Manama – The pearl city of the Middle East

Language:   Arabic

Currency: BHD

Sales Tax: 5%

Bahrain is an island nation located in the Persian Gulf. Situated off the northwest coastline of Qatar and the eastern seaboard of the much larger Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is home to over 1.5 million people. Although it is relatively small, (just 268 square miles making it the third smallest nation in Asia) Bahrain is a rising tourist destination.

The country’s capital, Manama, is a gorgeous, modern Arabic city similar to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Skyscrapers and high-rise buildings dominate Bahrain’s skyline. The city is home to a number of historical sites and museums that share the culture of the nation with visitors. Perhaps the most well-known event travelers will be familiar with prior to visiting Bahrain is the Grand Prix. Since the inaugural race in 2004, the Bahrain GP attracts tourists to the country every year to see the event.

Although it welcomed about 12.7 million travelers in 2017, Bahrain is still a relatively under-visited country. However, thanks to some extraordinary sites and attractions, the country is seeing more people than ever and is destined to receive even more visitors in the future.

Cuisine

Machboos

Local Favorite: Machboos

Bahrain's most famous food is known as machboos. The dish is so widely eaten across Bahrain that it has been deemed the country's national dish. Machboos comes from the heavy influence of Persian and Indian biryanis but adds a flavor distinct to Bahrain. When making machboos, the cook reuses water previously used to cook fish or meat to spice the rice. This method gives the rice a flavor that blends all of the machboos spices for optimal taste. machboos can be made with lamb, fish, chicken, or beef. It is common for Bahraini families to eat machboos on Friday for lunch. Like other dishes from the Middle East, variations of the recipe are made all over the region to fit the tastebuds of specific countries.

Landmarks

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Bahrain National Museum

Bahrain National Museum

Bab Al-Bahrain

Bab Al-Bahrain

Bahrain World Trade Center

Bahrain World Trade Center

Beit Al Quran

Beit Al Quran

Bahrain Financial Harbour

Bahrain Financial Harbour

Bahrain Fort

Bahrain Fort

Al Khamis Mosque

Al Khamis Mosque

Top Tourist Attractions

Bahrain National Museum

Opened in 1988, the Bahrain National Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country. The two buildings that make up the National Museum contain a variety of historical artifacts from the region. The museum showcases around 5,000 years of Bahrain’s history. Car lovers must see the 1932 Buick donated by Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa. The gorgeous, fully restored car was a gift from the United States government.

Pure McLaren

The Pure Mclaren experience has had Bahrain on its calendar for some time now. The series holds events at some of the most exclusive racetracks in the world, and petrolheads will have the chance to participate in the event at the Bahrain International Circuit. Drivers can get behind the wheel of McLaren’s road cars or race cars in a safe, friendly environment. The three-day event features an owner track day, performance academy, and the popular half-day Pure Mclaren experience where enthusiasts can take the wheel of a McLaren car from the Sports or Super Series.

Manama Souq

The Manama Souq is a great place to soak up local Bahraini culture and to buy some great souvenirs. The souq is a traditional Arabic marketplace with small lanes and stalls filled with locally produced items and foodstuff. It also has plenty of great dining options and juice bars. It is easy to get lost in all its twists and turns.

Driving Experiences at Bahrain International Circuit

The Bahrain International Circuit offers opportunities for members of the public to drive different cars at the circuit. These include race cars like the Radical SR1 as well as street cars like the Jaguar F-Type, The Jaguar Experience gives car enthusiasts the chance to take the wheel of a Jaguar F-Type on a GP circuit. Designed by Jaguar’s driving team and led by an official Jaguar instructor, the driving experience gives learners a hands-on F-Type experience. Drivers pilot the F-Type for a fantastically fast 15-minutes around the circuit. The Jaguar instructor will sit shotgun; giving drivers expert advice and tips. Following the 15-minute session, the instructor will take over and speed around the circuit on a ‘hot lap’ giving the learner an unforgettable F-Type memory.

Car enthusiasts looking for something a little different can take a passenger ride in a dragster that travels a quarter mile in just 8 seconds.

manama

Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve

The Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve was established by the Bahraini government to preserve wildlife from the Middle East. It is one of the only nature reserve projects in the entire Middle East, and Bahrain’s government hopes other Arabic nations will follow suit. Visitors will see a variety of animals from the region including the oryx, addax, and rhim gazelle.

Coral Bay

Travelers looking to cool off can dive into the waters of Coral Bay. Whether it is scuba diving, snorkeling, boating, or water skiing, explorers can enjoy a relaxing day in the waters of the Persian Gulf. The average yearly high temperature in Bahrain is 87.8 degrees Fahrenheit. It can get rather warm, so finding a place to cool off and participate in watersports can be refreshing and fun.

Bahrain is a rising travel destination. The continued increase in the number of tourists shows just how exciting and interesting Bahrain is today. While Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha are better known Middle-Eastern tourist destinations, Manama is a sleeping giant that wows visitors year-round.


More Destinations

Gothenburg, Sweden

 

Atlanta, Georgia

 

Nice, France

 

Valencia, Spain