Rich with culture and established on the Dilmun civilization, lies an island country on the shores of Persian gulf, Bahrain. With ancient architecture, archeological remains and sites leaning side by side with the modern lifestyle and state of the art, makes this island country an all-rounder. Popularly known as Tylos (centre of pearl trading) got its name from the Greeks during the time of Alexander the great. Though a tiny island, it is one of the places to explore and learn.
A brief history:
Bahrain is said to be the origins of Phoenician civilization in 440 BC. In the 5th century AD it had become a centre for Nestorian Christianity. Prior to the Islamic era, the country was under the Dilmun civilization after which it was ruled by the Babylonians and Assyrians. In 1235, Bahrain came under the rule of the Persians. The Portuguese seized the island from the hands of the former ruler and administered for 80 years. The Portuguese were overthrown by the Persians in 1602 and governed until 1782, after which unrest broke and lasted till 1820; this is when the British recognized the Al-Khalifa tribe as the rulers of Bahrain. On signing the treaty to protect the island from foreign attacks, British took over the entire dominance. Devoured by the British rule and aiding both the world wars, Bahrain finally got independence on 15th august 1971. On 14 February 2002, Bahrain changed its name from state of Bahrain to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
If you are looking for a trip that doesn’t require much traveling, yet treat you to an entire trip from desert to sea, we offer you Bahrain. Here are some fun things to do in Bahrain:
Amwaj Island and Durrat Al Bahrain:
Two of the manmade islands that scream luxury, comfort and leisure. Durrat al Bahrain being the largest artificial island of the country will be 220,000,000 square feet after completion in mid-2015, it will include six coral atoll shaped, five fish shaped and two crescent shaped islands. Amwaj is a smaller island compared to Durrat al Bahrain, which is roughly 30 million square feet. It is located in the north Bahrain and is 17km from the capital.
Things to do in Amwaj –
- Amwaj accommodates the islands best hotels that provide exquisite hospitality.
- The island is designed in such a way that, every restaurant customer in Amwaj can experience a lagoon side dinning. There are seventy six restaurants solely in Amwaj lagoon which offer cuisines from all around the world; it’s like a food festival but only permanent.
- The manmade island houses spas and salons that provide high end services. If you are looking for a professional makeover you are in the right place.
- The Arabian social custom to smoke hookah/Shisha is an experience of a kind. Authentic Sheesha parlors in Amwaj make good Shisha with fresh fruits and offer a huge list of flavors.
Theme parks, malls and shopping:
- Wahoo Water Park and Bahrain city center: Can you imagine a water park inside a mall? Bahrain city centre has the rarest of amusement park, Wahoo waterpark which is built on the roof top of the mall. Popularly known as BCC and city centre is the biggest mall on the island. Apart from the amusement park, BCC has a line of restaurants, a cinema, over 340 brands from top designers to mid range that includes clothing, accessories, shoes, watches, home décor and supermarkets. The mall is located in the Seef district of the capital. It also accommodates two luxury hotels.
- Lost paradise of Dilmun Water Park: Widely known as L-pod, is rated as the seventh best among amusement parks in the Middle East. It includes 16 rides and an artificial beach with an outdoor screen where movies are played; they like to call it “dive-in” movies. Located in Al Areen it takes a 45 minutes drive from the capital city, Manama.
- Adhari Park: Is another tourist attraction in Bahrain. It is located in Tubli, close to Isa town, which is 7km from Manama.
- Souks: The souk (means market in Arabic) in Bab al Bahrain, Manama is one of the tourists’ attraction. The souk offers varieties of spices and handicrafts.
- Sailing, Scuba diving, pearl diving, horse riding and royal camel farms are other attraction in Bahrain.
Bahrain’s biggest attraction is the Bahrain grand prix, which is also the venue for the 3rd race of the Formula One calendar. Bahrain provides GCC citizens, residents and 37 other nationalities visa on arrival on regular basis, but citizens of Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Hungary, India, Panama, South Africa, Taiwan and Venezuela with Grand Prix tickets are also given visa on arrival during the event.
Historical sites and architecture:
- Al Fateh grand mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world built in 1988.
- Khamis mosque is the oldest mosque in Bahrain founded in the 7th century.
- Riffa fort built in 1812 during the reign of Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Khalifa
- Arad fort was built in the 14th century AD
- Qalat al Bahrain (Bahrain fort) previously known as the Portugal fort is inscribed as a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site
- Tree of life is miracle tree that grows in the middle of the desert; the 400 year old tree gets water from an unknown source.
- Beit Al Quran which means house of Quran is a museum dedicated to Islamic art.
- Bahrain museum and pearl diving museum are other that displays the history and culture of Bahrain.