UK management and engineering firm Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Ithmaar Development Company to provide infrastructure design and supervision services for Dilmunia Health Island. The first of its kind, this new health island, is set to be an international health and wellness facility in a resort-style environment based on a 125 hectares man-made island off the north-east coast of Bahrain.
UK management and engineering firm Mott MacDonald has been appointed by Ithmaar Development Company to provide infrastructure design and supervision services for Dilmunia Health Island. The first of its kind, this new health island, is set to be an international health and wellness facility in a resort-style environment based on a 125 hectares man-made island off the north-east coast of Bahrain. The project is expected to cost $ 69 million
Designs for the health island were developed last year. The health island is expected to house a state-of-the-art diagnostic centre along with centres for nutrition and diabetes, cosmetic surgery, aesthetic medicine, women and children’s health, alternative medicine as well as a sports medicine centre. Deluxe spas, boutique hotels, residential clusters, commercial facilities and recreational amenities are also included in the concept design.
Mott MacDonald’s team in Bahrain will design and supervise the construction of all infrastructure services from roads, bridges, power network, water, sewerage and treatment services to a district cooling plant with associated distribution services and a canal which is all due for completion by mid 2013.
Mott MacDonald’s Alan Worley says, “This follows successful completion of design work on Al Seef Tower in Manama for Ithmaar Development Company and is an endorsement of what we hope will be a productive on-going relationship backed by Mott MacDonald’s local knowledge of Bahrain and world-class engineering design and management skills.”
DP Architects from Singapore is the master planner. In early June, reclamation works were completed. In March 2008, site mobilization and reclamation works started. Ithmaar Development Company (IDC) was set up by Bahrain’s Ithmaar Bank in 2006 to manage major development projects.
The name Dilmunia derives from the ancient name Dilmu, often believed to be the original Garden of Eden. The island will be a lush green oasis offering physical, mental and spiritual equilibrium. The aim is to combine a balanced lifestyle with secure comfortable accommodation and expert medical help nearby. The experience of the various themed hotels reflects the alternative remedies such as Chinese medicine, Thai herbalist beliefs, French-inspired hydro remedies, as well as traditional health and wellness. Up market homes will be combined with top of the range entertainment, retail and leisure. Nature will be presented in a variety of themed gardens, waterways, wetlands, and parks. Dilmunia will be managed and operated by a core group of medical professionals with access to visiting world-renowned specialists. World-class medical facilities will be attracted to invest and locate there.
This concept goes against the current trend of (low) cost driven medical tourism. If the concept were to be launched today, it might face problems in the current market and economic climate. But we are talking about several years ahead, when hopefully global recession will be a distant memory. It may have advantages over land-based Middle East medical tourism, providing a contrast to soulless hospitals in characterless modern cities. Anyone doubting the potential should look at the many eco-hotels and spas that are successfully attracting upmarket consumers in the worst possible financial climate, in locations where conventional cheaper hotels struggle to survive.