20 Aug Highlights Of Bahrain
Officially named the Kingdom of Bahrain, this tiny island is a sovereign state of the Persian Gulf, consisting of a 33-island archipelago, notably the third smallest country in Asia after the Maldives and Singapore.
The capital city of Bahrain is Manama, and although a small country, it offers a lot of exciting experiences for both locals and foreigners. Wander through the popular Bab el-Bahrain Souq for colourful handwoven fabrics and spices to exhibits at the Bahrain National Museum, or see the impressive World Trade Center and luxury shopping malls, plus more.
Places of Interest
Al-Fateh Grand Mosque & National Library
This opulent Grand Mosque, located in the heart of Manama, is one of the most prominent places of worship in Bahrain, which can hold over 7,000 worshippers at a time. It is open Saturday to Thursday, 9 am-4 pm to all, including non-Muslims, but closed on Fridays to non-muslims.
On entering the mosque, women are asked to wear the traditional dress, the Abaya and Hijab. If you are a male, you’ll need to wear the provided Kandura if you wear shorts. You are then accompanied by a volunteer who will show you around the mosque and explain the Islamic beliefs and protocols. As you walk around, you must admire the intricate details of the architecture.
Bahrain Fort or Qal'at Al-Bahrain
Located to the West of Bahrain is a World Heritage UNESCO site of civilization which, housed the capital of the ancient Dilmun Civilization (2300 BC). Trade was carried out by the Mesopotamians, the Dilmuns, and the people of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia (Queen of Peace)
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia is the Gulf’s largest Roman Catholic church which opened on 9 December 2021. Located about 20 kilometres south of the capital, Manama, it can seat at least 2,300 people. A special statute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, holding a Rosary and the Child Jesus, leaves you mesmerized and is a focal point of Bahrain’s new cathedral.
The First Oil Well
Bahrain was the first country in the Persian Gulf to discover oil in 1932. The well is located below Jebel Dukhan and was operated by The Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco), producing its first oil on 16 October 1932.
As this is in the middle of a desert, having your transport or an escorted tour will take you there. You will see some oil fields as your drive-through. Unfortunately, the first oil well is now abandoned; however, a small pit can be seen.
Tree Of Life
Locally called ‘Sharajat-al-Hayat‘, the Tree of Life is a 400-year-old tree that survives in the desert despite the harsh climate squeezing the moisture from grains of sand. It’s a phenomenum and quite mysterious. With no visible water source, it has baffled visitors and scientists as it continues to grow.
Authorities have taken commendable steps to preserve the site and precautions to protect the tree and surroundings because of the increase of visitors to this area. As you walk around the created tree circle, you will see pointers on the ground to other iconic trees from around the world. There is also an area under the shelter where you can read the tree’s history and others worldwide.
Dilmun Burial Mounds
A UNESCO Site of the world’s most extensive collection of burial mounds of the Early Dilmun civilization, located in the western part of the island of Bahrain. The mounds were used to bury royalty and prominent members of the aristocracy. The site has archaeological significance, although not visually appealing. Great to know for history buffs.
The iconic skyline comes to life, with towering skyscrapers lit up along the Bay as the sunsets. You can easily access the viewing boardwalk at the end of the Mall. Bahrain Bay is on Bahrain’s main island and is approximately 6.8 kilometres from Bahrain International Airport and the iconic Four Seasons Hotel on Bahrain Bay impressively boats the skyline.
Where To Stay
Where To Eat
Dinner at Frisca Restaurant Shisha Bar
Located just outside The Bahrain Mall, the sound of music and happy people enticed us to try the local Bahamian cuisine. The ambience is excellent, with hospitable staff and a great menu. And if you are into Sheesha, there are lots to choose from! Click here for ideas.
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