The key to Bahrain

Mr Khalid M.A. Rahim presents Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa with a commemorative gold key, watched by James Hogan, CEO of Gulf Air, who are the official title sponsor of the Bahrain GP. The finishing touches to the home of the Gulf Air ...

The key to Bahrain

Mr Khalid M.A. Rahim presents Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa with a commemorative gold key, watched by James Hogan, CEO of Gulf Air, who are the official title sponsor of the Bahrain GP.

The finishing touches to the home of the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix reached a crucial stage today Friday, March 5th when main construction contractor Cebarco officially handed over the circuit keys to the US$150 million Bahrain International Circuit organisation ahead of schedule. At the ceremony, the Chairman and CEO of the construction company Cebarco Mr Khalid M.A. Rahim presented Shaikh Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa with a commemorative gold key in recognition of the historic event.

Accepting the key on behalf of the circuit Shaikh Mohammed said, "This is a momentous day for all of us involved in the construction of the Bahrain International Circuit. The past 16 months since the ground breaking ceremony have seen the realisation of a dream here in the desert at Sakhir. On behalf of His Highness the Crown Prince Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa and everyone in Bahrain, I would like to congratulate the whole team that has worked so tirelessly to produce what is the most modern and technologically-advanced motor racing circuit in the world."

During the course of the construction period up to 3,000 engineers, designers and workers have focused their efforts on building the 5.441km track together with its impressive complex of buildings and grandstands. The desert circuit is unique in the world of Formula One and combines leading-edge technology with fine examples of Arabic architecture and iconic buildings such as the Sakhir Tower. In less than 30 days it will host the third round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the first time that a Formula One race has been held in the Middle East.

Commenting further on the achievement of the contractors and designers Shaikh Mohammed said, "To have constructed this beautiful circuit in such a short space of time is a major achievement. Formula One is a sport that exudes many strong attributes, among them speed, technology and professionalism. All of these are characteristics displayed by the people who have constructed the Bahrain International Circuit and it is even more satisfying that this has been achieved by a local company. As a measure of his appreciation His Highness the Crown Prince has invited the construction workers involved in the operation to attend the race on 04.04.04."

Mr Khalid A. Rahim thanked Shaikh Mohammed for his kind words adding, "Whilst our company is honoured to have been selected to construct the project, the ultimate success has only been possible with the support and approach of a truly dedicated team. Without the vision and foresight of His Highness the Crown Prince, the co-operation of the Bahrain International Circuit Company, the support of Ministries and Government bodies, the design of Tilke and Partners and the loyalty of all our staff and subcontractors the project would not have been completed ahead of time."

Mr Rahim offered the Bahrain International Circuit Company the full support and co-operation of Cebarco and wished them every success in the final preparations for hosting the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. He added, "As a Bahraini I feel extremely proud to be part of a project that shows the world what my beloved country is capable of achieving and which clearly shows that Bahrain is 'open for business'. In finishing this project we have achieved what may thought was impossible."

The hand-over of the keys was also a special day for designers Tilke GmbH. Speaking at the culmination of the project Managing Director Hermann Tilke said, "This is a significant day for Bahrain, the Gulf region and of course our team at Tilke. We have been involved in the construction of a number of the world's foremost circuits but without doubt this has been one of the most satisfying projects in which we have been involved up to now. Our relationship with His Highness the Crown Prince and with his entire team has been an extremely beneficial one. They have given us the utmost support throughout. Our brief was to create something special in the desert. What we have achieved surpasses expectations and has given the Kingdom a circuit with intense symbolism and beauty. For Formula One the circuit will be the most beautiful on the calendar and I feel sure that the drivers and teams will like it for the challenge that it delivers."

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