Retail Industry Overview1
Bahrain’s economy is one of the smaller markets in the GCC, with a real GDP of BD 11.9bn ($31.6bn) in 2016, according to the IMF, which grew by an estimated 3.5% in 2017. Retail and wholesale trade contributed 4.2% to GDP in the third quarter of 2017 and contributed BD 152.5($404m) at current prices, up from BD 132.6 ($351.6m) in the third quarter of 2016. With almost a quarter of visitors reporting shopping as their main purpose of visit to the Kingdom in the BTEA’s 2017 survey2, the retail industry is one of the key pillars supporting the country’s tourism sector.
With significant improvements to its transport infrastructure, as well as investments in new hotels, restaurants and retail offerings set to come on stream in the next few years, Bahrain is rapidly improving the supply of tourist attractions. At the same time, the country is also making an effort to advertise itself in new markets to stimulate increase tourist demand.
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1 Oxford Business Group Report 2018
2 Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority