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Bahrain: Another Gulf state on shaky foundations

Bahrain is trying to capitalise on Dubai’s demise and reassert its former status as the regional financial hub. The island’s infrastructure may not be sufficient, however.

Mohammed Isa Al Khalifa, chief executive of Bahrain’s Social Insurance Organisation, recently told a group of journalists his king has allocated his fund nine square kilometres to develop. That might be impressive, given Bahrain has less than 700 square kilometres of land.

But Al Khalifa only later mentioned the area is under water, and still needs to be reclaimed from the sea.

One of the tallest towers in the sparkling new Bahrain Financial Harbour afterwards stopped the hacks’ escape, when the lift broke down, trapping them inside. Bahrain continues to market an image as a safe and technically advanced haven from the dangerous waters of the Gulf.