From an economic point of view, I gauge that Manama is blessed with the reputation of being the freest market in the Middle East apart from having the fastest growth rate economically. In order to sustain and nurture this explosive economic growth it is only prudent that Bahrain welcomes more labor, skilled as well as semi-skilled.
News reports say that, Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) while leading the Kingdom's delegation to the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos held in January 2008 announced plans of raising the country's profile economically.
In the context of tourism, it beats its cosmopolitan neighbor Dubai in terms of providing cheaper and more luxurious accommodation. Bahrain is fast emerging as the favorite tourist spot for many tourists in Saudi Arabia due to its proximity and similar cost structure.
A major restructuring and expansion project is underway at the Manama airport as part of making it a major cargo hub. Strategically placed in the Middle East, Bahrain has the potential to serve as Cargo centre in the Persian Gulf. Termed the Cargo Oasis an integrated facility is being built on the north of the existing airport. Ahmed Nemat, Assistant Undersecretary Civil Aviation Affairs announced this at the inauguration of the Air Cargo Show 2008.
"MANAMA: Workers of a top garment factory went on a rampage...
But Shamim, of recent, Bahrain has attained a bad reputation of being cruel to its foreign workforce both domestic and industrial. Two cases are being cited as examples here.
27-Mar-05: Labor rage, GDN:
"MANAMA: Workers of a top garment factory went on a rampage last night following the death of a colleague. More than 500 Asians working for the MRS Fashions, which makes trousers for J C Penny, started damaging the factory's East Riffa premises after their colleague, who was kept in isolation for 15 days due to chicken pox, committed suicide." (GDN,27-Mar-05, Labor rage)
7-Jun-04: Sale!! Only BD300 for Bahraini torture! GDN
MANAMA: A Bahraini man was jailed for three months yesterday after being convicted of torturing a Bangladeshi employee. The sentence will be suspended if the 26-year-old fish trap maker pays a BD300 fine. (GDN,07-Jun-04, Sale!! Only BD300 for Bahraini torture!)
I was disturbed to read these reports in the daily local newspapers. The pace of growth and potential for more infrastructural development naturally necessitates a growing labor population and hence a burgeoning expatriate community in Bahrain. Hence my humble suggestion to you is to galvanize the authorities involved to provide for the safety and security of women and men involved in the developmental work of the illustrious nation. As the two examples point out, the labor force working for Bahrain is denied their self respect, honor and even their earnings. My suggestion is for you to tell the authorities in charge of labor affairs to constitute special laws to take care of foreign workers, ensure their safety and see to it that no more exploitation takes place. My added request to you would be to ask the authorities so that