Bahrain’s history is eventful, and source of great pride to its people. Over recent years, the Kingdom has witnessed rapid development modernization under the reign of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain. During His Majesty’s sovereignty, Bahrain’s economy has experienced openness and diversity, building on the Kingdom’s heritage in commerce and trade and as a traditional meeting point for the different civilizations.
The Kingdom has made significant progress in becoming internationally attractive to exhibition and conventions since the Royal Decree was issued to organize the tourism, exhibitions and conventions sector, with the aim of attracting the biggest and most important events to Bahrain and putting together a tourism, exhibition and conventions organizational and legislative structure for the sector. On a yearly basis, the Kingdom hosts a huge number of major specialized local, regional and international events under the roof of the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC). These events cover a diverse number of sectors including trade, industrial, cultural, art, entertainment and services. Organized with generous budgets, they also attract visitors and tourists from around the globe, who come to Bahrain to discover the latest innovative ideas and creative products.
His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, inaugurated the Bahrain International Garden Show, which is now held annually with the support of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, Wife of the king of Bahrain, President of the Consultative Council of the National Initiative for Agricultural Development. The show now includes participation of over 145 local and international exhibitors, and from a wide range of countries, including Bahrain, Italy, Holland, France, Singapore, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Lebanon.
Exhibitions hosted in Bahrain vary widely. For example, in the education sector, exhibitions include the Bahrain International Book Fair, Bahrain Education and Training International Exhibition (EDUTEX), Alayam Cultural Festival, Gulf Exhibition for Training, Education Pre-Employment and Bahrain Private Schools Expo.
For the jewellery trade, Jewellery Arabia hosts more than 600 companies from 30 countries, representing many of the world’s most important companies and individuals in jewellery design and production, watches and valuables items. Organized under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Jewellery Arabia has grown to become one of the largest exhibitions in the Middle East, and is now an important part of the global jewellery and timepieces calendar. In addition, the Exhibition represents an economic event which supports the vision of government towards prioritizing the exhibition as one of the most important economic elements that put the Kingdom of Bahrain in the lead of the gold and jewellery making industry in the region. Jewellery Arabia is visited by over 50 thousand people from Bahrain, the neighboring countries and around the globe.
His Royal Highness has also granted his patronage to Gulf Industry Fair, which represents an opportunity to boost the industrial investment in the Kingdom by providing an annual occasion for businessmen and investors to meet, collaborate and sign deals and agreements. Other key industry exhibitions include gulfBID Exhibition, a specialized annual expo for construction, contracting and engineering in the region, Gulf Interiors Expo for décor, interior design and furniture and the Gulf Property Show that aims to showcase the real estate and real estate management sector as well as the social housing in Bahrain and the GCC region.
His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain patronizes ‘Invest in Bahrain’ Forum & Exhibition as part of a series of investment seminars organized by the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; this event also represents an important promotional medium through which the Ministry seeks to attract investments into the Kingdom and reinforce its competitiveness and productivity abilities. ‘Invest in Bahrain’ also presents a selection of investment opportunities in different sectors while highlighting the resources granted by the Government of Bahrain for investors in general.
Inaugurated under the kind patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain in November 1991, the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC) is the first exhibition center in Bahrain built specially to service the exhibition and convention industry. Ever since, the name of BIECC has been associated with hosting a number of exceptional exhibitions and conventions in the GCC and Middle East region. These have included: Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MEOS), Middle East Geosciences Conference & Exhibition (GEO), Middle East Refining & Petrochemicals Conference and Exhibition (Petrotech) and Middle East Process Engineering Conference (MEPEC). Each of these exhibitions have thrived and developed since being hosted at BIECC.
Since it was launched in 1979, Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MEOS) has developed into one of the biggest international exhibitions and conferences held in the Middle East region; in addition to the Middle East Geosciences Conference & Exhibition (GEO) which is considered one of the leading events in the area of geology sciences in the Middle East region.
Middle East Refining & Petrochemicals Conference and Exhibition (Petrotech) has also gained a prominent position among international conferences and exhibitions. In the past, Petrotech exhibitions have shed light on the best administrative and technical practices, showcased latest technologies in the areas of refining and petrochemicals on a regional level
The Middle East Process Engineering Conference (MEPEC) has seen a large participation of the industry’s leaders, experts and players, alongside biggest international processing companies and other leading institutions representing different trade sectors such as oil, gas, petrochemical, manufacturing and other related services.
In addition, BIECC hosts a number of seasonal activities such as “Bahrain Summer”, a festival that includes numerous activities and entertaining events from many countries, including theatrical and musical activities.
Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre (BIECC) is also home to many youth activities, the most important of which is Youth City 2030, an unprecedented youth initiative which aims to provide the ideal circumstances to support the young generation, empower and mobilize their potential, as well as provide them with direction and knowledge to develop their leadership skills and traits. The Youth City comes in line with the Kingdom of Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030 to encourage the role of Bahraini youth in the overall development of the Kingdom.
Other specialized exhibitions held at BIECC including the Bahrain International Real Estate Exhibition, the Arabian MEP Exhibition and Conference for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, water & energy, etc…, Bahrain International Modern House Exhibition, and the Bahrain IT Exhibition.
BIECC also hosts shows related to trade, products, promotion and consumption such as Autumn Fair, which involves more than 750 companies from 20 countries and meets the requirements of all family members in areas such as food products, household items and personal products, accessories, textiles, cosmetics and beauty products, furniture, toys and gifts. Each year, Autumn Fair attracts more than 200 thousand visitors from Bahrain and abroad.
Local shows, organized by the private sector, are also featured at BIECC. These include ‘Made in My Home’ exhibition, the Annual WOW Exhibition and Abaya Fashion Show, Sofrat Ramadan Food Expo, Fashion Time Expo, Bahrain Retail Fair and the Bahrain Shopping Festival.
The Exhibition and Convention industry in Bahrain has provided businesses with the opportunity to explore new horizons for trading and attracting foreign investors. It also represents a clear message that the Government pays great importance to attract specialized exhibitions and conventions and provides resources to create the ideal climate to host large business events, conferences and expos.