“Jaw” Sea for Sale: Who’s Owner of $100 Million Real Estate Project?
2019-10-08 - 9:34 p
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On August 15, a Bahraini real estate company published an ad about a huge real estate plan in the "Jaw" region that comprises hundreds of land plots for sale, at a cost starting at 17 BD for one square kilometer.
The huge plan was estimated by real estate developers with an initial value ranging from BD45 million (119 million and 680,000 USD) to BD50 million (132 million and 978,000 USD).
This raised great curiosity, especially since its prices are considered to be okay, according to two real estate developers familiar with the land market, whom Bahrain Mirror spoke to, in addition to the fact that the location of the land near the seaside in the beautiful Jaw area is attractive. It's even considered strange to set it for sale according to Residential RA classification.
There are many questions raised: Who is the owner of the project? How did he get this unique land beside the sea in the Jaw area which is a home to rare birds? How did he get permission to use all this space? Is there an approval from the Bahrain's General Authority for the Protection of Marine Resources, Environment, and Wildlife? More importantly, did a dinar from this prjoect go into the state treasury? All of these questions were raised by those whose attention was drawn to the project.
President of the Survey and Land Registration Bureau Salman bin Abdullah Al Khalifa
Bahrain Mirror followed the issue and discovered that the project owner is a ruling family member, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa. You will not be surprised if you know his brother. Ahmed bin Abdullah is the brother of the President of the Survey and Land Registration Bureau and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority Salman bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, who is very close to the King.
Jaw project owner, Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, is known for his obscene wealth. Despite this, he is also known in the bank sector for his large debts which several local banks are demanding him to pay.
His debt to one bank is estimated at BD30 million. He avoided paying until the bank raised a case against him and received a rare verdict, obliging Al Khalifa to pay the amount. This made Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa put up one of his large land plots as a real estate project. What is this project? It is the same project referred to in Jaw.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg, as the brother of President of the Survey and Land Registration Bureau and the Real Estate Regulatory Authority owns many lands, which realtors describe as "countless".
The file of land grabs, sea reclamation, and the seizure of public beaches were among the most important files that raised popular objections. Before their withdrawal, the opposition adopted a committee to investigate the case, and in 2010, the committee announced its findings in the report known as the "State Property Report", which revealed the transfer of 65 square kilometers from state property to private property without transferring any funds to the state treasury. The value of privately owned properties is estimated at $40 billion, which means double the annual GDP.
Earlier, a press investigation carried out by the Financial Times entitled "The Alchemy of Making Money from Sand" revealed that many coasts and lands were stolen and tampered with before pouring their incomes into a huge financial fund that belongs to the King.
In the midst of this, it is no wonder that Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, along with other influential people in his family, has taken over dozens of lands at a time when poverty-stricken citizens have been struggling for years, waiting for housing which they might or might not receive.