Bahrain can't move forward without a meaningful dialogue and measures taken by the ruling family and Gulf Cooperation Council forces on the Pearl Roundabout hopefully will only be temporary, the boss of Bahrain's Ithmaar Bank told CNBC Wednesday.
“We need a culture of meritocracy, not nepotism” Khalid Abdulla-Janahi said.
“I am hoping for dialogue, we need a cooling off period, this is not good for business,” he said.
Security forces have retaken the Pearl Roundabout from protestors and are trying to re-open highways.
Speaking from Abu Dhabi, Abdulla-Janahi said people in the villages of Bahrain are desperate.
“People are not being let in and out of villages depending on what sect they are from,” he said.
The Bahraini Crown Prince’s attempts to open a dialogue have not worked given the King had offered to hand powers to parliament and believes change is needed, he added.
“This is a new millennium, people want dignity, want a voice. The Gulf if not immune from the problems of North Africa due to its wealth,” Abdulla-Janahi said.
With much of Bahrain brought to a standstill and sources on the ground in Manama telling CNBC that the island state risks becoming a shell of country if things do not change soon, the economy is in major trouble.
Khalid Abdulla-Janahi said action is needed to shore up confidence.
“Capital needs stability, money will not be put into Bahrain and measures are needed," he said. "There was not support for the system in 2008 although some banks clearly got support.”
“Some money needs to be put into the system to protect deposits and restore confidence.”