Surrounded by the crystalline waters of the balmy Persian Gulf, the island country of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands as well as being the smallest Arab nation.
Rich with industry, the relaxed cultural rules of Bahrain has long made it a bastion of peace and pleasure not only to foreign travelers but to its Arab countrymen as well.
Whether travelers decide to visit Bahrain to understand its rich history or to taste its sweet pleasures, this diminutive island kingdom is sure to astound and astonish even the most wizened explorer. With a name that means ‘two seas’ in Arabic, it’s easy to see that Bahrain’s identity is closely tied to the surrounding seas. The shallow coastal waters allow Bahrain’s inhabitants to engage in the curious activity of reclaiming land by filling the gaps between sand bars.
One such commercial project to benefit from this reclamation is the Bahrain Financial Harbour in Bahrain’s capital area of Manama, which continues to rise from the sea like Venus on the half-shell. The gentle waters of this area have helped civilization flourish here for over 4000 years, the off-shore sweet-water springs being the most notable example, with their bounty of luscious pearl oysters being the bedrock of Bahrain’s fortunes.
Travelers interested in the history of the Kingdom of Bahrain should visit Manama’s excellent National Museum and the traditional buildings of Muharraq or head to the ancient honeycomb burial grounds at Sar. More recent historical gems are the Bahrain World Trade Centre, the new island projects taking place at Bahrain’s southern tip, or the King Fahd Causeway, which connects the main island to Saudi Arabia.
Events and Activities
One of the highlights of Bahrain’s social calendar is the F1 Grand Prix, which takes place each April at the Bahrain International Circuit, and attracts innumerable glittering personalities.
Due to the natural heat of the area, Bahrain is rife with opportunities for marine adventure, with sailing and scuba diving being special favourites. For those with more suburban pursuits in mind, there is an 18-hole international championship golf course located fifteen minutes outside Manama.
Those looking to enjoy a sunset cocktail or morning mimosa will not be disappointed as alcohol is legal in Bahrain, unlike its neighbouring Arab brothers, whose strict Islamic law forbids its sale or consumption. Travelers to the area should still be on guard against insensitive behaviour such as public displays of affection or inappropriate attire.
Article by Superyachts.com