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Bahrain to open luxury eco-tourism resort on UNESCO-recognised islands

May 13, 2024 at 3:49 pm

A general view of Bahrain’s capital Manama as scorching heat and humidity affect the Gulf countries on August 21, 2023 [Ayman Yaqoob – Anadolu Agency]

Bahrain’s Hawar Islands, described by UNESCO as the country’s “last remaining true wilderness”, are poised to become an eco-tourism hub with the opening of a new luxury resort in September, reports The National. Mantis Bahrain Hawar Island, accessible via a 20-minute boat ride from the main island, features 102 rooms, including 24 overwater villas reminiscent of the Maldives.

This venture marks the Middle East debut of the Mantis Group, a brand under the hospitality giant Accor, known for its commitment to eco-tourism. Founded in 2000 by conservationist Adrian Gardiner, Mantis integrates luxury with environmentally conscious practices. The resort’s design is said to draw inspiration from “al korar,” an ancient Bahraini tradition of weaving gold thread.

Situated to the south of Bahrain and separated from Qatar by a narrow strait, the islands offer a haven for migratory birds and feature vibrant coral reefs. The resort promises conservation-focused activities like bird watching and snorkelling.

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In partnership with Edamah, the real estate arm of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the resort also aims to showcase the local wildlife, including Arabian oryx, sand gazelles, Arabian horses, and the world’s largest herds of dugongs, nearly 700 of which were recorded nearby in 2022.

In addition to a range of activities, guests will also be able to take classes from the Survival Academy led by British TV personality and survival expert Bear Grylls. The resort will also feature a luxury spa, wellness centre, multiple dining options and a children’s conservation club.

Earlier this month, Edamah’s CEO, Christopher Calvert, emphasised the strategic significance of the project: “This project is of immense strategic importance to the kingdom, reflecting our vision to promote sustainable tourism while showcasing Bahrain’s natural beauty and preserving it for future generations.”

Mantis aims to implement sustainable practices, such as waste sorting and water and energy conservation technologies, to minimise environmental impact. Room rates are yet to be announced, but the resort positions itself as “affordable luxury,” according to Anil Ilhan, Director of Sales and Marketing.