Bahrain's Manama is named as Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020
The kingdom's capital city last held the title in 2013
Manama, the capital city of the Kingdom of Bahrain, has been named Capital of Arab Tourism for 2020.
The announcement was made during the 22nd session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Tourism, which was held last week in Saudi Arabia's Al Ahsa.
Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani, the minister of industry, commerce and tourism and chairman of the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, said the move was a recognition of the island's efforts to bolster bilateral ties within the tourism industry in the Gulf and wider Arab world.
"BTEA's strategy focuses on developing unique tourism products through hosting a series of events and activities that target all segments of the society, including families from the GCC and other Arab countries, further contributing to the development of the tourism sector," he said.
Manama was also chosen as Capital of Arab Tourism in 2013, reiterating the Arab Council of Tourism Ministers' bid to promote Bahrain as a leading tourism destination in the world.
To celebrate the new designation, BTEA has announced it will launch a new identity and logo by displaying them on the side of the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay during the New Year's Eve celebrations being held tonight.
In the first nine months of 2019, tourists spent 10.7 million nights on the island, Al Zayani confirmed, which is an increase of 8.8 per cent compared to the same period of 2018. The average length of stay was 3.4 nights per tourists, up by 20.5 per cent.
Bahrain is home to a bevy of tourist attractions and museums, as well as a rich history and three Unesco World Heritage Sites, including Qal'at Al Bahrain.
The kingdom's Dilmun burial mounds were given world heritage site status earlier this year.
The landmark comprises 21 archaeological sites, in the western part of the island, that were built between 2050 BC and 1750 BC. These offer evidence of the Early Dilmun civilisation, around the second millennium BC, when Bahrain became a trade hub.
Updated: December 31, 2019 11:13 AM