Bahrain, an archipelago of 33 islands, is rich in history and ancient civilizations, and is situated in the Arabian Gulf, off the east coast of Saudi Arabia. The country offers a fascinating blend of Eastern and Western cultures. The capital Manama is quite a modern cosmopolitan city, which boasts world class restaurants, shopping centres, and tourist attractions. The climate is hot in summer and mild in winter. From November to April the weather is very pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15 to 24 degree centigrade. Arabic is the ofﬁcial language, but English is widely used by most businesses.
Grand Mosque Dedicated in 1988, Al Fateh Grand Mosque is the largest ediﬁce in Bahrain in terms of volume. With twin freestanding minarets soaring at 70 meters, the mosque has space for 7,000 worshippers.
Bahrain City Centre is the ﬁrst and biggest mixed-use development in Bahrain offering the best shopping, leisure and entertainment experience to its customers under one roof. Strategically located on Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Highway in the heart of Manama, Bahrain City Centre has introduced a world-class retail ambience and hundreds of other ‘ﬁrsts’ to the Kingdom including 150 of its over 350 internationally reputed brands making their debut in the country. The Centre’s stunning entertainment offer includes the region’s ﬁrst indoor/outdoor temperature controlled 15,000 square metre Wahooo! Waterpark, Bahrain’s biggest cinema complex Cineco 20, and a family entertainment centre for children and young adults, Magic Planet.
Bahrain National Museum
Bahrain National Museum Situated at the junction of Al-Fateh Highway and Sheikh Hamad Bridge leading to Muharraq, the museum was ofﬁcially opened in December 1988 to become one of the latest and largest museums in the Middle East. The Museum consists of several exhibition halls covering the history of Bahrain from the Stone Age, through ancient civilizations and up to the pre-oil period. A Heritage village has been developed outside the museum and is used for annual national festivals.
Bait Al-Qur’an Located in the city of Manama, Bait Al-Qur’an or House of Qur’an was inagurated in March 1990. It is a typical specialized museum consisting of several ﬂoors and characterized by most distinctive Islamic design. The Bait Al-Qur’an houses ancient manuscripts of the Holy Qur’an that have been collected from the Islamic world in general and from North Africa, Iran, India and China in particular. It also displays rare Islamic artifacts, jewellery and gold-ornamented glass utensils, including the great Islamic heritage arts that had an inﬂuence throughout the world. The building also includes a lecture hall provided with sophisticated equipment, a library of scientiﬁc, Islamic reference books, and Arabic calligraphy and the exhibition translations of the Qur’an into several languages. It is deﬁnitely worth visiting as part of Bahrain’s tourist landmarks.
The fort is at a distance of nearly 7 kilometers from the city of Manama and situated at Karbabad, the village wellknown for its traditional basketry on the North Central coastline. It is also known as Qal’at Burtughal, or the historical site that had become the seat of successive civilizations, the last of which was the Islamic era. The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1522. The Portuguese added the high walls, the huge square tower and surrounding moat which is still visible to visitors. The Bahrain Fort occupied a strategic military position and boasted a navigation ammunition depot and a secret passageway.
Bahrain International Circuit
The Bahrain International Circuit is a venue used for drag racing, GP2, and an annual Formula One Grand Prix. For the ﬁrst time in 2006, there was a V8 Supercar race, named the Desert 400, and also a 24 Hour Race. The construction of the Bahrain circuit was a national objective for Sakhir, Bahrain, initiated by the Crown Prince, Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. The Crown Prince is the Honorary President of the Bahrain Motor Federation. Race organisers were worried that the circuit would not be complete in time for the 2004 Grand Prix and attempted to cancel the event, however Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone refused this request. In the end, the circuit was not quite fully complete, but was good enough for the grand prix to go ahead.