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The Kingdom of Bahrain (Arabic: مملكة البحرين‎, Mamlakat al-Bahrayn, literally: Kingdom of the Two Seas) is an Arabic island country in the Persian Gulf ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway, which officially opened on 25 November 1986. Qatar is to the southeast across the Gulf of Bahrain. The planned Qatar–Bahrain Friendship Bridge will link Bahrain to Qatar as the longest fixed link in the world.


ARAD FORT

Arad Fort - GulfLeaf.com
Arad Fort (Arabic: قلعة عراد‎; transliterated: Qal'at 'Arad) is a 15th century fort in Arad, Bahrain. It was built in a typical Arab style.
Close to the Bahrain International Airport, the fort has been extensively renovated and presents a magnificent sight when it is illuminated at night. It is believed that the fort was used by the Omanis during their brief occupation of Bahrain in 1800, and it is located adjacent to the strategic waterways between Bahrain Island and Muharraq Island.Little is known of the fort's history, and there is no firm evidence of the precise date of construction, but comprehensive excavations have been undertaken in order to discover its past.

AL KHAMIS MOSQUE

Al Khamis Mosque - GulfLeaf.com
The Al Khamis Mosque (Arabic: مسجد الخميس‎; transliterated: Masjid al-Khamys) is believed to be the first mosque in Bahrain, built during the era of the Umayyad caliph Umar II.
The identical twin minarets of this ancient Islamic monument make it easily noticeable as one drives along the Shaikh Salman Road in Khamis. It is considered to be one of the oldest relics of Islam in the region, and the foundation of this mosque is believed to have been laid as early as 692 AD. An inscription found on the site, however, suggests a foundation date sometimes during the 11th Century. It has since been rebuilt twice in both 14th & 15th centuries, when the minarets were constructed. The Khamis mosque has been partially restored recently.


AL FATEH MOSQUE (GRAND)

ALFateh Mosque - GulfLeaf.com
The Al-Fateh Mosque (also known as Al-Fateh Islamic Center & Al Fateh Grand Mosque) (Arabic: مسجد الفاتح‎; transliterated: Masjid al-Fatih) is one of the largest mosques in the world, capable of accommodating over 7,000 worshippers at a time. The mosque is the largest place of worship in Bahrain. It is located next to the King Faisal Highway in Juffair, which is a town located in the capital city of Manama.
The mosque very close to the Royal Bahraini Palace, the residence of the king of Bahrain Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah. The huge dome built on top of the Al-Fatih Mosque is made of pure fiberglass. Weighting over 60 t (60,000 kg), the dome is currently the worlds largest fibreglass dome. Al-Fateh now includes the new National Library which opened to the public in 2006. The mosque was built by the late Sheikh Isa ibn Salman Al Khalifa in 1987. It is named after Ahmed Al Fateh, the conqueror of Bahrain.


BAB AL BAHRAIN

Bab Al Bahrain - GulfLeaf.com
Bab Al Bahrain (Arabic: باب البحرين‎, Bāb al-Bahrayn) means Gate of Bahrain. It located in Manama's central business district (CBD) and marks the main entrance to the Manama souq. Built by the British in the 1940s, Bab Al Bahrain once stood at the water's edge. Due to extensive land reclamation in the later years, one needs to walk more than 10 minutes to get to the sea. When it was originally designed by Sir Charles Belgrave in 1945, it housed the government offices of the time and overlooked the sea. The sea has long been reclaimed. Government Avenue, which runs alongside Bab Al Bahrain, and the new highway that leads to Saudi Arabia were built on reclaimed land. Currently, the Bahrain Financial Harbor is being constructed on further reclaimed land. The monument itself was refurbished in 1986 to incorporate Islamic architectural features. Today, the ground floor now houses the tourist information office and a handicrafts shop.
The monument essentially consists of a huge arch, below which runs a road, which is often referred to as the entrance to the Manama souq (marketplace). The Government Avenue, which runs in front of Bab Al Bahrain, contains many major banks and business establishments. The Government Avenue is perhaps so-called because the offices of the Manama municipality are located on it. The Gold City (different from Gold Souq) is a shopping complex for gold ornaments and is also located on Government Avenue.


