas Island publicised in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which closed the 2009 F1 season? Or the additional millions of pounds of TV exposure given to the location because of the race? Or those people who will want to buy there when residential property becomes available this year?

That is why the Bahrain Economic Development Board is so closely involved with that country's F1 race and helps direct the international interest in the sport into specific schemes.

Speculation and poor mortgage availability have combined to give Bahraini property a poor start to 2010 and like so many other locations some prestigious schemes are "on ice" pending economic improvements. This coming weekend's events are the best showcase for the country to show what it has to offer to the world.

High sporting competition attracts global audiences measured in hundreds of millions, especially fuelled by "comeback" stories such as that of Michael Schumacher. Now Bahrain has the chance to exploit that.


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