Bahrain Confidential - December 2022 - National Day Special

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Issue 236 BAHRAIN BD2 KSA SR20 KUWAIT KD2 OMAN RO2 QATAR QR20 UAE DHS20 51st National Day - Kingdom of Bahrain Online edition at
Complimentary Copy
Great Things About Bahrain


Marassi Al Bahrain has come alive with the opening of the Kingdom’s newest luxury beach resorts, Address and Vida!

Bahrain is witnessing a monumental change in the way we live with the evolution of the highly distinguished Eagle Hills Diyar mixed use waterfront community, Marassi Al Bahrain. Resort-style living with beaches, parks, promenades, 5 star hotels and Marassi Galleria, one of the Kingdom’s largest shopping malls, which is set to open in 2023. This prestigious location offers an extensive array of residential projects that cater for all lifestyles, home buyers and investors.




Bahrain Confidential December 2022 5 Dedication
to His
Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa
Prince and Prime Minister
citizens and residents of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

PublisherGulf Insider Media Arabian Magazines Group

Letter from the Publisher

Welcome to this very special 51st Bahrain National Day publication.

Within these pages you will learn about many of the things that make Bahrain special - 51 in fact (it must be a coincidence)!

Although 15th August 1971 is the date when Bahrain gained its independence from Great Britain, the kingdom celebrates 16th December as its National Day to coincide with the day the late Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa ascended to the throne on that date in 1961.

Beloved by his people, during his 38-year reign he introduced many reforms and led his country into its national economic transformation.

Great developments and reforms have continued under the wise leadership of his son and Bahrain's current ruler, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

We hope you enjoy our special tribute to Bahrain. In addition to 51 things we believe help make Bahrain great we've included a wealth of photos of our beautiful island from over the years. Many are of scenes that some of us will remember, while others show the island long before any of us were born.

I and my team wish you a very happy National Day.

Publisher & Editor in Chief Nicholas C. Cooksey

Editorial Deepika Rao

Editorial Contributors Elyzabeth Ramirez Vinita V

Sales & Business Development Charlie Cooksey

Account Manager Noor Albasri

Marketing Vinita V

Layout Designs James Dhanraj S

Admin & Finance Nikesh Pola

Photography Angelo Acosta

Distribution Mohammed Yousif Aramex Al Ayam

For advertising contact : Charlie Cooksey +973 3652 0004 |

Published by:

A Division of C. G. Arabia WLL P.O. Box 26810, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain Tel. +973 1782 2388, Fax. +973 1772 1722

Registered with Ministry of Information approval no. TFI-431©. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner without the written permission of the publisher. All Rights Reserved. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.

Printed at Dar Akhbar Al Khaleej, Kingdom of Bahrain.

Editors Note 6 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
Nicholas C. Cooksey

Al Naseem Villas

Al Naseem is an independent residential community spreading over 3 km of breath-taking waterfront views overlooking outer and inner canals which flow throughout the area and located adjacent to the most vibrant marina in Diyar Al Muharraq.

NATIONAL DAY | 16 DECEMBER | +973 77556606
CONTENTS Online edition at 24 DECEMBER 2022 Issue 236 Photos of Old Bahrain 12 78 84 51 Great Things About Bahrain Photos of Old Bahrain 12 Down the memory lane Snapshots 14 Images of the island shared with us by Bahrain's talented photographers 24 51 Great Things About Bahrain Highlighting 51 things that make this island a unique place to live and work Bahrain Then and Now 72 Glimpses of Bahrain’s development over the decades… Celebrating Bahrain’s 51st National Day 76 Greetings from our partners Celebrating Bahraini Women's Day 78 Bahrain Confidential interviews two women entrepreneurs Highlights of 2022 82 A look back at the year that was Car Bahrain 84 Bahrain Confidential reviews
Social Media 10 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 Follow @Bahrain Confidential Here’s our top social media posts from last month. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page!
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At this most awaited season of the year, escape to island time and festive vibes. Create long-lasting memories with your loved ones at the Festive Afternoon Tea, Christmas Market, and events. Ring in 2023 with a cabaret-themed island party at the Beach Deck or sumptuous New Year’s Eve dinners at Wolfgang Puck and Bahrain Bay Kitchen. CELEBRATE WITH US +(973) 1711 5000 |

Photos of Old Bahrain

he name “Bahrain” is derived from the Arabic word, “Bahr”, which means “sea”. Formed out of 33 islands, the name reflects the archipelago’s position between two seas. Its strategic location has brought influence from traders travelling between ancient Mesopotamia and Indian civilisations. Bahrain’s rich history dates back to the discovery of over 100,000 burial mounds at Saar, A’ali, and other northern parts of Bahrain and is believed to be the largest prehistoric cemetery in

The Kingdom of Bahrain is the cradle of the Dilmun Civilisation (BC 5000) - one of the oldest in the Middle East. Having been the cultural centre, this civilisation granted knowledge to humanity in numerous subjects. Commonly referred to as the “Pearl of the Gulf,” Bahrain commemorates over 6,000 years of history. People on the island celebrate its National Day every year on the 16th and 17th of December.

Old Bahrain 12
Bahrain International Airport - 1927
Bahrain Confidential December 2022 13 Old Bahrain
Bab Al Bahrain - c1960 Isa town - c1968 Bahrain Government Women's Hospital - c1950 Government Ave - 1974 Manama (View from Al Fadhel Mosque) - c1945


Snapshots 14 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
Images of the island shared with us by Bahrain's talented photographers. @abo_alya87 @akooheji @bibinbabay @bretufer @attafida
Snapshots 16 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 Photos of Bahrain @dayanna_bh @himalraule @iamsaeedbaloch @jaassi @doobiesnaps_photography @haa__.27
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Snapshots 20 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 @the_gobro @ricoestigoy @theobaf @world_walkerz @mustafaa7 @our_destenations Photos of Bahrain

51 Years of Greatness

Beautiful Nation. progressive vision.

On this momentous occasion of Bahrain’s National Day, we salute the great leaders of this great nation for 51 years of moulding the community with the spirit of unity, strength, and hope.

Snapshots 22 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 @postcardsfrombahrain ricoestigoy @saifeeml @jinzmoments mustafaa7 Photos of Bahrain
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Great Things About Bahrain

Highlighting 51 things that make this island a unique place to work and live.

Feature 24 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

#1 | Qal'at Al Bahrain

Dating back to 2300 BC and once known as Portugal Port in the capital of the Dilmun civilization, Qal’at Al Bahrain is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. Archaeological findings revealed that the site was used for residential, public, religious, military, and commercial purposes for about 5000 years.

#2 | Riffa Fort

The Riffa Fort or Sheikh Salman bin Ahmed Al-Fateh Fort was built in 1812 primarily for military and defense purposes. It later became a residential complex for the royals and was the birth place of Sheikh Isa bin Ali, who ruled Bahrain from 1869 to 1932. The fort contains a large facade, a garrison amid the chambers, a well, and a mosque. Today, it houses the Saffron Cafe overlooking the Al-Haniniya Valley and is open for visitors.

#4 | Bu Maher Fort #3 | Arad Fort

Qal’at Arad (Arad Fort) once served as a defensive fortress in Bahrain. It is one of the oldest archaeological sites built in the Kingdom during the 15th century. It is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bahrain.

Built in 1840, Bu Maher Fort is steeped in seafaring and pearling history. The fort forms the first stop in the historical pearling path having once served as the main fishing harbor and gateway to and from the sea.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 25 Feature

#5 | Bahraini Handicrafts

Bani Jamra Textile Factory

The craft of weaving has been passed on in Bahrain from generation to generation for over 3,000 years. The small village of Bani Jamra is known for its textile heritage and traditional fabric weaving. With aims to keep traditional practices alive, the Bani Jamra Textile Factory or Naseej Factory has been built in the heart of the village, resembling the old-fashioned ‘barasti’ themed roofed-structure made for spinning and weaving.

Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre

Get a glimpse into traditional Bahraini history by taking part in pottery making, cloth weaving, wood working, basket weaving, and sadow making at the Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre. The centre hosts special workshops and intensive programmes for those interested to learn the different aspects of Bahraini art, culture, and crafts.

| Al A'ali Burial Mounds #7 | Pearling Path

One of the many testaments to the Kingdom’s rich history, the Aali Burial Mounds is among the mysterious ancient remains from the Dilmun and Tylos era. It is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bahrain. The sizes of the mounds vary, but the majority measure 15 by 30 ft in diameter and 3–6 ft in height.

Located in the heart of Muharraq, “Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy” became the second UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bahrain. Famously known as Pearling Path, it is a testament to the unique legacy of Bahrain’s pearling era –documenting a period in history when the Kingdom’s economy was largely dependent on pearling trades.

Feature 26 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
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World Bahrain

| Bab Al Bahrain - Manama Souq

The gateway to Bahrain – Bab Al Bahrain needs no introduction. The 1949 structure once overlooked the sea and was a crucial landmark for trade in the Kingdom. The Bab opens up to the Manama Souq (or Bab Al Bahrain Souq), where every alley and corner takes you to a vibrant shop selling textiles, spices, incense, perfumes, handicrafts, and souvenirs.

In the heart of an ultramodern Bahrain, Bab Al Bahrain is a unique gem that provides a traditional Bahraini market experience. Designed by Charles Belgrave, the British adviser to the Emir and built in 1949, Bab Al Bahrain overlooked the sea and housed government administrative offices.

A number of famous coffee shops, ice cream parlours and more dating back to almost 1920 still stand in the souq. Haji’s Cafe is among the oldest, traditional dining spots that serves authentic Arabic food - a haven for those who love breakfast. If you want to indulge in the quintessential Bahraini vibe, a visit to Bab Al Bahrain must be on your list.

