Despite a challenging few years, the Bahraini construction sector looks set to grow in 2012. Local construction and development companies have reoriented towards areas of the market with the most potential, including social housing and transport infrastructure projects. The government aims to increase public transport usage from 5% to 25% of total journeys per day, planning a wealth of public transport system upgrades (including light rail, monorail, tramway and buses). Another key segment will be housing, and it has been estimated that 51,519 extra households will be eligible for social housing by 2020. Overall, in a sign of recovery from the global financial crisis, the value of contracts is forecast to grow, from $949m in 2012 to $1.49bn the following year. The private sector also appears to be going through a period of reinvigoration, with activity starting up again at projects that were previously on hold. This chapter includes interviews with Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf, Minister of Works; Aaref Hejres, Chairman, Bahrain Property Development Association; and
Mohammed Khalil Alsayed, CEO, Ithmaar Development Company.