Al Muḩarraq, Bahrain

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Al Muḩarraq, Bahrain

Region: Al Muḩarraq, Bahrain is located in Al Muḩarraq


Geographic Coordinates: 26.250000, 50.616700
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Al Muḩarraq, Bahrain vary throughout the year.
Population: 75000
Language: Arabic

Al Muḩarraq, Located in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Is a historic and culturally rich city that offers a glimpse into the country’s fascinating past. Situated on an island just northeast of the capital city Manama, Al Muḩarraq was once the country’s capital and remains an important cultural hub today. As you explore Al Muḩarraq, You’ll be captivated by its traditional architecture and narrow streets lined with beautiful old houses made from coral stone. These structures showcase Bahrain’s unique architectural style known as Bahraini pearling houses, Which were built to withstand the harsh climate of the region while reflecting local traditions.

One of the standout attractions in Al Muḩarraq is Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House. This meticulously restored 19th-century residence provides visitors with a glimpse into Bahraini life during that era. With its intricately carved wooden doors, Stunning courtyard adorned with fountains and palm trees, And well-preserved living quarters showcasing traditional furniture and artifacts, This house transports you back in time. The Pearling Path is another must-visit site in Al Muḩarraq.

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012, It takes you on a journey through Bahrain’s pearling history – an industry that played a significant role in shaping both its economy and culture. Along this path, You’ll find beautifully restored buildings such as Siyadi House and Bin Matar House that now serve as museums dedicated to preserving this heritage. For those interested in contemporary art, Al Riwaq Art Space is not to be missed. It hosts rotating exhibitions featuring works by local artists while also offering workshops for aspiring creatives.

The space itself is housed within one of Bahrain’s oldest warehouses – adding an extra layer of historical significance to your visit. Food enthusiasts will delight in exploring Muharraq’s vibrant culinary scene too. The city is known for its delicious traditional Bahraini cuisine, And you can find numerous local eateries serving mouthwatering dishes such as machboos (a spiced rice dish), Fish biryani, And grilled meats. Don’t forget to try the popular Bahraini sweet treat, Muhawarah – a delectable combination of dates, Nuts, And spices. Al Muḩarraq offers easy access to some of Bahrain’s stunning beaches.

Situated along the coastline of the island, These sandy shores provide an ideal spot for relaxation or engaging in water sports activities like snorkeling or diving. Al Muḩarraq is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history with contemporary culture. With its well-preserved architecture, Museums dedicated to preserving tradition, Thriving art scene, Delectable cuisine offerings and proximity to beautiful beaches – this city truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking an authentic experience in Bahrain, Al Muḩarraq should be high on your list of places to explore.



Important Landmarks

  1. Arad Fort: A 15th-century fort located in Muharraq, known for its stunning architecture and historical significance.
  2. Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House: A traditional Bahraini house turned museum that showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage.
  3. Siyadi House: Another well-preserved traditional house that offers a glimpse into Bahrain’s past.
  4. Al Muharraq Souq: A vibrant marketplace where visitors can explore local shops selling spices, textiles, handicrafts, and more.
  5. Amwaj Islands: An artificial group of islands known for their luxury resorts, beaches, marinas, restaurants, and water sports activities.
  6. Al Dar Island: A small island off the coast of Muharraq that offers beautiful beaches and recreational facilities like swimming pools and water slides.
  7. Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort (Riffa Fort): Located nearby in Riffa city but easily accessible from Muharraq; it is a historic fort with a museum showcasing artifacts from the Dilmun civilization.
  8. The Pearl Monument (Al Manama Pearl Monument): Although technically located in Manama city, it is close to Al Muḩarraq and serves as an iconic symbol of Bahrain’s heritage and unity.
  9. Qal’at Bu Mahir: Also situated near Muharraq but closer to Hidd town; it is an ancient Portuguese fort offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.

These attractions provide visitors with a mix of historical sites, cultural experiences, natural beauty spots, shopping opportunities at souqs or markets while also being close to modern amenities on nearby islands like Amwaj Islands or attractions like The Pearl Monument in Manama city.


Primary Industries

  1. Aviation: Al Muḩarraq is home to Bahrain International Airport, which serves as a major hub for air travel in the region. The airport supports various aviation-related businesses, including airlines, cargo services, and maintenance facilities.
  2. Manufacturing: The city has a significant manufacturing sector that includes industries such as food processing, textiles, chemicals, and construction materials.
  3. Shipbuilding: Al Muḩarraq has a long history of shipbuilding and repair activities due to its strategic coastal location. The area has several shipyards that cater to both commercial and military vessels.
  4. Retail and commerce: As one of the oldest cities in Bahrain with a rich cultural heritage, Al Muḩarraq attracts tourists who visit its traditional markets (souks) offering various goods like spices, textiles, jewelry, handicrafts etc.
  5. Hospitality and tourism: With its historical sites like Arad Fort and Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House along with beautiful waterfront areas like Amwaj Islands or Reef Island; Al Muḩarraq is emerging as a tourist destination leading to growth in hotels/resorts/restaurants/entertainment venues.
  6. Financial services: Although not as prominent as the neighboring capital Manama’s financial district; Al Muḩarraq hosts some banks/financial institutions providing services to residents/businesses in the area.
  7. Education and healthcare: The city houses multiple educational institutions ranging from schools to colleges/universities contributing towards education sector development while healthcare facilities such as hospitals/clinics are also present catering to local population needs.

