Final approval for Bahrain F1 project

The Bahrain national parliament yesterday formally approved funding for the new, $200m F1 circuit, reports the Bahrain News Agency. The project, part of a $500m resort development, has been approved at the second time of asking after Finance & National Economy Minister Abdullah Said stressed the nation's need for economic development. It will now be sent to the government-appointed Shura Council for final ratification. Bahrain will stage the first GP in the Arab region in 2004

Final approval for Bahrain F1 project

Last month a parliamentary group led by Parliament Services Committee chairman Isa Al Mutawa succeeded in securing a majority rejecting the project, on the basis that it would be contrary to Islamic values [Feb 6]. He said: "If F1 comes to Bahrain, then bets will come too and, if the resort gets opened, prostitutes will pour into our country."

The project has always had the backing of the 40-member ruling Shura Council [Feb 18] but this latest parliamentary vote will allow it to proceed with a full democratic concensus. The new track is being built by Cybarco WCT, a joint venture company owned by WCT Engineering of Shah Alam, Malaysia, and Cybarco Bahrain [Mar 11].

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