#9 | Historic Houses

Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House

Once home to Shaikh Isa bin Ali, the longest ruler of Bahrain from 1869-1932, the Isa bin Ali House is one of the bestpreserved examples of local architecture before the discovery of oil. The house has a simple architectural design, built with materials such as coral stones, mud, gypsum, date-palm trees, and lime. It has multiple staircases, intricate archways, and courtyards – giving a glimpse into the life of a royal in Bahrain in the 19th century. The building is divided into four sections, with separate areas for the Shaikh, family, guests, and servants.

Siyadi House

The Siyadi House (Bayt Siyadi) is part of the Siyadi complex along with the Siyadi Majlis and Siyadi Mosque – created by one of Bahrain’s leading grand pearl merchant families. It is also part of the Bahrain pearling trail, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kingdom. Today, the House, which dates back to 1931, illustrates the immense wealth of a grand pearling merchant and is still occupied by the builder’s grandson.

Feature 28 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
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Historic Houses

Abdullah Al Zayed House

The Abdullah Al Zayed House is a 100-year old building that was once home to the founder of the first weekly newspaper in Bahrain and the Gulf. It has been restored and dedicated to the preservation of the Kingdom’s press heritage and unique architectural traditions.

Bin Matar House

Built on reclaimed land surrounded by sea in 1905, the Bin Matar House was constructed in a traditionally Bahraini manner with the use of pal, tree trunks, sea-stone, and gypsum. It was initially used as the majlis of Salman Hussein Bin Matar, one of Bahrain’s the most prominent pearling merchants.

Beit Al Quran

Beit Al Quran is a multi-purpose complex that showcases a collection of Quranic manuscripts written on parchment, rice, peas, and grains, and pays homage to Islam’s holy books from nearly every century since the advent of Islam in 610. It is claimed to be the only institute in the world devoted to the Quran. The library holds over 50,000 books that center on Islam written in Arabic, English, and French. The building is engraved with Arabic script and houses a mosque, auditorium, madrasa (religious school), and museum. It also hosts a variety of art exhibitions.

Al Sakhir Palace

The Al-Sakhir Palace is a palace in the Sakhir desert built in 1901. It is one of the most eminent buildings in the Kingdom and was once home to Shaikh Hamad bin Isa, Ruler of Bahrain, since around 1925. It was built in the traditional Islamic fashion, consisting of grand arches and columns, a dome, and an imposing minaret towering above. Today, the palace is used for some of the most honorable and significant occasions in Bahrain.

Nukhida House

Described as the majlis of the boat captain (nukhidhah) Jassim Ajaj built in the 1920s, Nukhida House is the first house to be restored along the Pearling Path. Historically, it is said to be a very important place for the pearling industry. It is where divers and visitors were hosted when they came to Bahrain. It was also the meeting location for ship crews ahead of the pearl diving season. Today, it houses an exhibit on dive captains.

Kurar House

Bait Al-Kurar or Kurar House was established in 2007 to preserve the dying Bahraini art of Kurar – a form of embroidery used in weaving traditional clothes with golden thread. The building provides a venue for elderly Bahraini women to meet with younger generations and pass on the art of Kurar.

Mohammed bin Faris House

A reconstruction of the house of Bahraini singer and musician Mohammed bin Faris at the site of the original building. The Mohammed bin Faris Sut Music House was opened on 12th September, 2005 as a museum commemorating his achievements.

La Maison Jamsheer

Former home of the Jamsheer family, La Maison Jamsheer has been transformed into a Bahraini-French cultural center. It hosts varios exhibitions for art, architecture, and heritage. It is also a location for lectures and serves as a residence for experts and postgraduate students.

Feature 32 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

#10 | Religious Harmony

Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral

Known as the largest Roman Catholic church in the Gulf Region, the Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral - named after the patroness of the vicariate of Northern Arabia - can seat at least 2,300 people. It features several tiers of seating, two chapels, and an 800-capacity auditorium. It is intended to serve as a reference point for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia. It is said to resemble a tent in which Moses met his people as described in the Old Testament, and is topped with an octagonal dome under which most of the congregation will sit for mass.

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

The Al-Fateh Grand Mosque is the largest place of worship in Bahrain, with the capacity to accommodate over 7,000 worshippers. It was built in 1987 by the late Shaikh Isa bin Salman and named after Ahmed Al-Fateh (Ahmed the Conqueror), Bahrain’s first hakim or monarch. The dome built atop the mosque is currently the largest fiberglass dome in the world, weighing over 60 tons. Its Islamic library holds around 7,000 books – including copies of the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (books of Hadith), which have been printed over 100 years ago.

Sri Krishna Temple

Dedicated to Lord Shrinatji – a form of the deity, Krishna manifested as a seven-yearold child – the Shrinathji Temple or Sri Krishna Temple is a heritage Hindu temple in Manama. It is among the oldest temples in the region, constructed by the Thattai Hindu community, who had migrated from Sindh before the partition of India in 1817. In 2019, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the 200-year-old temple and launched a renovation plan worth $4.2 million (BHD 1.5 million).

Feature 34 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

#11 | Expat Clubs

Bahrain Rugby Football Club

Bahrain Rugby Football Club was established in 1971 as a section of the British Club and by 1974, it became an independent entity. It is a recreational and competitive sports club, with over 3,000 members today.

Indian Club

One of the oldest and largest clubs in the Kingdom, the Indian Club, Bahrain actively involves itself in charity fairs, recreational and sporting events.

#12 | Tree of Life

British Club

Founded in 1935 under the name “The Gymkhana Club”, The British Club is one of the oldest and well-known on the island. In 1966, it changed its name to “The British Club” and allowed nationalities other than British the right to join.

Filipino Club

The Filipino Club is a social, cultural, and sports organization for the Filipino community in Bahrain. It hosts several indoor and outdoor activities, gatherings, and charities.

Dilmun Club

Founded in 1974, the Dilmun Club is a family oriented, sports and social club for the expat community in Bahrain. The club hosts a wide range of social gatherings as well as sporting and recreational activities.

Bahrain Yacht Club

The Bahrain Yacht Club was established in 1977. It is a family-friendly, watersports club that hosts regular events, activities, and training services.

A 400-year-old mystery makes the Tree of Life a popular wonder in Bahrain. Locals believe that the tree, standing alone in the vast desert area of Zallaq is blessed by the water Goddess, Enki. Scientists, on the other hand, suggest that the roots of this age-old tree spread far and wide to absorb water from the reserves. However, no one really knows how the tree has stood strong through the passage of time and the lack of water sources in the oil fields that surround it. While uncertainties about the tree’s longevity still puzzle many of its visitors, the Tree of Life is a survivor, a spot of greenery in the midst of a barren desert, with a welcoming vibe for visitors.

Feature 36 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
Congratulations and Blessings to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa The Royal Family, Government, and the People of the Kingdom of Bahrain on the occasion of

Karzakan is a village in Bahrain that lies along the western coast of the island. If you’re a nature lover and prefer the outdoors, this forest will definitely enchant you. At Karzakan, you can enjoy a leisurely picnic with the family, swim in the clean beach or enjoy the peaceful surroundings while walking calmly or biking. While the forest is a short muddy stretch, the canopy of trees, the beach, and the children’s park create a cool and calming environment.

#16 | Bahrain Aquarium

Home to more than 2700 species of aquatic life - sharks, rays, fish, and more, the Bahrain Aquarium provides an insight into the deepest realms. The aquarium, 17 meters tall and 7 meters wide, stands along 4 floors of the Mall of Dilmunia and boasts being the first cylindrical aquarium of this scale inside a mall in the Middle East. 700,000 litres of seawater fills this cylindrical marvel which houses 85 species of marine life.

Children can enjoy an educational experience along with some fish feeding at the Aquarium. Divers - both certified and non-certified can immerse in an underwater experience and get up close to the marine animals in the Aquarium.

#13 | Al Areen Wildlife

Home to wildlife in Bahrain, the Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve was built to protect rare Arabian species including the Oryx, Adax and Reem Gazelle. The sanctuary has been around since 1976 and today houses hundreds of other plant and animal species.

The park has undergone multiple renovations over the decades, adding an aviary and an Arabian wild animal complex. A falcon stadium and petting zoo were opened in 2014.

It has become one of Bahrain’s popular attractions where tourists can walk around with native birds roaming freely within the premises and go on tours to explore the wildlife.

The Royal Camel Farm in Janabiya is home to numerous camels owned by the royal family. Tourists can visit the farm for free every day from 8:00 AM until sunset and spend the day learning all about the animals, chatting with the farmers, feeding the calves, or trying some camel milk.

Founded by the late Sheikh Mohammed Bin Salman Al Khalifa, this hobby farm is a sanctuary for over 500 camels.

Feature 38 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
#14 | Karzakan Forest #15 | Royal Camel Farm
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The Manama Skyline

The view of the Manama Skyline, its towering marvels, lights, and the sea are best seen from rooftops around the downtown area.

Bahrain World Trade Center

Known as the Kingdom’s first ‘intelligent building’, the Bahrain World Trade Center (BWTC) has set a technological precedent as the first skyscraper in the world to have integrated wind turbines to help reduce power consumption in the building; it can generate up to 15% of the tower’s electricity needs. Architecturally, it is inspired by traditional Arabian wind towers and has become an iconic landmark of Bahrain.

BWTC has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as the Green Building Award by Leaf Awards in 2006, for its excellence in the international architecture, design, and building professions. The Edie Award for Environmental Excellence in 2007, and the Tower Project of the Year Award at the Construction Week Awards in 2008.