MANAMA SOUQ

Manama Souq - GulfLeaf.com
Manama Souq (Arabic: سوق المنامة‎) is the old bazaar (souk) of Bahrain's capital, Manama. It lies in the north of Manama Peninsula, in-between the old parts of the city and the CBD, to the east of Noaim and west of Ras Rumman. It is a bustling marketplace with numerous traditional as well as modern shops. The souq (marketplace) is located in the heart of the city, near Bab Al Bahrain. The souq stretches from Isa Al Kabeer Avenue on the east side, Government Avenue on the north and Shaikh Hamad Avenue on the west. One can see and buy all kinds of spices, fabrics, kaftans, thobes, handicrafts, souvenirs, dry fruits, nuts, and any other thing one can imagine.
The crowd as well as the traders in Manama souq consist of Bahrainis as well as expatriates from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and neighbouring Persian Gulf countries. The souq is frequented by tourists from all over the world to experience the traditional setting of the marketplace which has been preserved over the years. The Gold souk is also worth visiting and all the gold is hallmarked and pure. One can only find 18K and 21K gold items. 10K and 14K are not usually acceptable as 'gold' jewelry. The Bahraini pearls are the only natural pearls in the world today and they are one of a kind. They are not cultured but natural.


QAL'AT AL BAHRAIN

QAL'AT AL BAHRAIN - GulfLeaf.com
Qal`at al-Bahrain (Arabic: قلعة البحرين‎ meaning Bahrain Castle) is an archaeological site located in Bahrain. It is composed of an artificial mound created by human inhabitants from 2300 BC up to the 1700's. Among other things, it was once the capital of the Dilmun civilization, and served more recently as a Portuguese fort. For these reasons, it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005.
Qal`at al-Bahrain is a typical tell – an artificial mound created by many successive layers of human occupation. The strata of the 300x600-metre tell testify to continuous human presence from about 2300 B.C. to the 16th century A.D. About 25% of the site has been excavated revealing structures of different types: residential, public, commercial, religious and military. They testify to the importance of the site as a trading port over the centuries. On the top of the 12m high mound, there is the impressive Qal`at al-Burtughal (Portuguese fort), which gave the whole site its name, qal`a, meaning fort. The site was the capital of the Dilmun, one of the most important ancient civilizations of the region. It contains the richest remains inventoried of this civilization, which was hitherto only known from written Sumerian references.


BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX

BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX - GulfLeaf.com
The Bahrain Grand Prix (Arabic: جائزة البحرين الكبرى‎) is a Formula One Championship race which first took place at the Bahrain International Circuit on 4 April 2004. The Bahrain Grand Prix, sponsored by Gulf Air, made history as the first Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East.
Bahrain fought off fierce competition from elsewhere in the region to stage the race, with Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates all hoping for the prestige of hosting a Formula One Grand Prix. The inaugural race was given the award for the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the FIA. The Bahrain Grand Prix has usually been the third race of the Formula One calendar, taking the spot of the Brazilian Grand Prix, which was moved in 2004 to October. However, in the 2006 season, Bahrain swapped places with the traditional opener, the Australian Grand Prix, which was pushed back to avoid a clash with the Commonwealth Games.


BAHRAIN NATIONAL MUSEUM

Bahrain National Museum - GulfLeaf.com
One of the first museums in the Gulf, the Bahrain National Museum opened in 1988. The site itself, on the edge of the sea, is a tremendous attraction, adding to its contemporary ambience which is influenced by the white travertine façade and dramatic courtyard decorated with contemporary sculptures. The exhibition halls showcase artefacts uncovered in the numerous archaeological sites in Bahrain and underpinning the longstanding history of the island. The rich collection covers 6000 years of Bahrain’s history. In addition to the archaeological exhibits, two halls are dedicated to local customs and traditions, featuring clothing, housing, rituals and traditional crafts. Moreover, the art hall features a permanent collection of works by some of Bahrain’s leading artists as well as regularly hosting temporary exhibitions.
Adjacent to the National Museum can be seen the Art Centre and Cultural Hall, both of which host temporary exhibitions and concerts throughout the year. A new addition to this cultural compound is the recently inaugurated Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage.


BARBAR TEMPLE

Barbar temple - GulfLeaf.com
The Barbar temple is an archaeological site located in the village of Barbar, Bahrain, and considered to be part of the Dilmun culture. The most recent of the three Barbar temples was rediscovered by a Danish archaeological team in 1954. A further two temples were discovered on the site with the oldest dating back to 3000 BC. The temples were built of limestone blocks, believed to have been carved out from the nearby Jidda Island.
The three temples were built atop one another with the second built approximately 500 years later and the third added between 2100BC and 2000BC. It’s thought that the temples were constructed to worship the god Enki, the god of wisdom and freshwater, and his wife Nankhur Sak (Ninhursag). The temple contains two altars and a natural water spring that is thought to have held spiritual significance for the worshippers. During the excavation of the site many tools, weapons, pottery and small pieces of gold were found which are now on display in the Bahrain National Museum.


