We chat with First Bahrain CEO, Omar Al Temiemy, about his thriving real estate properties and what makes them unique.
Real estate and commercial developments across the Kingdom of Bahrain have proved to be a clear sign of innovation and progress for the nation. One company in particular, First Bahrain Real Estate Development Company (First Bahrain) has developed a glowing reputation in the field by focusing on niche opportunities, building right sized properties to meet the local demand.
Among the most recognisable properties in the company’s growing portfolio are El Mercado Mall and its neighbouring residential property, El Mercado Village, which are located in Janabiya, aside from El Balcón Mall which has been developed in the Seef District. “We have a diversified portfolio which stretches across the retail, residential and industrial sectors. This diversification has proved to be important for the sustainability of our business,” says the Chief Executive Officer of First Bahrain, Omar Al Temiemy.
“El Mercado is an upscale neighbourhood market anchored by the flagship store of the Alosra Supermarket chain, which sets the tone and demographic for the mall which also features a range of cafés, restaurants, and services to meet the needs of the surrounding community,” explains Mr. Al Temiemy.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle, El Mercado features Tri Life, the premiere bicycle and triathlon gear shop, and the world-renowned gym, Anytime Fitness. Pampering is available at Vanity Salon and The Groom Room, for women and men respectively, while specialty coffee is on offer at Blink, Havana or Starbucks. Visitors can also take in the game along with a meal at Venice, get seafood at Samui Thai or a burger at McDonald’s. You can also take care of your health at Cryo Temp rehabilitation and Boots Pharmacy or your personal business at Ahli United Bank.
The outdoor nature of the mall provides for, quite literally, a breath of fresh air, while it also proves to be a safe environment for children. “The water features and greenery help you relax and enjoy a beautiful evening under the stars with family and friends,” he says.
The company’s latest development is the El Balcón Mall and the much-anticipated Jarir Bookstore which is Saudi Arabia’s premiere brand for books and home electronics. “The mall centers around an open courtyard with all shops having outdoor seating, a feature that has grown substantially in demand under the recent circumstances,” he says.
Visitors can relax at one of the salons, or perhaps get some of the island’s best dental care or dermatology services, at Dr. Ali Mattar’s Glow for Dental and Derma. It also features a drive-thru Starbucks and a new, locally developed specialty coffee brand, Black Drop. “Our property tenants are distinct and handpicked – unique Bahraini businesses that reflect the best that Bahrain has to offer – along with internationally known brands,” he explains.
El Mercado Village, which is close to the Saudi Causeway, is a beautiful mixed-use community comprised of 42 villas and townhouses integrated with an upscale neighbourhood market. “Only nine homes in the development remain available for lease or sale, and these are designed to offer modern amenities with a classic touch,” he says.
The cornerstone for the company’s success has proved to the strength of their relationship with the local community. “Likewise, the strong support of our bank, Khaleeji Commercial, has been instrumental in enabling our ability to bring to completion two projects during this difficult year. This spirit of partnership in working closely with our stakeholders is what sets us apart,” he says, further expressing his sincere appreciation for the support provided by government organisations, namely Tamkeen and the Central Bank of Bahrain, during the pandemic.
“Without these measures many shops would not have survived. We are confident that working together, we will come through this difficult season and realise a better future,” he concludes.