BWTC also received the ‘Sustainability Award’ by BEX International Awards in 2008 for sustainability, innovation, efficiency, and collaboration in the built environment; the ‘Best Tall Building Awards’ in the MENA region; the ‘Innovation Nova Award’ by the Construction Innovation Forum (CIF) in 2009 and ‘Best Use of Exterior Lighting’ at the Palme Middle East Awards 2010.

Bahrain Financial Harbour

One of the popular commercial landmarks in the Kingdom, the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH) is a mixed-use, master-planned development opposite the commercial heart of Bab Al Bahrain. The 52-story building consists of the Harbour Towers (East and West) as well as the Harbour Gate, which have grown to become the commercial and social hubs of BFH.

The Harbour Towers is said to be the largest single office property in Bahrain with approximately 100,870 sqm of leasable office space in total. Office suites range from 35 sqm to 1,800 sqm on a single floor.

The Harbour Gate aims to create a lively “village square” at its heart with cafes, business support uses, as well as a continual programme of cultural events and entertainment. It houses the Bahrain Stock Exchange and various investment firms.

The Harbour Heights Towers (formerly Villamar) are 3 residential skyscrapers located to the north of the Harbour Towers. The Harbour Row project consists of luxury homes alongside a commercial waterfront promenade.

Feature 40 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 #17
| Cityscape
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#18 | Museums

Bahrain National Museum

The Bahrain National Museum was officially inaugurated by the late Amir H.H. Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa on 15th December 1988. One of the island’s main cultural landmarks, the museum was conceived and designed by Krohn and Hartvig Rasmussen.

It was considered one of the finest museums of its kind in the Gulf region. Today, the Bahrain National Museum is one of the island’s main cultural landmarks. The Museum houses 6000 years of Bahrain’s history within the Halls of Graves, Dilmun, Tylos and Islam, Customs and Traditions, Traditional Trades and Crafts, and Documents and Manuscripts.

Bahrain Military Museum

First opened in 2013 by His Majesty the King, the Bahrain Military Museum acts as a monument to the Kingdom’s military culture, displaying its progression throughout history. It houses equipment and war and combat tools from ancient times to the modernday Bahrain Defence Force. The museum was designed to architecturally resemble the Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Al Fateh Fort – a military headquarters built in 1812.

The museum comprises five different halls: Rulers Hall, Forts Hall, Horses Hall, Documents Hall, and Old Weapons Hall). A section of the museum is dedicated to the Navy, Air Force, and Military uniforms, medals as well as ammunition.

#19 | First Oil Well in the Gulf

The first oil well in Bahrain was discovered in 1932 below Jabel Al-Dukhan, making the Kingdom the first country in the Gulf to discover oil. Well #1 as it’s popularly known was discovered and operated by the Bahrain Petroleum Company (BAPCO). Oil first spurted from the well on 16th October 1931. It began to blow heads of oil on the morning of 2nd June 1932 with an initial flow rate of 400 barrels per hour. The well produced approximately 70,000 barrels per day by the 1970s. It then stabilized at 35,000 barrels per day.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 41 Feature

#20 |

Al Dana Amphitheater

Al Dana Amphitheatre is Bahrain’s live entertainment destination, offering four event spaces - the open-air amphitheater, Quarry Lounge, Desert Garden, and Plaza. Since 2020, Al Dana has been home to some iconic concerts by local, regional, and international artists in its impressive 10,000-seat setting carved out of the Sakhir desert.

Since its opening in 2020, Al Dana Amphitheatre has witnessed a star-studded lineup of performers - beginning with the legendary Eric Clapton, to Emirati star, Ahlam Alshamsi and Saudi’s iconic Abdul Majeed Abdullah. The list goes on with big international names like Bruno Mars, Lewis Capaldi, and Tiësto performing along with standup acts like Michael McIntyre. The Golden Circle - most preferred by audiences is in-demand at the amphitheatre, providing an up close viewing experience of their favourite artist on stage.

While the arena is built with the community in mind and the long-term vision of supporting and promoting home-grown talent, Al Dana Amphitheatre is designed to merge the organic desert characteristics with an enthralling musical experience for its thousands of visitors. The desert concert venue was an architectural feat achieved by its designer Marwan Lockman of S/L Architects. Concerts at the Amphitheatre are positioned against the setting sun with a view of Jabal Al Dukhan (Mountain of Smoke), providing the perfect Bahraini vibe and a thrill for both performers and the audience.

#21 | Bahrain International Circuit

In the year 2004, Bahrain made history as the first country in the Middle East to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix race. The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC)’s maiden international racing event saw Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher crossing the checkered flag to victory, Bahrain’s event was recognized as the "Best Organised Grand Prix" by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA - the governing body of motorsports).

Soon, BIC would become the “home of motorsports” in the region. Apart from the 19 Grand Prix races held to date, the 5.412-kilometre track also hosts the FIA World Endurance Championship Six Hours of Bahrain, races in the GP2 Series, and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

The ultramodern facility was designed by German engineer Hermann Tilke. After 18 months of construction, the circuit was open with a record five FIA-certified track layouts, hosting a range of motor racing events and off-track experiences.

Feature 42 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
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#22 | Beach Life

Marassi Beach

Marassi Beach hosts Bahrain’s first food truck court offering international and local favourites. It also hosts regular weekend events including pop-up markets, outdoor movies, and children’s games. Visitors can enjoy jet skiing, towable rides, stand-up paddle boards, and thrill rides such as zup boarding or kneeboarding, paddle boat rides, wakeboarding, kayaking, fishing, and sailing. There is also a children’s play area and a waterside walkway for joggers.

Bilaj Al Jazayer

Bilaj Al Jazayer is a familyfriendly public beach where visitors can enjoy a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. The beach offers a range of activities and facilities, including F&B outlets, water sports and activities, as well as toilets, showers, and changing rooms.

Damistan Beach

Damistan Beach is a quiet and serene beach located on the Northern side of Bahrain. It’s popular with locals and residents alike for its relaxing views. Visitors can host picnics, BBQs, go swimming and fishing, and relax on the beach.

Salman City Beach

The scenic Salman City Beach is located on the northern coastline of Bahrain, Madinat Salman (Salman City). Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, jellyfish watching, beach games and sports, as well as other outdoor sports such as cycling, jogging or walking the pets.

Water Garden City Beach

With water as one of the key assets in Water Garden City, the master plan was carefully designed to maximize its value. There are two main water bodies integrated within the development, the marina and the beach. Visitors can enjoy a range of water sports activities, relax on the beach, and with the Marina Promenade Dining Strip nearby, visitors can also enjoy a variety of cafes and restaurants. It is an ideal environment for recreation and events including water festivals.

Beach Culture – Bahrain Bay & Bilaj Al Jazayer

Beach Culture is Bahrain’s first beach-specialized company that began with a passion to imbibe a love for the beach lifestyle among residents. The group is diversifying the maritime and beach culture in the country to create a unique, healthy, sustainable, and ecofriendly waterfront environment. Visitors can enjoy 1-hour guided paddleboard tours, 2-hour sunset sessions, LED paddle boarding, kayak services, party boards that can accommodate 6 people, as well as SUP yoga at Bahrain Bay. Group sailing lessons, private and group surfing lessons, paddle boats, sea bikes, guided paddle board tours, party boards, and kayak services can be enjoyed at Bilaj Al Jazayer.

Feature 44 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
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#23 | Al Dar Islands

Al Dar Islands is a group of resort islands and is among Bahrain’s natural beaches. The Al Dar Islands Resort is a popular getaway destination for those looking to experience Bahrain’s golden beaches, explore its centuries of pearl diving history, and enjoy a variety of entertainment, water sports, cruises, and more. Located just 10-minutes offshore the Sitra fishermen’s port (Bandar Al Dar), guests have different accommodation options including private chalets, beach huts, and tents for large gatherings on the island; along with restaurants, bars, BBQ areas near the beach, and a children’s play zone.

#24 | Hawar Islands #25 | Jarada Island

Consisting of 16 islands to the south of Bahrain, Hawar Islands has gained popularity for its ecology that draws endangered species including the oryx, green turtles, and dugongs. It offers a range of attractions and experiences for visitors such as water and desert activities, as well as parties. Guests to Hawar Island arrive by boat or seaplane.

Jarada Island is a small island that has become popular for its crystal blue waters and smooth sand. The island appears only during low tide. Its beauty has attracted local and international tourists in addition to its various activity offerings. Parasailing, snorkelling, surfing, and wakeboarding are among the many activities visitors can enjoy on the island.

Feature 46 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

#26 | Reef Island

Situated in the heart of Manama, Reef Island is an artificial island that offers luxury waterfront apartments and villas, a resort, parks, a marina, a yacht club, dining, an exclusive beach, and a clubhouse.

#27 | Amwaj Islands #28 | Nurana Islands

Amwaj Islands is a group of artificial islands surrounded by water near the coast of Muharraq. Each of the six islands (Tala, Najmah, Asdaf, Murjan, Jood, and Lulu) offers its residents and visitors a different experience. There is a range of commercial, residential, and leisure developments across the islands with modern services and facilities including supermarkets, pharmacies, hotels, restaurants, cafés, retail outlets, banks, schools, marina, and communications companies.

Nurana Islands are a group of 2 islands known as a day’s getaway destination for families, horse riders, and those looking to spend a couple of hours away from the city. Although it is a residential area, it is a popular location to go fishing, bike riding, or swimming.