BEIT AL QURAN

Beit Al Qur'an - GulfLeaf.com
Beit Al Qur'an (Arabic: بيت القرآن‎) means House of Qur'an in Arabic. It is an Islamic museum at Hoora, Manama, in Bahrain, which is an island country in the Persian Gulf.
The House of the Qur'an was built to accommodate a comprehensive and valuable collection of the Qur'an and rare manuscripts, a concept which is unique in the Persian Gulf. All visitors are welcome, and the complex comprises a mosque, a library, an auditorium, a school and museum consisting of ten exhibition halls.This great institution and its museum house an internationally celebrated collection of historic Quranic manuscripts from various parts of the Islamic world, from China in the East to Spain in the West, representing a progression of calligraphic traditions from the first century of the Islamic era to the present day.


DILMUN BURIAL MOUNDS

DILMUN BURIAL MOUNDS - GulfLeaf.com
The Dilmun Burial Mounds is a necropolis in Bahrain dating back to the Dilmun era. A Danish group was excavating the capital city of the Bronze Age when they opened some tumuli and discovered items dating to around 4100 - 3700 BP of the same culture. Many others began to excavate more of the graves, providing us with a view of the construction and content on these graves. Each of the tumuli is composed of a central stone chamber that is enclosed by a low ring-wall and covered by earth and gravel. Size of the mounds varies, but the majority of them measure 15 by 30 ft (4.5 by 9 m) in diameter and are 3-6 ft (1-2 m) high. The smaller mounds usually contain only one chamber. The chambers are usually rectangular with one or two alcoves at the northeast end. Occasionally there are additional pairs of alcoves along the middle of the larger chambers. Although the chambers usually contained one burial each, some contain several people and the secondary chambers often contain none. The deceased were generally laid with their head in the alcove end of the chamber and laying on their right side. The bodies were accompanied by few items. There were a few pieces of pottery and occasionally shell or stone stamp seals, baskets sealed with asphalt, ivory objects, stone jars, and copper weapons. The skeletons are representative of both sexes with a life expectancy of approximately 40 years.
Attempts to protect the burial mounds have run into opposition by religious fundamentalists who consider them unIslamic and have called for them to be concreted over for housing. During a parliamentary debate on 17 July 2005, the leader of the salafist Asalah party, Sheikh Adel Mouwdah, said "Housing for the living is better than the graves for the dead. We must have pride in our Islamic roots and not some ancient civilisation from another place and time, which has only given us a jar here and a bone there."


AL DAR ISLANDS

AL DAR ISLANDS - GulfLeaf.com
Central to life in Bahrain for centuries, pearl diving has to be the quintessential Bahraini experience. The beach resort of Al Dar Island offers regular pearl dives and cruises to Jarada Island where you might find yourself sunbathing on the spit of white sand and bobbing in its clear waters all on your own. In addition to pearls, you can also get the chance to see up to 30 types of coral and more than 200 species of fish. Dolphin watching along the many surrounding coral reefs is another popular pastime and they are best spotted at sunrise or sunset.
A day excursion to the pearl reefs is a lot of fun. Take a dhow trip for an even more authentic experience. You can order Arabic food and pearldivers will regale you with their tales of the high-seas. For the wildlife enthusiast, a 45-minute ferry ride from Al Dur Jetty to Hawar Island is a must. The Hawar Islands are renowned as a wildlife preserve of international significance and offer a pristine beach and a chance to spot dolphins and rare birds thanks to their position in the middle of their migratory path.Contact:

Dar Island: +973 - 17704600
Hawar Islands: +973 - 17290377
Dhow trips: +973 - 17725490


SCUBA DIVING

SCUBA DIVING - GulfLeaf.com
Scuba diving ("scuba" originally being an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, although now widely considered a word in its own right) is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater for recreation, commercial or industrial reasons.
Unlike early diving, which relied exclusively on air pumped from the surface, scuba divers carry their own source of breathing gas (usually compressed air), allowing them greater freedom than with an air line. Both surface supplied and scuba diving allow divers to stay underwater significantly longer than with breath-holding techniques as used in snorkelling and free-diving. According to the purpose of the dive, a diver usually moves underwater by swimfins attached to his feet, but external propulsion can come from an underwater vehicle, or a sled pulled from the surface.


