Top 8 Things Bahrain Is Famous For - Updated 2022

bahrain is famous for

Located in the intriguing Persian Gulf, Bahrain is an exotic archipelago nation that’s nestled between the prominent land of Saudi Arabia and tiny peninsula-shaped Qatar. Made up of over 30 attractive islands, Bahrain is an enticing piece of real estate in a one-of-a-kind exciting environment. Deep bluish-green waters surround this Middle Eastern nation, which boasts a thriving art and food scene. With a large expat population blending with locals, Bahrain offers a distinctive multicultural experience that’s unmatched and plenty of things to do that’s sure to give you an unforgettable experience. If you’re ready to explore this fascinating country for yourself, then you must scroll down to see the top things Bahrain is famous for.

1. Pearls

Source: Pixabay

What was Bahrain famous for? Many associate Bahrain’s wealth with black liquid gold: oil. However, it’s this nation’s dazzling top-grade pearls that initially drew the world’s attention and contributed to Bahrain’s incredible riches. A prized commodity, pearls were once shipped all over the globe from Bahrain’s vibrant ports. Pearl fishing was the cornerstone of Bahrain’s economy for centuries and this Arab region was known as the pearling capital. Unfortunately, the demise of the pearl industry coincided with the rise of towering oil refineries, so these pretty aquatic jewels lost a lot of their luster on Bahrain’s economic landscape.

2. Abayas or scarves

Scarves 1 (5492116255)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Tony Hisgett used under CC BY 2.0

Bahrain is one of the world’s popular shopping destinations and much of the merchandise you’ll find in almost every store are abayas or scarves. Although Bahrain is a tolerant and more liberal Middle East country possessing a fairly relaxed dress code, it’s best to dress conservatively. A mainstay of women’s wardrobes in Bahrain is the abayas: a simple and loose-fitting, cloak-like over-garment worn by some Muslim women. Scarves are a great way to enhance your outfit and Bahrain boutiques offer a wonderful collection of choices that feature fine textures and pretty prints.

3. Beaches

Huts: Al Dar Island Summer Getaway 2011
Source: Photo by Flickr user Allan Donque used under CC BY 2.0

Whether you want to take a dip in crystal-blue ocean waters or relax on the sandy shoreline reading a book, the beaches of Bahrain do not disappoint, with a mix of fun recreation and tranquility. One of this country’s main attractions, Bahrain offers a wide array of private and public beaches to enjoy. Be aware public beaches are a bit more restrictive on what you can wear as opposed to private beaches. Al Jazayer Beach is the nation’s largest public beach and is a big draw for locals and tourists alike. This beach provides splendid spots for barbecuing, and more facilities, including restaurants and shops are being set up here, making it the perfect place to relax.

4. Dates

Dattes Lagou
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Madhif used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Meat, fish, rice, and of course, dates comprise the classic diet of Bahrainis. Sweet and delectable, stuffed dates are an addictive treat - the cranberry with almond cream cheese. Date palm trees are numerous in this Persian Gulf country despite its meager rainfall and poor-quality soil. Dates are so plentiful here that Bahrain is referred to as the ‘Land of a Million Date Palms’. Dates have been harvested by farmers for many centuries and have supported the Bahrain economy long before oil was discovered. The lush village of Bori - south of the capital Manama - is one of the prime places for date harvesting in the country.

5. Bird watching

Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve
Source: Photo by Flickr user Isabell Schulz used under CC BY-SA 2.0

With a large variety of bird species inhabiting in or migrating through Bahrain, bird watching is a paradise for avian fans. From robust Heuglin’s Gulls to delicate crested larks, Bahrain is the place to see an array of beautiful winged creatures. Eker Creek - situated close to the villages of Nuwaidrat, Ma'ameer, and the island of Sitra - is a superb spot to catch a glimpse of the fabulous shorebirds and waders who gather in abundance at low tide to feed on the exposed, ridged mudflats. There are even large flocks of Greater Flamingos that appear in the area! Head to Busaiteen beach to see lovely Socotra Cormorants that are native to the region and often times fearless when you approach.

6. Oil

Source: Photo by Flickr user Ryan Lackey used under CC BY 2.0

Bahrain is also known for its oil industry. Oil has loomed large on Bahrain’s landscape for a long time. Since the 1930s when this country initially struck oil, the liquid black gold has helped create the dominant image of Bahrain as an opulent and excessively rich Middle Eastern country. But, Bahrain’s oil reserves have proven limited when you compare them to the vast oil fields of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Certainly depleted after 80 years of pumping unrefined petroleum, this tiny island country’s oil reserves can’t last forever, so tourism has been one way to support the economy and continue the global presence of this exotic Arabian-Gulf nation.

7. World Heritage Sites (from USD 162.0)

There are many famous things in Bahrain but the variety and range of Bahrain World Heritage Sites is proof that this nation offers a diverse and compellingly rich past. From one of the earliest civilizations known as the ancient Dilmun culture to the imposing archeological site of Bahrain Fort, Bahrain is a must-visit destination for any history buff interested in distant, interesting lands. Other notable heritage sites include the burial mounds of the Dilmun civilization that highlights royal tombs and the pearling sites found along the island of Muharraq - a locale famed for being one of the best sites for harvesting shiny sea pearls from watery oyster beds.

Private Half Day Bahrain Heritage Tour

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8. Connecting port from the modern day Iraq and South East Asia

Seaport in Manama, Bahrain
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ali F. Al-Saeed used under CC BY 2.0

Bustling and crucial, Port of Manama is a major shipping port in Bahrain’s capital city. A significant structure housing various ports at the center of Bahrain’s importing and exporting activities, Port of Manama’s rich history showcases a once burgeoning shipping port that has grown into a global distribution hub of impressive means. Given this harbor’s locale, Port of Manama was a prominent player early on, allowing ease of trade between the Middle East and Southeast Asia. This port also provides direct access to neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as a way to receive millions of dollars of machinery and vehicles from the United States annually.

Beguiling Bahrain

From exploring ancient civilizations to diving for genuine shimmering pearls, Bahrain is a mesmerizing playground for adventurous travelers. Filled with a mix of mystery and allure, this Middle Eastern sovereign state offers a captivating long list of things to see and do. There are even places where you can have the best biryani in Bahrain. To ensure you make the most out of your trip, explore a few famous sites and haggle over tempting merchandise that answers the question: what is famous in Bahrain?

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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As a child, Catherine's family took a trip to the World's Fair New Orleans and her mom asked what she wanted to see. She exclaimed, "Everything!" She's been working on that endeavor ever since.

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