Feature 48 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
ADVANCE BOOKINGS ARE NOW OPEN. FOR RESERVATIONS, PLEASE WHATSAPP +973 66655118 WWW.THEMERCHANTHOUSE.COM @THEMERCHANTHOUSEBAHRAIN FESTIVE FESTIVE SEASON Embark in a culinary journey at Indigo Terrace for this festive season 1st December 20221st January 2023 Available for lunch and dinner CHRISTMAS EVE Experience Christmas time festivities through a culinary journey at Indigo Terrace Live Entertainment by Mo Zowayed from 8 PM - 11 PM CHRISTMAS HASSLE FREE FAB BRUNCH Enjoy a festive assortment of dishes from our Hassle Free FAB'Brunch menu at IndigoTerrace Saturday 24th December 2022 Live Entertainment by Anna from 1 PM - 4 PM NEW YEAR HASSLE FREE FAB BRUNCH SAVOUR | SIP | SIT BACK at INDIGO TERRACE Sunday 1st January 2023 Live Entertainment by Anna from 1 pm - 4 pm NEW YEAR EVE Relish into our specially curated 5-course New Year Eve set dinner menu with a bottle of sparkling wine Live Entertainment by Abyooki and AbdulRahman from 8 PM - 12:30 AM

Motorcycle Clubs

If you are a Bahrain resident, you would have come across groups of motorcyclists riding together along the highway or busy roads of Juffair. There is no shortage of passionate motor riders in the country and there are a number of groups that host weekly gettogethers and rides like the Bahrain Riders Club, Bahrain Bikers, and more.

Cycling Clubs

Cycling has become a popular recreational sport in Bahrain over the years. There are many cycling groups on the island that host weekly rides, and gatherings, and participate in charities such as the Bahrain Cycling Association, and Cyclones.

The Cycling Bees, an only-ladies cycling group on the island has been hosting rides across Bahrain since 2016. Headed by Sarah AlSammak, the first woman cyclist to receive a cycling certification and Dana Zubari, the group advocates for women’s health and wellness with almost 100 women joining their frequent rides.


There are numerous padel courts across the Kingdom as the sport has gained popularity recently. Padel has been around since the 1960’s when it was invented in Mexico. Padel Bahrain, Let’s Padel, and Padel Park are among the known courts on the island.

Tours and Island Activities

Bahrain has a lot of hidden gems and beautiful sights to see. There are businesses that organise tours to visit these places and host activities around the island including horseback riding, kayaking, cycling and more.

Feature 50 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 #29 |
Sports & Recreation

Pearl Diving

Pearl diving has been a major part of Bahrain’s history. Today, tourists and those interested in learning more and experiencing pearl diving first-hand have the opportunity to do so through various diving centres and tour guides; among these are Scubalife and Experience Bahrain.

Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are an ideal activity to partake in for a group of friends, colleagues, family members or even strangers. Escape Code is currently the only escape room centre in Bahrain located in City Centre Bahrain and Nakheel Centre in Budaiya.

Indoor Skydiving

Gravity is the first and only centre offering adrenaline junkies an indoor skydiving experience. The tempered glass wind tunnel has an overall height of 12 meters. Gravity also provides corporate events and Pro Flyer training.



The Largest Indoor e-Karting Track

The first and largest indoor karting track in the region opened on the island in 2022. Trax Bahrain at Bahrain Mall broke multiple records as a one-of-a-kind recreational space for thrill seekers of all ages. The track covers a distance of 500 metres built over three floors. The electric karts reach a speed of up to 80 kmph - believed to be the fastest in the region. The track is wide enough for three karts to race parallelly and the floor charging circuit is built for drifting and speed. While karting is a popular recreational activity for many in Bahrain, this indoor track provides an entertaining experience, especially during the hotter months.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 51 Feature

#31 | Exhibition World Bahrain

out of the ten new

EWB is a stunning piece of architecture with exquisite accents of traditional designs over a total area of 309,000 square metres. It is an innovative, adaptable and flexible space, made to host multiple concurrent events of different sizes and genres, from large conventions and exhibitions to conferences and meetings, live entertainment performances, weddings, galas and celebrations, and corporate functions.

EWB is a project that compliments Bahrain’s appeal as a destination and capitalizes on its potential to become a regional hub for the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions (MICE) industry. Bahrain is a very special destination and has long been a hub for trade, art, and culture. It offers a truly authentic experience and a perfect balance between modern sophistication and timeless traditions, being a cosmopolitan society open to the world, and a warm, welcoming nation true to its identity of genuine Arabian hospitality and rich heritage. Bahrain is at the very centre of the world, strategically positioned, and a gateway to vast markets and business opportunities.

EWB is owned by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA), and it’s operated by BTEA’s strategic partner ASM Global, a world-leading venue management company. The project falls is aligned with Bahrain Tourism Strategy 2022-2026, and is a key priority within the government’s tourism agenda.

Bahrain has over the years become a travel and tourism hub, with its attractions, culture, dining, and nightlife offerings. The island life attracts visitors from a number of countries and at the same time, Bahraini passport holders can travel to 83 countries without a visa. The newly refurbished Bahrain International Airport reflects the island’s modern vibe. Facilitating seamless and good-value travel in and out of the country, as well as revolutionising Bahrain’s travel sector are a number of travel agencies such as the award-winning Dadabhai Travel.

For visitors coming to Bahrain, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority has a well-informed guide that encourages them to visit the cultural hubs, attractions, and beaches around the island. In 2022, the BTEA launched its own Duck Tours - a bus that travels on both land and water - offering a cheerful experience and the view of Bahrain’s skyscrapers to tourists, both young and old.

Feature 52 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
#32 | A Travel & Tourism Hub Exhibition World Bahrain (EWB) was officially inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, on November 21, 2022. The venue saw an impressive opening the very next day, with three concurrent events occupying six exhibition halls - Jewellery Arabia, Cityscape, and Scent Arabia.

#33 | King Fahd Causeway

#34 | Shopping in Bahrain

Established in 1986, the King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia through a series of bridges and causeways. The four-lane road is 25km long and 23.3 metres wide. It is the only access point by land to the Kingdom.

According to figures released by the King Fahd Causeway General Authority, approximately 4.9 million vehicles crossed King Fahd Causeway in 2021.

In addition to strengthening bilateral relations and regional defence, the causeway has helped both Bahrain and Saudi Arabia economically and politically.

While traditional marketplaces find an important place in Bahrain’s shopping culture, malls provide shopping and entertainment for families around the island. MODA Mall is the Kingdom’s only dedicated luxury shopping destination housing the largest collection of high-end designer fashion and jewellery brands.

The Bahrain Mall is among the first few malls to be established in Bahrain. It once housed the first and largest retail hypermarket in the Kingdom, Géant. Apart from shopping options, the mall today is home to the largest indoor karting track and entertainment centreTrax.

With over 340 brands, the Bahrain City Centre is the largest shopping, leisure, and entertainment centre in the Kingdom. It opened in 2008 and has since been an attractive destination for residents and tourists.

The Avenues Bahrain is the only seafront mall in the Kingdom. It offers visitors a unique ‘outdoor’ feel through its interior design. Visitors can enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment at the mall or a walk by the Bahrain Bay lagoon.

With eight LuLu Hypermarket stores across Bahrain, it is recognised as the largest retail chain in the Kingdom and the region. LuLu offers a wide range of products from groceries to fashion.

The list is endless with The Mall of Dilmunia, Seef Mall, Galleria Mall, Al A’ali Mall, and Al Liwan Mall among others offering a number of entertainment and shopping options for visitors on the island.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 53 Feature
Gold City is the country’s largest jewellery centre located in the heart of Manama. Vendors at this modern gold souq sell gold, silver, pearls, and other precious metals along with antiques, traditional gifts, crafts, perfumes, and luxury carpets.

#35 |

Luxury Hospitality - Bahrain’s Luxury Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay

Combining the best of a beach holiday and an urban getaway, Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay soars as a destination at the heart of Manama. Being one of the landmarks of Bahrain, the hotel rises on a lushly landscaped private island.

The hotel provides 273 rooms and suites with Arabian Gulf or Manama skyline views, a private white-sand beach, a waterpark for kids, an infinity pool for families, an adults' pool among palm trees, and a Beach Club for teenagers.

The hotel features a specially curated collection of Bahraini art of over 1000 pieces. As part of the hotel’s sustainability commitment, 100% of its wastewater is treated in a community sewage treatment plant and used for irrigation in the property's gardens. And, out of the hotel’s 5-hectare private island, 40% area is covered with trees and environment-friendly plantations.

The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Set along the bay in Seef, with a private lagoon and island, the luxury resort provides guests with a secluded slice of paradise. From Italy to India, dining at The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain spans the globe with 14 restaurants. The resort boasts a modern spa, access to the beach, and recreational activities like golf or tennis.

The five-star resort is among the most elegant destinations in Bahrain where guests can immerse in the local culture, enjoy extraordinary cuisine and explore the dazzling capital city of Manama. The hotel offers modern and international dining experiences with award-winning restaurants, lounges, and beach cafes. The Ritz-Carlton is also the first and only hotel in Bahrain that serves Kosher meals.

Each of its seafront villas has a private infinity pool, beach access, and 24-hour on-call butler service. The hotel promises an array of leisure activities for the whole family; from the sea-inspired Ritz-Carlton Spa, the Royal Beach Club, and a new marina, to indoor and outdoor pools, and the Ritz Kids Club.

Feature 54 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

Social Media is changing business

Most businesses in Bahrain lack advanced digital and social media marketing skills to expertly manage a successful digital strategy, so missing major opportunities they don’t even realize. The good news is we can inexpensively create an effective digital strategy for your business, and manage it for you, for less than the salary of an employee - freeing you to run your business. We also build beautiful websitesoptimized to generate income for businesses, and provide online services including SEO, design, e-commerce, photography and video production.


Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain

Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain is a place to experience world-class luxury hospitality blended with Arabian tradition and a touch of Swiss that makes guests feel at home in one of the most attractive and friendly Gulf region destinations. It is situated just across Bahrain International Airport and 10 minutes from the city centre of Manama.

The hotel designs a rich hospitable, and elegant space infused with refreshing and bright interiors, delivering a unique, social experience set within a private garden-like environment.

Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa

Sofitel Bahrain combines French luxury and traditional architecture at its luxury hotel in Bahrain’s Zallaq area. The secluded location of the hotel offers a luxurious and idyllic escape far from the bustling city. The beach-front setting and five-star amenities make for a memorable getaway, whether it is for a weekend or a complete 6-day spa package.

The hotel boasts 21 Prestige Suites, six rooftop thematic Opera suites, and one Royal Suite, all furnished. It has 13 dining and nightlife options that are awardwinning seafood, Italian, Southeast Asian or Lebanese restaurants. The bars and lobby lounge are perfect for a nightcap, a business meeting or a rendezvous with friends.

The Thalassa Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, the only one in the GCC, offers a vast array of seawater-based treatments, including hydrotherapy, massage, wellness and rehabilitation.

Hilton Bahrain

In August 2022, Hilton inaugurated its second property within reach of Bahrain’s entertainment hub. The 45-story Hilton Bahrain is a pet-friendly, upscale residential hotel providing short and extended stays for guests travelling into Bahrain on business or looking for a weekend getaway.

The tower is home to over 348 residential spaces (studios, one, and twobedroom apartments) with each providing a view of the sea. The rooms are designed for short and extended stays with a kitchenette in the smaller flats or a full-fledged kitchen in the bigger ones.

They are equipped with workstations, dining areas, a reading nook, and spacious walk-in closets. If you’re one to prefer a good view, you might choose to permanently reside on the balcony during your stay.

Overlooking one of the two seas, the property, while offering a splendid view from its higher floors, also gives guests an opportunity to explore Bahrain. Located in the heart of Manama, the hotel is a short drive away from attractions like Bab Al Bahrain (Manama Souq), Al Fateh Grand Mosque, Bahrain City Centre, and the World Trade Centre among others.

Feature 56 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
BRUNCH SUNDAY,25 DECEMBER 12:30PM-4:00 PM BOOK NOW! Lavish International Buffet with live cooking stations,, Kids Activities, Santa's Goodies and Live entertainment BD 18.500+++ inclusive of unlimited selected beverages with soft beverages Kids from 6-12 years old +973 38884415 BD 5.500+++ BD 11.000+++ @EliteResort_Spa @EliteResorSpaMuharraq +973 17313333 FAMILY

Hilton Garden Inn

Located at The Avenues Mall, Hilton Garden Inn overlooks downtown Manama with a spectacular 360-degree view of Bahrain Bay and the sea from all the rooms, restaurants, and public areas. The Bahrain National Museum, World Trade Center, and city centre are within kilometres of this luxury hotel.

The hotel focuses on creating a bespoke family experience. Kid-friendly initiatives are directed towards travellers below the age of 12. Children enjoy a Kids’ Welcome and a dedicated Kids' Breakfast experience at the hotel.

The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa, Manama

The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa, Manama is in the heart of the commercial district of Bahrain, providing seamless access to the Financial Harbor, Manama’s shopping hubs, and cultural attractions like Bahrain Museum and Al Fateh Grand Mosque. The hotel boasts restaurants catering to several tastes. A fitness centre and a Zen-inspired spa are some of its key attractions along with services such as creche, car rental, and a business centre.

The Gulf Hotel

Gulf Hotel - Bahrain’s very first five-star hotel, The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention and Spa, offers state-ofthe-art facilities. When it first opened its doors in October 1969, the waters of the Arabian Gulf were just a stone’s throw away. Over the years, the property has seen extensive modernization. With 361 rooms, facilities and services, the Hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers. Situated just 15 minutes from the Bahrain International Airport and 5 minutes from Central Manama, this property is located in the heart of Adliya, Bahrain’s most happening area.

Feature 58 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

The Westin City Centre Bahrain

The Westin City Center Bahrain offers 200 beautifully appointed guest rooms in Manama, including six Executive Suites and one Royal Suite. All hotel rooms feature signature amenities The Heavenly Spa by Westin™ features 10 treatment rooms with separate facilities for men and women, plus one of Bahrain's largest hammams (Turkish baths). Ideally located in the heart of Manama, The Westin City Centre Bahrain is the first-ever Westin Hotel to grace the island. The Westin is attached to City Centre Bahrain, the nation's most popular retail and leisure destination with more than 340 retail stores.

The Merchant House

The Merchant House is the region’s first five-star boutique hotel, and with just 46 suites, caters to guests who prefer the personal touch. Its proximity to Bab Al Bahrain makes it the ideal refuge for weary tourists after a long day of shopping and browsing on the streets of the Souq. Cafe Gray, situated in the hotel’s lobby, serves as a pleasant spot for a quick break for professionals working around the area.

The hotel can be considered an art gallery in its own right. The property displays a huge collection of modern art by Piccaso, Warhol and Hirst, and Bahraini artists like Abbas Almosawi, Omar Al Rashid and Jamal Abdulrahim.

For the more gastronomically inclined, the rooftop restaurant Indigo Terrace is a must-go. The multi-award-winning eatery serves a delectable selection of Mediterranean and international dishes and refreshing cocktails to quench anyone’s thirst.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 59 Feature

The Art Hotel & Resort

The Art Hotel & Resort is located in Amwaj Islands, only a few minutes' drive from the Bahrain International Airport. The hotel is surrounded by the crystal clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, with a private beach. The property offers specifically designed rooms and suites, seven dining options and business facilities. The Art Hotel & Resort blends modern architecture and amenities with a touch of Arabic hospitality.

InterContinental Regency Bahrain

InterContinental Regency Bahrain celebrates over four decades of establishment in the Kingdom.

The hotel currently has a total of 304 rooms, with luxurious ballrooms, facilities and restaurants that have hosted various events, as well as local and international conferences. It brings alive the rich culture and heritage of different countries, through the authentic experiences that they provide its clients with, in every aspect.

Wyndham Grand Manama

With stunning views, breathtaking design and excellent facilities, Wyndham Grand Manama is perfectly situated in the Bahrain Bay area. The building is among the architectural icons of Bahrain offering sweeping, 360º views of the island, The Wyndham Grand Manama is a gravitydefying vertical city. Two restaurants and cafés at the hotel cater to all tastes; leisure facilities include 2 swimming pools, children’s play areas, and health clubs. The hotel’s many venues and halls offer guests Bahraini hospitality.

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#36 | Brunches in Bahrain

Once a week, brunch lovers across Bahrain gather with friends and family for a sumptuous meal coupled with live music and activities for four hours. At a 5-star hotel, brunch can cost up to BHD 40 net, where you can enjoy a huge selection of food and beverages. The brunch culture on the island has made way for a number of establishments to bring their absolute best to the Friday spread - from musicians, performers, and DJs to carefully curated menus that reflect cuisines around the world.

Some of the popular brunches on the Island:

Friday Brunch at Baharat Restaurant (Le Méridien Bahrain)

Friday Brunch at the Bahrain Bay Kitchen (Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay)

Friday Brunch at Bushido by Buddha Bar (Seef)

Friday Brunch at Circa Bahrain (The Palace Boutique Hotel)

Friday Family Brunch at Grand SwissBelhotel Waterfront

Brunch at The Regency (InterContinental Regency Hotel)

Friday Fab Brunch at The Merchant House (Manama)

Friday Brunch at Silks Restaurant (Movenpick Hotel)

Superhero Brunch at Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa

Friday Brunch at Upstairs Downstairs Restaurant (Adliya)

#37 | Block 338

Bahrain’s dining district is one with endless options. Block 338 is dedicated to a whole lot of restaurants and diners catering to different tastes - whether you’re craving Japanese, Seafood, or Fast Food. Upmarket restaurants, hole-in-thewall cafes, and lounges - one can find the whole range at this little block in the heart of Manama. However, it’s not just about the food. If you’re in Block 338, check out the boutique shops and art galleries while strolling through this pedestrian quarter.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 61 Feature

#38 | Music and Theatre

Bahrain International Music Festival

With aims to encourage and foster regional and international talent, the Kingdom annually hosts an international music festival, bringing together different cultures, styles, and genres under one roof. The festival was first launched in 1992 to promote the value of music in building peace and understanding among people of all backgrounds.

Bahrain Jazz Festival

The Bahrain Jazz Festival has been running annually since 2017, bringing the community and music together with international and local jazz bands, F&B areas, family-friendly zones, and more. It’s all about the experience and showcasing the best of Bahrain to the world.

Bahrain National Theatre

Drawing inspiration from the tales of 1,001 Arabian Nights, the Bahrain National Theatre was built with a unique architectural design and wood-covered interiors. The 1,001-seat theatre, overlooking the sea, was built on an area of approximately 12,000m2 near the Bahrain National Museum. It is the 3rd largest theatre in the Middle East.

Trib Fest

A firm favourite, taking place twice every year in Bahrain (spring and autumn), Trib Fest is an openair 12-hour music festival featuring over 20 tribute acts from the United Kingdom. Popular acts like Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Oasis, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran put on quite the show for a packed arena at the Bahrain Rugby Football Club. The festival also features several F&B stalls and kids' entertainment.

Feature 62 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

Bahrain’s education system is among the oldest in the region, dating back to 1932. Before this, Quranic Schools, or Kuttab, were the only form of education in Bahrain. Today, there are a number of private and public schools and universities in the Kingdom offering quality education in American, British, Indian, French, and various other curriculums.