These are just some examples of the major industries/businesses in Al Muḩarraq; however it should be noted that this list is not exhaustive given the dynamic nature of business environment.


Noteable History

Al Muḩarraq

Historical Events:

  1. Al Muḩarraq was the capital of Bahrain until 1923 when it was replaced by Manama, the current capital.
  2. The Battle of Fort Muharraq: In 1783, during the Qatari-Bahraini War, Al Muḩarraq’s fort played a significant role in repelling an attack by Qatari forces.
  3. Pearl Diving Industry: Al Muḩarraq was once at the center of Bahrain’s thriving pearl diving industry. Pearling expeditions were conducted from here, making it an important economic hub.

Notable People:

  1. Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa: He was the ruler of Bahrain from 1869 to 1932 and resided in Al Muḩarraq during his reign. He played a crucial role in modernizing Bahrain and promoting education.
  2. Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa: Born in Muharraq in 1969, he is currently the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain. He has been influential in shaping modern-day Bahrain.
  3. Abdulrahman Kanoo: A prominent businessman born in Muharraq (1886–1955), he founded one of Bahrain’s leading business conglomerates – Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Group.

These are just a few examples highlighting some historical events and notable individuals associated with Al Muḩarraq, but there are many more who have contributed to its history and development over time.


Museums and Things To See

  1. Shaikh Isa bin Ali House: This historic house offers a glimpse into traditional Bahraini architecture and lifestyle.
  2. Arad Fort: A 15th-century fort located in Muharraq that has been beautifully restored and is now open to the public.
  3. Siyadi House: A well-preserved traditional Bahraini house that has been converted into a museum showcasing local culture and heritage.
  4. Pearling Path: Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Pearling Path, which includes various historical buildings and sites related to Bahrain’s pearling industry.
  5. Al Oraifi Museum: This privately-owned museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts representing Bahrain’s rich history.
  6. Bin Matar House: Another historic house turned museum showcasing traditional architecture and cultural exhibits.
  7. Al Riwaq Art Space: An art center that hosts contemporary art exhibitions, workshops, performances, and cultural events throughout the year.
  8. Sheikh Ebrahim Center for Culture & Research: Located in nearby Muharraq Island, this center promotes cultural dialogue through exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and research programs.
  9. Abdullah Al Zayed House for Bahraini Press Heritage: A museum dedicated to preserving the history of journalism in Bahrain through various exhibits on print media development over time.
  10. Qal’at Bu Mahir Fortress: Situated on a hilltop overlooking Muharraq Island’s coastlines; it offers panoramic views of the surrounding area along with historical significance as a defensive fortification from Portuguese rule during ancient times.

These attractions offer visitors an opportunity to explore both the historical significance and vibrant contemporary culture of Al Muḩarraq in Bahrain.



Sports Teams

  1. Al-Muharraq Club: Established in 1928, Al-Muharraq Club is one of the most successful football clubs in Bahrain. They have won the Bahraini Premier League a record 34 times and have also achieved success at the regional level. The team has a passionate fan base and plays its home matches at Khalifa Sports City Stadium.
  2. Busaiteen Club: Founded in 1945, Busaiteen Club is another well-known football team from Al Muḩarraq. They have won the national league six times and have a strong rivalry with Al-Muharraq Club. Busaiteen plays their home matches at Sheikh Ali bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Stadium.
  3. Manama Club: Although technically based in Manama (the capital city of Bahrain), Manama Club attracts fans from all over the country, including those from Al Muḩarraq. Established in 1951, they have enjoyed success both domestically and regionally, winning several national championships as well as participating in AFC competitions.
  4. Isa Town FC: Isa Town Football Club represents Isa Town, which is located near Al Muḩarraq but falls under the jurisdiction of Central Governorate instead of Muharraq Governorate itself. The club was founded in 1979 and has participated in various divisions of Bahraini football leagues.

These are just a few examples of sports teams with notable histories associated with Al Muḩarraq or nearby areas within Bahrain’s sporting landscape.