FIRST OIL WELL

FIRST OIL WELL - GulfLeaf.com
As its name suggests, it is the first oil well in the Persian Gulf and is located in Bahrain. Oil first spurted from this well on 16 October 1931, and the well finally began to blow heads of oil on the morning of 2 June 1932, to much celebration on the part of those involved in the project.
The initial oil flow rate was 400 barrels per hour. The well is situated below Jebel Dukhan, dubbed the Mountain of Smoke, which, at a height of 134 m (450 ft), is the highest point of the island. Its name comes from the misty haze, which frequently surrounds it on a hot and humid day. Bahrain was the first place on the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf where oil was discovered. It couldn't have come at a better time for Bahrain as it roughly coincided with the collapse of the world pearl market.


KING FAHD CAUSEWAY (SAUDI CAUSEWAY)

SAUDI CAUSEWAY - GulfLeaf.com
The King Fahd Causeway (Arabic: جسر الملك فهد‎) is a causeway connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Construction started during 1968 and continued until 1986, when it was officially opened to the public.
The project cost a total of US$1.2 billion (SAR3 billion). One of the major contractors of the project is Ballast Nedam Group, based in the Netherlands. The four-lane road is 28 km (17 mi) long and approximately 23 m (75 ft) wide, and was built using 350,000 m2 (3,800,000 sq ft) of concrete along with 47,000 metric tonnes of reinforced steel. The causeway is constructed in three segments starting from Saudi Arabia:
1. From Khobar to the Saudi-Bahrain border
2. From the border to Nasan Island, Bahrain
3. From the Nasan island to the main island of Bahrain


RIFFA FORT

RIFFA FORT - GulfLeaf.com
Built by Sh.Salman Bin Ahmed ( al fateh) Al Khalifa, in 1812, Riffa Fort or (Arabic: قلعة الرفاع‎; transliterated: Qal'at ar-Rifa') it is now named ( Sh.Salman bin Ahmed Fort) , in the Kingdom of Bahrain offers a splendid view across the Hunanaiya valley.
With Riffa being home to the seat of government until 1869, this fort was strategically important in its day. Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, the present Amir's great great-grandfather, ruled Bahrain from 1869 to 1932. His house in Muharraq provides a glimpse of royal life in the 19th century, complete with architecture and wall carvings belonging to that era.


TREE OF LIFE

TREE OF LIFE - GulfLeaf.com
The Tree of Life (Arabic: شجرة الحياة‎; transliterated: Shajarat al-Hayah) is a 100+year old mesquite tree in Bahrain that is considered a natural wonder and one of the mysteries of world which is bound to be in your sightseeing list while in this Middle Eastern country. The Tree of Life in Bahrain is four century old mesquite tree which survives in the midst of desert. The mystery of the survival of the tree has made it a legend. People from all over the Middle East and the world make it a point to visit this place to see this magic of nature. The name “tree of life” is absolutely appropriate for the tree as it truly represents the magic of life.
The Tree of Life in Bahrain is A legend is also attached to the site where the tree is located. The local inhabitants believe with heart and soul that this was the actual location of the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life of Bahrain is located 1.2 miles or 2 kilometers away from Jebel Dukhan. The tree stands all alone in the heart of desert and from far away it looks like a green spot in the white desert. While going to this place extra caution should be taken to avoid your car from getting stuck in the sand. There are very less habitation near this place as this is in the midst of the desert.


AL AREEN WILD LIFE PARK

AL AREEN WILD LIFE PARK - GulfLeaf.com
This wildlife park was the brainchild of His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa, The Crown Prince of Bahrain. It is divided into two parts, one of which is open to the public. The reserve area is off-limits without special permission. Access to the park is by bus from the main entrance. This takes parties around a tarmac road from which you are able to obtain good views of a variey of Arabian mammals, some roaming free and others in pens.
There are also some African animals which remain from the initial establishment of the park. Arabian species include scimitar-horned oryx, addax, Arabian oryx, dama gazelle, Nubian ibex, wild goat, barbary sheep and Asiatic onager. Wild bird species are also attracted to the park. Near to the administrative building is a walkway which gives close views of various species of bird and animal. There are cafeteria facilities here. The park is opened daily from 8 -11.00 a.m. and 1-4.30 p.m. More information may be obtained from the park office: +973-17631826