St. Christopher’s School Bahrain started in a villa in 1961 and is among the oldest private institutions on the island providing British education. It has been placed among the 'Top 100 Schools In The World' for two years in a row, being recognised as one of the top international schools in the region.

The British School of Bahrain is known for offering the best holistic UK-based education in Bahrain. Established in 1995 to provide British education in Bahrain. The school was founded with a family feel that supported students through pastoral care.

The Indian School is currently one of the largest co-educational schools in the country. Set up back in 1950 with a headmistress and three staff members, the school today has a student strength of over 11,000 students and 600 staff members.

American School of Bahrain is among the most advanced K-12 learning environments in Bahrain. The school offers a challenging standards-based, US curriculum designed to meet the highest standards of international education.

Al Rawabi Private School was established in 1997 with 25 Kindergarten students in a small villa in Grnata, Kingdom of Bahrain. The school continues to offer affordable quality education to over 2,000 students.

The American University of Bahrain (AUBH) is the first comprehensive, purpose-built, American-style coeducational university in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The University offers a holistic journey for students and unique approach to education that fosters interaction and collaboration between students, faculty and the professional community.

University of Technology Bahrain (UTB), set up in 2002, is one of the largest private universities in the Kingdom. It is accredited by the Higher Education Council in Bahrain and offers bachelor programmes in engineering, computer science, and business.

Other educational experiences in Bahrain

The Bahrain Science Center in Riffa provides a variety of distinguished sciencerelated activities through interactive means and technological techniques. It is divided into five themed galleries: The Exploration Room, Keeping Kids Healthy, Biodiversity, Our Renewable Earth, and Skeletons.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 63 Feature #39 | Education

Bahrain’s healthcare system dates back to the 1960s, but the first healthcare clinic was opened in the 1890s by missionary Reverend Samuel Zwemer and his wife Amy Wilkes, a missionary nurse. They diagnosed illnesses, dispensed medication, extracted teeth, and performed minor surgeries.

As the number of people needing medical attention grew, Zwemer requested physicians through the Reformed Church in the US. Two doctors came to Bahrain and built the Mason Memorial Hospital in 1903. Today, we know it as the American Mission Hospital (AMH).

To provide care for women, expecting mothers, and children, the Marion Wells Thoms Memorial Hospital for Women and Children was opened in 1927. Today, it houses the AMH obstetrics and gynaecology clinic as well as the Zwemer clinic.

The first public hospital to be set up in Bahrain was Salmaniya Medical Complex, which today is the largest tertiary hospital in the Kingdom. SMC also houses the first and only psychiatric hospital, established in 1932.

The Bahrain Defence Force Hospital – Royal Medical Services (BDFRMS) is the only hospital providing free healthcare for non-civilians on the island. What started as a small clinic in 1968 has today grown into one of the Kingdom’s major hospitals with nearly 500 beds.

The National Health Regulatory Authority was established in 2010 with a mission to regulate the provision of healthcare, the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) ensures efficiency, appropriateness, continuity, and safety in delivering health services in the public and private sectors.

Bahrain’s healthcare system and rapid response during the COVID-19 pandemic have been recognized and published in a case study by the World Health Organization.

#41 | RAK Art Foundation

The RAK (Rashid

Art Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering artists worldwide by providing opportunities, encouraging cross-cultural collaborations and exchanges, and fostering international partnerships. It offers a platform for critical discourse and social dialogue seeking to engage the community and educate the public.

Feature 64 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 #40 | Healthcare
Al Khalifa)

Art Hubs

Al Riwaq Art Space

The Al Riwaq Artspace, founded in 1998, is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to supporting and promoting contemporary art and design practices in the Kingdom. It is also the first gallery to have a video art installation. It has a number of exciting programmes to complement the learning process including exhibitions, workshops, performances, talks, film screening, and more.

Bahrain Art Academy

Providing a creative environment for individuals to express themselves through art, the Bahrain Art Academy hosts a number of interesting and engaging workshops and events for children and adults. Creatives are given the opportunity to explore different styles of art varying from drawing and painting, ceramics, resin, and even NFT painting.

Artly Bahrain

Artly’s main mission is to spark creativity and exploration through art classes, exhibitions, and experiences. They aim to help individuals of all ages create their own journeys of creative discovery and development. They host a series of classes and workshops throughout the year to further inspire creatives in their pursuit.


Representing passion, color, expression, and art – Artology

Bahrain understands that all artists have different ways of expressing themselves. This art studio aims to provide a fun-loving space for creatives to encourage expression with different mediums, colors, and techniques, and enjoying the process. They host a series of workshops, classes, and talks.

Passion Art

Passion Art is an art gallery and studio that promotes creativity and inspires a culture where people can express themselves. They seek to cultivate the arts by giving artists a space where they can tap into their creativity and inspiring them to create their own works. Enthusiasts can also purchase art that is exhibited at the gallery. They host art classes and painting sessions for children and adults.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 65 Feature #42

#43 | Luxury Developments

Eagle Hills Diyar

Eagle Hills Diyar is an Abu Dhabi-based private real estate investment and development company focused on the development of new city hubs in high-growth international markets. Developing large-scale real estate projects, Eagle Hills designs and builds mixed-use facilities, drawing on the latest technologies to build smart and sustainable projects that add significant value to the local economy. Marassi Al Bahrain is an exclusive beach front community including: Marassi Galleria, Address Beach Resort & Residences, Vida Beach Resort, Marassi Shores Residences, Marassi Residences, Marassi Boulevard, Marassi Park, Marassi Terraces and Address Residences Marassi Vista.

Diyar Al Muharraq

Diyar Al Muharraq is the largest, most visionary and progressive urban development in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The project is an all-encompassing, fullyintegrated master-planned city spanning an overall area of 12 square kilometres, comprising 7 islands spread across 10 square kilometres of reclaimed land, on the northern shores of Muharraq. Diyar offers a cohesive mix of residential and commercial projects, for personal and investment purposes, aimed at creating a future sustainable township that will significantly contribute to the socioeconomic development of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

#44 | Telecommunications Technology

Before 1981, telecommunications in Bahrain were provided separately for national and international services: the Bahrain Telephone company (for national services) and Cable & Wireless, UK (for international services). These were then combined to form Batelco (Bahrain Telecommunications Company), which today is the Kingdom’s principal telecommunications company. Since then, other telecommunications companies have entered the market, including Saudiowned stc and Kuwaiti-owned Zain.

In 2002, Bahrain established the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), implementing the Telecommunications Law in the Kingdom. Since then, the authority has focused on positioning telecommunications as a pillar of social and commercial growth.

Feature 66 Bahrain Confidential December 2022


What started as a food delivery platform has now expanded to delivering groceries, pharmaceuticals, flowers, and more. Talabat’s T-mart – a q-commerce (quick commerce) grocery store delivers around the clock in less than 30 minutes. It is the region's largest food delivery and grocery platform operating in nine different countries.


The BeAware app was developed as part of the Kingdom’s response to the public health crisis during the emergence of COVID-19. The app was instrumental in helping authorities identify cases across the country and provided regular updates on cases and measures within Bahrain and around the world. Users could also view their test results and book COVID-19 test appointments through the app.


Ahlan, meaning “greetings” or “welcome” in Arabic, is a delivery, loyalty and ordering app that appreciates and credits its members for their repeated orders and dine-in visits. Ahlan members are rewarded with ‘cash back’ Ahlan Credit as well as a variety of offers by featured restaurants.


The Sehati app consists of a bundle of health eServices for finding physicians, checking medical test results, booking appointments, online consultations, delivery of medical prescriptions from Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), and more. It is provided by the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Supreme Council of Health, National Health Regulatory Authority, Government Hospitals and Primary Health Care Centers.


Tawasul is an eChannel for the National Suggestion & Complaint system to facilitate direct communication between citizens and government entities. It enables citizens and residents to submit their suggestions and complaints to any government entity in the Kingdom.

LuLu App & WhatsApp Service

With over 200 LuLu stores and over 20 shopping malls across the GCC, Egypt, India, and the Far East – LuLu Hypermarket has become one of the fastest-growing retail chains in the Middle East and Asia. Its online shopping portal puts over 20,000 at the fingertips of shoppers and recently launched its WhatsApp services where users can send their shopping list for delivery or pick-up.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 67 Feature #45 | Home Convenience


The award-winning BENEFIT is Bahrain’s leading regional player in FinTech solutions and electronic financial transactions. The company has revolutionised the country’s financial services with its innovative digital solutions, making payments easier through its portals and BenefitPay.

Beyon Money

Established in 2021, the financial services superapp is on its way to becoming a one-stop shop for its users, offering a marketplace with a wide range of financial products and services in one app.


Headquartered in Bahrain, CoinMENA is one of the leading digital assets exchanges in the Middle East and North Africa. It is a Sharia-compliant cryptoassets trading platform where users can buy, sell, store, and receive digital assets safely and securely, as well as deposit and withdraw in their local currency.


Founded in 2017, Binance is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world by trade volume. It is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem. It is also the first exchange to help users recover coins that have been sent by mistake. It provides traders with a Trust Wallet and other financial product offerings.


Rain is a cryptocurrency exchange, headquartered in Bahrain. It is a trading platform that allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrency, with 0% trading fees. Users can conveniently use their bank accounts to purchase cryptocurrency through their app.

Feature 68 Bahrain Confidential December 2022 #46 | Fintech

Happy National Day Kingdom of Bahrain

We pledge our continuing support to the King, his Government and people, and look forward to our contributing to the prosperity of the nation both now and in years ahead.

P O Box 26810, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain, Tel. +973 1782 2388 Fax. +973 1772 1722 e-mail:
His Majesty the King Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa His Highness the Crown Prince & Prime MInister Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the people of Bahrain.

