DubaiCat traveled to Bahrain and she sums up the reasons she loved it:
1. Food. Bahrain is all about fresh, quality and cheap street food. You place the order (yes the typical Arab way: you stay in the car and just honk, you get your food and you enjoy it on the way to your destination). Make sure you’ll try Malghoum Samara, Malghoum Mahmood and Jan Burger and of course the ultimate ice-cream with the super fresh cone from Atlanta. Bahrain is famous for the traditional breakfast also. My personal favorite breakfast was the Khobez Joben (bread with cheese) which you combine with Oman chips (lol). On top of the list of the restaurants: Coco’s ! Most probably you’ll have to wait but it’s so worth waiting! Try the salad with the strawberry sauce and the chicken mushroom dish! Also, don’t forget to try the traditional halwa and bring me some on the way back to Dubai.
2. People. For some interesting demographic information, there are about twice as many men as women currently living in Bahrain. There are also more expats living in Bahrain than national citizens. In any case people are nice and smiley, they’re always willing to assist you and they have a positive attitude for life which cheers you up.
3. Tree of Life. The Tree of Life is a 400-year-old tree that grows in the middle of the desert. Scientists say that its source of sustenance still remains a mystery event now. The tree is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Bahrain and it’s simply gorgeous.
4. Sea. Bahrain is not only one island, but an archipelago of 33 small islands. Each island is connected by bridges, and each region within the country is technically a separate island. Make sure you’ll spend one day at Al Dar Islands where you can spend the day chilling, having shisha by the sea, jet skiing or just sunbathing.
5. Bahrain Word Trade Center. The Bahrain World Trade Center is the world’s first skyscraper that uses wind turbines for clean energy. It is currently one of the most famous buildings in the country because of its unique architecture. It is also the second tallest building in Bahrain (Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay is the third!)
6. Adliya, Manama. What I call the “downtown Manama” with the several art pieces spread all over the small streets and the art galleries which promote the local contemporary artists will make your day!
7. National Museum. The museum is very well done and is housed in a beautiful building on the water. This is the only place you can see a re-created traditional burial mound, complete with skeleton! I found it very nice and informative and it addresses Bahrain ancient and contemporary history. There is also a small gift shop with some historical books and interesting pieces of clothing and jewelery.
8. Bahrain is the most open-minded country within the GCC area. There are minimal restrictions on alcohol, people can receive massages from the opposite sex and clothing standards are more liberal.
9. Souk. Impressively rich souk for such a small country. The market is located in Central Manama. Here you will basically find anything you are looking for. This includes clothes, food (multicultural food), electronics, spices & nuts, souvenirs. Friendly people but very good at bargaining.
10. It’s only 1 hour away from Dubai, it’s a super cheap destination with plenty of flights within the day and it’s a great wake up call to realize that real life is not as perfect and sterilized as Dubai is making us feel. It’s like you’re visiting a big big village with all the cons and pros! Plus it’s they invented the “shisha in the car” activity and it’s definitely a reason to visit them!
It’s just worth visiting. Khalas.
PS: Don’t forget my Halwa on the way back!