Cultural Events

  • 1. Bahrain International Music Festival: This annual festival showcases a variety of musical performances by local and international artists. It features classical music, jazz, traditional Arabic music, and contemporary compositions.
  • 2. Al Muharraq Spring Festival: Held during the spring season, this festival celebrates the cultural heritage of Al Muḩarraq through various activities such as traditional music performances, art exhibitions, food stalls, and folk dances.
  • 3. Pearl Path Heritage Festival: This event highlights the historical significance of pearl diving in Bahrain’s economy. Visitors can experience traditional pearl diving demonstrations, explore handicrafts made from pearls, enjoy live music performances and taste local cuisine.
  • 4. Qal’at al-Bahrain Festival: Located near Al Muḩarraq on the island of Bahrain is Qal’at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The festival held here offers visitors a chance to witness reenactments of ancient battles with horseback riders and warriors dressed in traditional attire.
  • 5. Eid Celebrations: During Islamic holidays such as Eid al-Fitr (marking the end of Ramadan) and Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice), various cultural events take place in Al Muḩarraq including fireworks displays, family gatherings with feasts and gift exchanges.
  • 6. Traditional Crafts Market: Occasionally organized in Al Muḩarraq or nearby areas like Arad Fort or Amwaj Islands; this market showcases local artisans selling handmade crafts like pottery, woven textiles, jewelry made from natural materials like pearls or coral.

These are just a few examples of cultural events that take place in Al Muḩarraq throughout the year but there may be other smaller-scale celebrations occurring at different times as well depending on local traditions or special occasions.


Cuisine

  1. Haji Gahwa: A traditional Bahraini café known for its authentic Arabian coffee and traditional snacks like samboosa (samosa) and muhammar (sweet rice dish).
  2. Al Abraaj: This restaurant offers a mix of Middle Eastern and international cuisine, with dishes like kebabs, biryanis, and mezze platters.
  3. Fish Market: As the name suggests, this seafood restaurant allows you to choose your own fish from the market-style display and have it cooked to your liking.
  4. Dar Al Salam: Known for its Bahraini breakfast specialties such as balaleet (sweet vermicelli with omelette) and chebab (Bahraini pancakes), this restaurant also serves delicious Arabic dishes throughout the day.
  5. Qal’at Al-Bahrain Café: Located within the Qal’at al-Bahrain archaeological site, this café offers stunning views of the ancient fort while serving traditional Bahraini dishes like machbous (spiced rice with meat or fish).
  6. La Pergola Restaurant & Lounge: If you’re in the mood for Italian cuisine with a twist, La Pergola is a popular choice in Al Muḩarraq. The menu includes wood-fired pizzas, pasta dishes, risottos, and more.
  7. Villa Mamas: This charming eatery serves modern Bahraini cuisine using locally sourced ingredients. From lamb chops to spiced chicken skewers to vegetarian options like stuffed eggplant – there’s something for everyone here.
  8. Ya Salam! Lebanese Restaurant & Cafe: Offering an extensive menu of Lebanese favorites such as shawarma wraps, hummus platters, falafel sandwiches along with refreshing drinks like fresh juices or mint lemonade.

These are just a few examples of the diverse culinary options available in Al Muḩarraq, Bahrain.


Parks and Recreation

  1. Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park: This large park offers beautiful landscaped gardens, walking paths, playgrounds for children, and sports facilities such as basketball and football courts.
  2. Arad Bay Protected Area: Located along the coast of Al Muḩarraq, this protected area provides a scenic waterfront promenade with benches to relax and enjoy the views of the bay.
  3. Amwaj Islands Beaches: The Amwaj Islands are known for their pristine beaches where visitors can swim, sunbathe, or indulge in various water sports activities like kayaking and jet skiing.
  4. Hala Plaza: This shopping complex includes an indoor ice skating rink where visitors can enjoy skating sessions or take lessons from trained instructors.
  5. Royal Golf Club Bahrain: Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round of golf at this prestigious golf club which features an 18-hole championship course designed by Colin Montgomerie.
  6. Al Oraifi Museum: Located in Muharraq’s old town area, this museum showcases traditional Bahraini heritage through exhibits that include artifacts, photographs, and interactive displays.
  7. Muharraq Walkway (Al Fatih Walkway): A long pedestrian walkway that stretches along the coastline of Muharraq Island offering stunning views of Manama skyline while providing a peaceful environment for walking or jogging.
  8. Busaiteen Beach Park: Situated near King Hamad University Hospital in Busaiteen district, this park offers green spaces with picnic areas as well as beach access for swimming and relaxation.
  9. Sheikh Isa bin Ali House & Bu Mahir Fort: These historical landmarks allow visitors to explore traditional Bahraini architecture and learn about the country’s rich history through guided tours.
  10. Al Muharraq Stadium Complex: Sports enthusiasts can catch local football (soccer) matches or attend various sports events at this stadium complex, which also includes a gymnasium and other sports facilities.

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