#47 | Car Culture


An Arabic word meaning “empowerment”, Tamkeen is a public authority established to develop and enhance the skills of aspiring individuals and businesses and provide them with the support they need to achieve growth. It offers various support and training programmes for individuals and enterprises.


Aimed at developing and nurturing university graduates, Mutamahin is a programme launched in 2015 providing intensive training to link candidates and employers. The training areas are those not typically covered in a university curriculum, but necessary to the job market.

It is undeniable that the volume of cars in Bahrain is gradually increasing with more and more individuals opting to own a vehicle than use public transportation. The demand soars for high-end motor vehicles on the island. There are several trusted car dealerships in Bahrain that provide luxury and sport car brands such as Behbehani Motors, Zayani Motors, Euro Motors, and more.

Cars & Coffee is an international collector’s meet for those who are car lovers, buyers, or aficionados. The Bahrain chapter of this social event happens annually where they gather to enjoy and showcase vintage, luxury, or modified cars. Cars & Coffee Bahrain is one of the most popular car meetups, bringing together enthusiasts from around the region.


Established in 2005, INJAZ is a non-profit organization aimed at empowering youth to conquer today’s business challenges and own their economic success. They offer several programmes and opportunities to support individuals achieve success.

Feature 70 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
#48 | Entrepreneurship

#49 | Bahrain International Airshow

For over ten years, Bahrain International Airshow has showcased spectacular air displays bringing global aerospace leaders together on a platform. From UAE’s Fursan Al Emarat, the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force Red Arrows, and Saudi Hawks to the US Airforce F-16, Gulf Air, and Pakistan Air Force - visitors get to experience thrilling flying displays from different aerobatic teams.

The inaugural airshow was held in 2010. Since then, the biennial event has continued to connect the world’s aerospace industry through high-level delegations, forums, and business opportunities along with entertaining showcases over three days at the Sakhir Airbase.

#50 | Bahrain Food Festival

The annual Bahrain Food Festival brings a festive and entertaining atmosphere for families on the island to experience local and international food. Hosted by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority, over 100 restaurants participate in the food festival offering a varied range of items catering to different tastes each year.

In 2022, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the food festival brought musical shows, kids' play areas and culinary competitions along with live cooking stations. 2022’s festival attracted over 175,000 visitors, as per data from BTEA.

#51 | Bahrain Summer Festival

As schools break for summer, a host of activities and entertainment programs open up for young Bahrainis. The Bahrain Summer Festival, hosted by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities presents a number of local and international shows for an entire month, bringing home-grown and international talent to the forefront.

The festival’s key attraction is Nakhool City, where children can participate in activities and workshops to learn more about Bahrain’s heritage, theatre, dance, music, and more. The island’s best-known sites are decked up to host performances by folk bands and performers as well.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 71 Feature

Then and Now

Glimpses of Bahrain’s development over the decades…

Snapshots 72 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
Bab al Bahrain, 1950 Manama Souk, c1950
Bahrain Confidential December 2022 73 Snapshots
Bahrain Airport, 1950 Bab Al Bahrain Police Station, 1952

Then and Now

Snapshots 74 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
Muharraq Vegetable Market, 1973 Al Jasra area, 1963
Bahrain Confidential December 2022 75 Snapshots
Manama Central Market, 1970s

Greetings from our partners

American School of Bahrain

American School of Bahrain wishes everyone a very happy National Day of Bahrain. 51 years of achievements, pride and prosperity!

American University of Bahrain

On behalf of the American University of Bahrain’s (AUBH) Board, Faculty, Staff and Students, I would like to wish the Kingdom of Bahrain a Happy 51st National Day! I am confident that this impressive Kingdom will continue to thrive, executing a myriad of impactful initiatives under its visionary leadership.

The British School of Bahrain

The British School of Bahrain (BSB) is honoured to congratulate HM King Hamad and HRH Prince Salman, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, on the Kingdom of Bahrain’s 51st National Day. Over the past 51 years of the Kingdom’s illustrious history, Bahrain has cemented its position as a pioneer in the region - boasting both the oldest financial centre and public education system in the region.

BSB is proud of its roots in the Kingdom and looks forward to being a part of its continued growth and prosperity under its wise leadership.

Dadabhai Travel

Dadabhai Travel would like to congratulate the leadership on the momentous occasion of the Kingdom of Bahrain’s 51st anniversary. The Kingdom has continued to nurture an environment that is competitive, dynamic, and well-equipped to support new initiatives, positioning itself as extremely business-friendly which has contributed to the enhancement of our development as an organisation and advanced the nation for the betterment of its citizens and visitors.

The Diplomat Radisson Blu Hotel, Residence & Spa, Manama

May this Independence Day bring along many opportunities for our country to grow and prosper. Wishing everyone a very Happy 51st Bahrain National Day 2022.

Diyar Al Muharraq

Strategically designed as a fully-integrated, futuristic model city that fosters close-knit communities, Diyar Al Muharraq is driven by a firm commitment to contributing to the well-being of the community seeking to preserve the traditional family values and culture of Bahrain, known for its friendliness, warmth, and hospitality.

On the occasion of the Kingdom’s National Day joyous celebrations, Diyar Al Muharraq extends its warmest wishes and congratulations to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, and the people of Bahrain.

Greetings 76 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

Eagle Hills Diyar

Eagle Hills Diyar would like to congratulate His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the Bahraini government and its people on the Kingdom’s 51st National Day. May the year ahead bless you with happiness, health, peace and prosperity. May we continue to prosper and progress under the visionary leadership of HM King Hamad and HRH Prince Salman.

Elite Hospitality Group

On the auspicious occasion of the 51st National Day of the Kingdom of Bahrain, Elite Hospitality Group extends our greetings, best wishes, and congratulations to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa

His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa Crown Prince and Prime Minister, The Citizens and Residents of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay

Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay sends its warm wishes to all leaders, citizens, and residents of the Kingdom, on the occasion of Bahrain's 51st National Day, celebrating the country's prosperity, success, and heritage.

The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa

The Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention & Spa extends their warm congratulations and best wishes to HM King Hamad, the leaders and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain on this happy occasion of Bahrain's 51st National Day.

Gulf Suites Hotel Amwaj

Gulf Suites Hotel congratulates the Kingdom of Bahrain on the proud occasion of its 51st National Day. We look forward to celebrating with our guests, residents and the entire community of Bahrain. Happy National Day!

Hilton Bahrain – Al Juffair

Hilton Bahrain Al Juffair would like to extend warmest congratulations to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the government and its people on the happy occasion of their 51st Bahrain National Day!

Wishes of continuous prosperity and good fortune to the Kingdom of Bahrain for many years to come.

Hilton Garden Inn Bahrain Bay

On the occasion of Bahrain’s 51st National Day, Hilton Garden Inn Bahrain Bay extends its heartfelt wishes to His Majesty King Hamad, the leadership and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The Merchant House

We, at The Merchant House, are very proud to be a part of such a vibrant and progressive community. We extend our best wishes to the people of Bahrain on this joyous occasion and reiterate our commitment towards development, upliftment and sustainability. Happy National Day to everyone in Bahrain!

Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain

On National Day, we at MövenpickHotel Bahrain would like to wish the Rulers, citizens, and residents of this beautiful country more success and achievement.

St Christopher’s School Bahrain

The St Christopher's community extends our best wishes to HM the King and HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister as well as to the people of the Kingdom on the auspicious occasion of Bahrain's 51st National Day.

Wyndham Grand Manama

Wyndham Grand Manama extends its warmest & heartfelt greeting to His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, the citizens and residents of Bahrain on the occasion of the 51st Bahrain National Day.

Porsche Centre Bahrain

Porsche Centre Bahrain wishes the Kingdom of Bahrain, its wise leaders, and its wonderful people a very Happy 51st National Day. Let’s continue to stay driven by our dreams and strive towards a greater future.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 77 Greetings

Women's Day


Celebrating Bahraini


An Interview with Leena Al Ayoobi

78 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

Leena Al Ayoobi is a Bahraini artist, designer, and founder and owner of Dar Alfann Gallery. Bahrainiborn and raised, Al Ayoobi has been a gifted artist from a young age. As a child, she was fascinated with Japanese anime that used to air on local TV channels. She mastered the art of drawing anime characters which influenced her later pieces. Her style can now be described as a fusion between Japanese manga and Bahraini folklore from a decidedly feminine perspective.

What does celebrating Bahraini Women’s Day mean for you in your work and life?

The day is an opportunity to celebrate Bahraini women's accomplishments throughout the year. This year Bahraini women have achieved a lot, the highlight of their accomplishment is the increased number of women in the parliament this year voted for in Bahrain.

How do you balance your career, personal life, and passions? Is there such a thing as balance?

This would be the most difficult kind of balance in life. I believe a combination of time management and prioritisation helps achieve the best results possible.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to women's success in your field?

There are many challenges that face women in the corporate world and other fields. In my personal experience, I would say being a working mom is a significant challenge. The demand from the workplace and the demand from the schools often require individual attention that can create several blocks along the way.

How do you think women can better support other women across fields?

There are many ways to support women, the most common one is to be a part of communities and support groups that encourage women’s empowerment.

During my NFT journey, I have come across many women empowerment projects where NFT holders have exclusive access to NFT communities led by powerful women in various fields. As an NFT holder, you have the opportunity to network with fellow members of the community for consultations and one-on-one business advice.

As a woman professional, who is your inspiration?

My mom has always been my inspiration. She represents a handful of those hardworking women who mastered the balance between career and family life. I only realised the challenges she may have faced after walking a mile in her shoes.

