The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of low lying islands located in the Arabian Gulf off the Eastern shore of Saudi Arabia. Its name stems from the Arabic for “two seas”- reflecting its unique natural combination of freshwater springs amongst salty sea beds.
Perhaps most well-known for its history of civilizations that dates back more than 5,000 years, Bahrain has achieved an impressive status as a progressive powerhouse in the region in terms of economy, vision and lifestyle.
Strategically located in the centre of ancient trade routes between the East and the West, Bahrain has always been immersed in trade and commerce, and its people have grown accustomed to cultural diversification. In the early 1900s, Bahrain held a preeminent position as the hub for the international pearl trade, and was known as a hotbed for cultivating pearls of the highest quality. The precious pearl became the main driver for Bahrain’s economic growth for several decades, bringing merchants from far and wide to this small island. This exposure was a critical factor in enabling Bahrain’s progression, encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship, openness and learning. Innovation fostered vision and today, this vision has translated into an economy that the most diverse in the region, a community that is one of the highest educated in the region, and a lifestyle renowned for its ease.
- Official Language: Arabic
- Capital: Manama
- Land Area 770sq km
- Population 1,101,230
- Currency Bahraini Dinar (USD 1 = BD 0.376)
- Time Zone GMT +3
Things to do & Tourist Attractions
Bahrain offers a wide array of activities and places to see that provide the perfect blend of the old and the new. With museums, forts, and souqs (traditional local markets) that offer a historic window into the past to contemporary skyscrapers, malls, and championship golf courses, you will always have somewhere to go and something new to see.
The Qal'at al-Bahrain also known as the Bahrain Fort or Fort of Bahrain and previously as the Portugal Fort (Qal'at al Portugal) is an archaeological site located in Bahrain, on the Arabian Peninsula. Archaeological excavations carried out since 1954 have unearthed antiquaries from an artificial mound of 12 m height containing seven stratified layers, created by various occupants from 2300 BC up to the 18th century, including Kassites, Portuguese and Persians. It was once the capital of the Dilmun civilization and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Arad Fort is a 15th century fort in Arad, Bahrain. Arad Fort was built in the typical style of Islamic forts during the 15th century A.D. before the Portuguese invasion of Bahrain in 1622 A.D. This fort is one of the compact defensive forts in Bahrain. In its present location, it overlooks various sea passages of Muharraq's shallow seashores.
Al Fateh Grand Mosque
The Al-Fateh Mosque (also known as Al-Fateh Islamic Centre and Al Fateh Grand Mosque) is one of the largest mosques in the world, encompassing 6,500 square metres with the capacity to accommodate over 7,000 worshippers at a time. The mosque is the largest place of worship in Bahrain and is located next to the King Faisal Highway in Juffair. The mosque was built by the late Sheikh Isa ibn Salman Al Khalifa in 1987 and was named after Ahmed Al Fateh, the conqueror of Bahrain. In 2006, Al-Fateh became the site of the National Library of Bahrain.
The Khamis Mosque is believed to be the first mosque in Bahrain, built during the era of the Umayyad caliph Umar II. It is considered to be one of the oldest mosques in the region, and the foundation of this mosque is believed to have been laid as early as 692 AD. An inscription found on the site, however, suggests a foundation date sometimes during the 11th Century. It has since been rebuilt twice in both 14th and 15th centuries, when the minarets were constructed.
Bab Al Bahrain
Bab Al Bahrain is located in the Customs Square in Manama's former central business district (CBD) and marks the main entrance to the Manama souq. Designed by Sir Charles Belgrave, adviser to the Emir and completed in 1945, Bab Al Bahrain once stood close to the water's edge. Due to extensive land reclamation in the later years, one needs to walk more than 10 minutes to get to the sea.
Manama Souq is the old bazaar (souk) of Bahrain's capital, Manama. It lies in the north of Manama, in-between the old parts of the city and the Central Business District, to the east of Noaim and west of Ras Rumman. The area also is home to Bahrain's only synagogue.
Bahrain Grand Prix
The Bahrain Grand Prix is a Formula One Championship race in Bahrain sponsored by Gulf Air. The first race took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4 April 2004. It made history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East, and was given the award for the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the FIA.
Bahrain National Museum
The Bahrain National Museum is the largest and one of the oldest public museums in Bahrain. It is constructed near the King Faisal Highway in Manama and opened in December 1988. The US$30 million museum complex covers 27,800 sq meters and consists of two buildings.
Beit Al Quran
Beit Al Qur'an meaning: the House of Qur'an is an Islamic museum at Hoora, Bahrain. The museum was founded in March 1990 (though construction started in 1984) by Dr Abdul Latif Jassim Kanoo and was built to accommodate a comprehensive and valuable collection of the Qur'an and rare manuscripts, a concept which is unique in the Persian Gulf. It has been acknowledged as being one of the most renowned Islamic museums in the world.
Dilmun Burial Mounds
The Dilmun Burial Mounds are a number of necropolis areas on the main island of Bahrain dating back to the Dilmun, the Umm an-Nar Culture and later eras. Known since ancient times as an island with a very large number of burials, (originally) quite a number of square kilometres of mounds were said to be one of the largest cemeteries in the ancient world.
For all your gold needs.
Situated on Bahrain’s west coast, Al Jasra House was built in 1907 and was the birthplace of His Highness the late Amir, Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa. The house was constructed using local materials, including coral, gypsum and various parts of the palm tree. Restored in 1986 and furnished in 1930’s style, Al Jasra House now serves as a heritage museum and is open on weekday mornings and throughout the day on Thursday.
Riffa Golf Club
The Royal Golf Club is Bahrain’s premier golf and leisure destination and boasts an 18-hole championship course and 9-hole par 3 course, both designed by golfing legend Colin Montgomerie.
Al Areen Wildlife Park
Al Areen Wildlife Park is the only Nature Reserve in Bahrain. The park covers more than eight square kilometres and has an impressive collection of birds and mammals, many of which are native to the Arabian Gulf Region. The area around the reception buildings is beautiful landscaped with mature trees, lawns, flower beds, ponds and ornamental water features. There are several species of water fowl such as ducks, pelicans and flamingos. In the park you can also see exotic birds, gazelles, Oryx, wild sheep and ostrich.
Lists Bahrain’s main attractions and Top 10 Must Do’s
Lists Bahrain’s best restaurants, nightlife, things to do and places to see.