Bahrain is one of the most popular business destinations in the Middle East. It is situated at the heart of the Gulf with numerous business ventures thriving in the location. One of the key attractions of the island nation is the Bahrain International Airport (BIA). Located at Al Muharraq, it is the Gulf’s oldest international airport. It became Persian Gulf’s first international airport after the landing of commercial flight began in 1932. The airport has been under massive expansion ever since.
In 1994, the first significant investment of $100 million was made towards expanding the terminal, which boosted its maximum capacity to 10 million passengers annually. Several initiatives have been taken since then to increase airport capacity further. The new $1.1 billion terminals would open in March 2020 to enhance the passenger count to over 14 million per year. The plan includes establishing 104 check-in counters, 34 passport controls and 24 screening points. Bahrain International Airport is also one of the several free trade zones in Bahrain alongside Bahrain Logistic Zone (BLZ) and Bahrain International Investment Park (BIIP). It is a significant contributor to Bahrain’s economy and widely regarded as reputed aviation and financial centre.
Features of Bahrain International Airport
Some of the key features of the Bahrain International Airport are listed below:
- It has a modern air traffic control system which enables secure handling and scheduling of flights.
- The airport is secured and monitored 24x7 with high-level security.
- The airport staff communicate with advanced Digital Mobile Radio (DMR).
- It has a centralized data centre for effective data management.
- The airport has a specialized Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul zone (MRO) for flights.
- The airport has a 3900-meter runway which is suitable for cargo operations.
- There are four premium lounges present in the departure area, which is well-equipped with a range of business services.
- The entire airport terminal is accessible for disabled travellers with lifts, ramps and disabled-friendly toilets.
- It offers car parking spaces with premium and long-term parking options.
The international airport features four premium lounges each catering to the requirements of the passengers. The lounges provide world-class facilities and services with excellent food and beverage options. Hala Bahrain Lounge is famous as a meet and greets lounge giving luxurious lounge facilities. Other lounges in the airport are Gulf Air Falcon Gold Lounge, Dilmun Lounge and Sky Bar lounge. They are idle for relaxing and are equipped with a range of business services as well.
Shops and Services
Passenger can also have fantastic shopping experiences at the Bahrain International Airport. There is a wide range of shopping services available before the security counter as well as after passport control. Some of these services include retail stores, travel agents, money exchange, hotel bookings, car rentals and telecommunications.
Restaurant and Dining
The airport has a host of on-site dining options for passengers. These include food and beverages from popular restaurants such as McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dairy Queen and Costa Coffee. Most of the dining and restaurant services are available 24x7 with excellent quality food and drinks.
Services Available in Bahrain International Airport
The airport facilities include self-check-in, which allows passengers to avoid long queues and save precious time. Travellers can check-in using the various kiosks installed in the departure hall. The feature enables effective management and control of passenger inflow on the airport premises.
There are medical services available at the airport to help in cases of urgent medical requirements. Passenger can avail medical services by contacting medical staff at the airport. Depending on the severity of the situation, the medical issue would either be handled by the medical team present at the airport or else an ambulance would be arranged immediately.
Services for Passengers with Disabilities
The entire airport is designed with lifts and ramps to make it suitable for passengers with physical disabilities. There are several disabled-friendly toilets at all security checkpoints to make the travel experience for passengers with disabilities.
The e-gates are designed to enhance the passport control system where it makes it easier for travellers to avoid long queues. These are electronic immigration gates which use a biometric passport verification system to minimize the time taken for passport verification in airports.
Ground Transport services
Bahrain international airport has excellent ground transportation facilities with various options such as rental cars, buses, taxis and hotel shuttles. These services provide connectivity between the airport and nearby cities.
Visa Services in Bahrain airport
Visa permit is required for all individuals (except Gulf Cooperation Council citizens) who wish to travel to Bahrain. Depending on the type of visa, there is a small fee that is payable for the application. Obtaining a visa is crucial to enter Bahrain along with a passport which should be valid at least for the next six months. The application process involves furnishing necessary details, such as the purpose of visit and employment statues for verification purposes. Based on the requirements, passenger can also opt for an electronic visa or e-visa, which can be much more convenient. It is viable to avail visa services in Bahrain to make the entire procedure hassle-free.
There are different types of visa that can be issued in Bahrain:
- Maid Visa
- Employment Visa
- Business Visa
- Visitor Visa
Business Opportunities in Bahrain International Airport
With an increasing number of passenger inflow and international exposure, there are various business opportunities available, some of which are mentioned below:
1. Air cargo packaging and Dispatch Services
Cargo services are the most common business services available in the airport. It involves packaging and placements of goods and dispatching them securely. It is one of the most in-demand services that can be a profitable business option with long-term benefits.
2. Flight Catering Services
Catering is an essential component of in-flight services. Airlines have tie-ups with catering service providers to fulfil their requirements. Therefore, providing high-quality catering services can be a sustainable business in international airports.
3. Airport Cleaning Services
Cleaning services are crucial for the aviation sector as it is compulsory to maintain a clean atmosphere in and around the airport vicinity. Providing professional cleaning services is always in demand, and with more number of passengers visiting every year, the requirement is also increasing drastically.
4. Ticketing and Reservation Services
Ticketing and reservation services have seen an increase in demand over the last few years with more inflow of passengers in the island nation. These businesses can use digital platforms to provide better services to the people looking for ticketing and reservation.
5. Luggage Delivery Services
Luggage delivery is relatively new and has become a lot popular among passengers. It provides door-to-door delivery service in which the luggage can be picked up from and the airport and delivered directly to the home, office or hotel location of the passenger.
6. Servicing, Maintainance and Repair Services
The surge in the number of airlines has increased the requirement for maintenance and repair services. Availability of professional maintenance and repair services would be a feasible solution for airlines as well as a profitable business venture.
With further expansion in the aviation sector, the Bahrain International Airpot (BIA) is looking forward to providing new excellence for its passengers. The international airport is an essential contributor to the island nation’s economy with world-class facilities at lower operating costs. It is swiftly transforming into an ideal choice for businesses and companies looking to conduct business in the kingdom of Bahrain. Business setup in Bahrain has become relatively more straightforward with expert consultants and business solutions. If you are looking to start a business in Bahrain, then do contact us today for expert business setup solutions.