BAHRAIN OIL MUSEUM

BAHRAIN OIL MUSEUM - GulfLeaf.com
Built in 1992, Bahrain oil museum is one of the significant tourist attractions in the island of Bahrain. It small but very interesting museum that tells a lot about the story of the black gold industry in Bahrain as well as the history of that era. It was build to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first discovery of oil in the island of Bahrain. The oil museum is a long way out of the busy town, in the midst of the oil fields. Actually , it is situated only few meters from the first oil well in Sakhir which was discovered back in 1932.
The oil museum exhibits old photographs, drilling equipment and a working model of an oil rig. A visit to the place is both informative and amusing.


THE LOST PARADISE WATER PARK

The Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park - GulfLeaf.com
Lost Paradise Bahrain – Dilmun Water Park in Sakhir is a fully themed water park featuring slides, pools and various other thrilling water attractions. The entire park is extensively themed based on the historical Dilmun period of Bahrain’s’ history. 5 minute drive from the Bahrain International Circuit and 25 mins from Manama/Seef district. 20 minute drive from Saudi Arabian causeway and just over an hour drive from the Eastern Province.
The "Lost Paradise of Dilmun" Water Park, where family fun will rule supreme, is now operational . It has been developed by the Al Areen Holding Company at an investment of US$ 50 million. Covering an overall area of around 77,000 square meters, with a built-up area of 45,000 square meters and around 20,000 square meters for future expansion and car parking. The theme of this exciting water park is based on Bahrain’s rich history and the civilization of Dilmun. At any one time, up to 5,000 visitors will enjoy its state-of-the-art facilities supplied by Canadian-based White Water West, the world’s leading water park equipment supplier. It has been designed and is now operated by Sim Leisure Consultants from Malaysia.

Telephone:+973 1784 5100
Fax: +973 1784 5199
Email: info@lpodwaterpark.com
Location: Near Al Areen Wildlife park, After Bahrain International Circuit, Zallaq
Website: http://www.lpodwaterpark.com/
Timings: May to June - 10 AM to 06 PM Closed on: Every Tuesday except school & public holidays
Admission Fee: Over 1.2 meters - BD 13 per person and Under 1.2 meter - BD 5 per person



WAHOOO! WATERPARK BAHRAIN

WAHOOO! WATERPARK BAHRAIN - GulfLeaf.com
Wahooo! Waterpark Bahrain is located within the Bahrain City Centre Mall in the heart of Northern Manama’s Seef area. The area is adjacent to the new financial and World Trade Centre districts in Bahrain and is in close proximity to the existing shopping centres in Bahrain.The waterpark is accessed directly from the mall at second floor level. The entrance is next to the mall’s main food court and to Magic Planet.
Wahooo! water park is in Bahrain City Centre. This is Middle East's first ever indoor outdoor water park. There are thrilling rides and attractions like Sidewinder, Master Blaster, Multi-level Rain Fortress, Matt Racer, Toddler pool, Lazy River and Wave Pool.
So what are you waiting go swim in and splash out in Wahooo! Waterpark.

Address: Bahrain City Centre
Manama, Bahrain
Telephone: +973 17173000
Fax: +973 17173001
Email: info@wahooo.com.bh Website: http://www.wahooo.com.bh/
Timings: 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Ladies night: Every Wednesday from 5.30 PM to 11:00 PM

BAHRAIN DOLPHIN PARK

Bahrain Dolphin Park - GulfLeaf.com
Opened in December 1998, The Dolphin Park seats a maximum of 620 people. There are currently 2 bottlenose Dolphins and one Beluga Whale at the Dolphin Park. The Beluga Whale performs for about 15 minutes, performing graceful water tricks. At one point the whale trainer gets in the water and together the Buluga and the trainer dance. You can also swim in private with one very special Beluga Dolphin called Cine.

Address: Marina Cornice, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Location: Al Fateh - Marina Cornice (between the Grand Mosque and Marina Club.
Telephone: +973 1729 0900/39471797
Fax: +973 17311108
Email: info@dpbahrain.com
Website: http://www.dpbahrain.com/
Timings: Sun to Tue - 10 AM, 5, 8 PM Wed - 10 AM, 5, 7, 9 PM Thu & Fri - 10 AM, 6, 8, 10 PM Sat - Off
Admission Fee: Adult - BD 4, Children - BD 2, Swim with the Belugas - BD 15


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