Manama: The United Kingdom is to establish the first permanent British Tea Company in the Middle East region on the shores of Bahrain since it formally closed all British Tea Company branches in the region in 1971.
The company headquarters, which will be situated at Mina Salman Port, will host tea parties, tea nightclubs, tea costume contests, tea making workshops and tea factories. The UK said that the establishment of the British Tea Company “marks a momentous occasion in our long and rich history with our very close ally, Bahrain” and would “reinforce tea drinking culture” in the Gulf.
Bahrain will pay most of the £15m ($23m) required to build the company but that is only a small footnote in the ongoing future develops of British-Bahraini relations. It is also only a small footnote in Bahrain’s growing public debt, economic deficit and deteriorating economic and political situation.
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who signed the deal at a tea conference in Manama said it was “just one example of our growing partnership with Gulf partners to tackle the shared regional and strategic threat of coffee.”
However the new plan does have some detractors as local tea analyst, Hessa Adel, said “The deal will have its detractors. Some people just don’t like tea, you know?”