What advice would you give your younger self on overcoming challenges and achieving success in what you do?

This question has always been the hardest to answer, I believe everything I have gone through in my life and still going through has made me who I am today. I would go through challenges the way I did because it got me where I needed to be today. n

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 79 Interview
There are many challenges that face women in the corporate world and other fields.

Bahraini Women's Day

Celebrating Bahraini


An Interview with Ahlam Yousif Janahi

80 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

most important thing a woman can do for another is to expand her sense of actual possibilities.

Ahlam Yousif Janahi is the President of the Bahrain Businesswomen’s Society. Founded in 2000, the community is a platform focused on empowering female entrepreneurs within Bahrain. With an aim to strengthen the role of Bahraini women and their contribution to commercial, economic, investment, and development activities in the country, the society provides access to networks for women entrepreneurs.

What does celebrating Bahraini Women’s Day mean for you in your work and life?

Women are the real architects of society. The most important thing a woman can do for another is to expand her sense of actual possibilities. I have always, especially, as the President of the Bahrain Businesswomen's society supported women, startups, and entrepreneurs by giving them all that they need to succeed. We have created an ecosystem in which women thrive as they meet likeminded individuals, find support and achieve exponential growth as a result.

How do you balance your career, personal life, and passions? Is there such a thing as balance?

For me, all three are intertwined - my work is my passion. Work that includes my businesses and the philanthropic organisations I am a part of. Since these are a big part of my personal life, juggling them is not hard. My network comprises my friends who understand the significance of what we are trying to achieve and my family, that is also involved in all aspects of my work so for me balancing the three is relatively easy.

What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

It’s estimated women account for almost half the global workforce. Yet, only about 27% of women are in management and leadership positions. Even fewer hold top-tier, C-suitelevel jobs and leadership positions

Having said that, opportunities for women have grown in the workplace and Bahraini leaders are continuously supporting women. Bylaws are perfect in the Kingdom of Bahrain. However, there’s still a significant gap between male and female employees in management. Women have to get into entry-level roles, and many still struggle to obtain and maintain senior-leadership positions.

With the support of our leaders and strategies of the Supreme Council for Women, we believe

things are changing. This change is visible in Bahrain’s public sector, where young dynamic women are leading ministries, regulatory authorities, and MPs as well as in the private sector where more women are finding space in board rooms.

How do

you think women can better support other women across fields?

There is great power in unity. A woman alone has power but collectively we have “impact”. Supporting each other and channelling the power of collaboration is the only way we can create our version of a boys' club. Study after study shows women who support other women are more successful in business. In fact, new research in the Harvard Business Review finds that women benefit from having a network of well-connected peers across different groups, women with an inner circle of close female contacts are more likely to land executive positions with greater authority and higher pay as opposed to men. So, I feel if we champion one another, we can rise together.

As a woman leader, who is your inspiration?

Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa has been a source of great inspiration for me. As the President of the Supreme Council for Women, she has always empowered Bahraini women.

Just one small example is The Award of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa for Bahraini Women’s Advancement which acknowledges their efforts in trying to excel in their fields, empowers working Bahraini women, integrates them in the national development plans, and helps them achieve higher standards of holding leading and executive and decision-making positions.

What advice would you give your younger self on overcoming challenges and achieving success in what you do?

I would tell my younger self not to hesitate in voicing opinions and to have the courage and conviction to carry on despite opposition from others. I believe success comes from an immense amount of self-belief and that needs to be inculcated from a very young age, continuing the daily hard work, and staying updated with new market trends. n

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 81 Interview

Highlights of 2 22

Bahrain tops the global COVID recovery index published by NIKKEI Asia for the first time since the launch of the report. As on December 2021, Bahrain’s recovery rate was at 82%. The Kingdom’s rapid and successful COVID response was later hailed by the World Health Organization.

Bahrain hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix race 2022 at the Bahrain International Circuit where Ferrari marked a historic momentcompleting the race in the first and second positions.

The NFT MENA Exhibit, the first-of-its-kind exhibition to promote NFTs, web3 and new media is hosted in Bahrain.

BTEA’s Manama Gold Festival kicks off at Souk Al Manama.

Bahrain introduces Golden Visa for expatriates as part of its Economic Recovery Plans.

Bahrain’s COVID-19 vaccination record was praised by Gulf Health Council.

Bahrain Food Festival kicks off with more than 100 food vendors and live entertainment attracting a record number of visitors since COVID-19.

The 48th Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition is hosted by Bahrain Authorities for Culture and Antiquities, promoting local and international artists, traditional art forms, and galleries.

GCC Games kick off in Kuwait. Bahrain’s athletes and teams won nearly 60 medals at the tournament, bagging second place for the Kingdom at the games.

may july

Bahrain Beach Festival begins at Bilaj Al Jazayer, Water Garden City Beach, and Marassi Beach.

Bahrain’s COVID response gets documented in a World Health Organization case study.

82 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
January February March april HIghlights of 2022


Pope Francis visits Bahrain on a 4-day Apostolic Journey to attend a forum for dialogue between East and West for human coexistence.

Gulf Insider hosts The Bahrain Education Awards 2022 to recognize educational innovation and excellence across schools and universities in the Kingdom.

Bahrain International Airshow begins after a two-year break, attracting hundreds of visitors and commercial establishments for three days of flying displays.

General elections were held in Bahrain to elect the 40 members of the Council of Representatives.

Bahrain Film Festival begins.

Bahrain International Circuit becomes the world’s first international racing circuit to accept crypto payments.

Bahrain Comic-Con kicks off.

Bahrain bans single-use plastic.

Bahrain celebrates Saudi Arabia’s 92nd National Day

Bahrain announces visa-free entry to GCC Nationals.

Bahrain announces the launch of a 100% Bahrainibuilt Satellite Project to be ready by the end of 2023.




Bahrain celebrates its 51st National Day.


Bahrain Confidential December 2022 83 Highlights
August September October

car bahrain

Audi’s All New RS3.

Sexy, Playful and Aggressive.

Charlie Cooksey spends a few days with the racy new Audi RS3.

The RS3 is the high-performance version of the company's small luxury sedan and it is not to be sniffed at. It is based on, and shares the same platform, design, and interior dimensions as the new A3 and S3 but massively enhanced. I’d call this an A3 on steroids, almost literally with its muscular presence from all angles of the vehicle.

But, where the A3 is powered by a 201-hp turbo four and the S3 by a 306-hp version of the same engine, the RS3 has its own immense 2.5 litre 401-hp turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The odd number of cylinders gives an aggressive and sporty sound that’s pleasing to the ear.

84 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

The RS3 can rocket from zero to 100kph in just over 3 seconds. There’s a sevenspeed dual-clutch auto transmission and its all-wheel-drive system includes a torquevectoring rear differential with a drift mode. And, just as important, its powerful ultraresponsive brakes can quickly and safely bring you to a stop!

The Audi Drive Select has seven different settings (auto, comfort, dynamic, efficiency, RS individual, RS performance and RS torque rear). You can set up the relevant ‘individual’ mode and then just double-press the ‘RS’ button on the steering wheel to get it (first press accesses ‘RS Performance’ mode). Comparing the cars performance on comfort mode and RS mode transforms the car so much that it feels like a totally different car; changing the tuning and sound of the engine, the suspension, steering and acceleration in line with that of a high-performance sports car.

The latest RS3 has bigger air intakes, wider tracks, is slightly longer, wider and taller than the previous model. A cool touch is how its LED headlights spell ‘R… S… 3’ followed by a chequered flag when you approach the car. Lighting in the world of automotive is becoming more of an art form, as every year the style and functioning of lighting seems to get evermore creative. Audi is taking leaps ahead when it comes to design both on the exterior and the interior, setting new trends unseen from many other luxury brands. I noticed some similarities on the dash design and shapes to that of Lamborghini, which is part of the same owning group; Volkswagen Group.

There’s upgraded brakes, stiffer suspension, and special wheels on performance tires. Despite its performance capabilities, it’s an easy and comfortable car to drive around town. I had the RS3 for four days, including over a weekend, so was able to ‘live’ with it for a bit. Not only did I test its capabilities on the empty back roads around Zallaq, but drove it around Manama, Seef and Amwaj to the mall, gym, restaurants, friends’ houses etc., and very much enjoyed my time with it.

When testing this RS3 on the roads around Zallaq I was particularly impressed by how well this car handles. It felt ‘glued’ to the tarmac on even the bumpiest roads, making any driver feel totally in control.

Inside, everything is of the highest quality and perfectly put together. I loved the comfortable and uber-stylish leather sports seats, with the honeycomb design, fine red stitching, suede touches and the sexy “RS” logo embossed below the headrest.

As is becoming the norm in cars nowadays, it has a short stubby gear lever, plus of course paddles on the steering wheel. There’s wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in navigation, and wireless phone charging. There’s also a voice commands option.

This car is fantastic fun and looks gorgeous. Anyone looking for a luxury compact performance car with loads of style should certainly check out Audi’s new RS3. n

To arrange a test drive contact Audi Bahrain on +973 1745 9933

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 85 Automotive

car bahrain

Lost in Italy

… in a brand-new Ferrari 296GTS

In the beautiful mountainous region of northern Italy last month I got lost driving the new Ferrari 296 GTS. The navigation was programmed to guide me on a two and a half hour, 200+ kilometre journey, mostly by autostrada, from Modena to the beautiful coastal resort of Forte dei Marmi. But things didn’t go as planned. The navigation system sent me off the highway and way up into the hills. After about an hour I realized something was wrong when in the middle of ‘nowhere’ the navigation switched itself off and shortly after I received a phone call from the Ferrari team asking where I was.

But I wasn’t stressed, I was driving a wonderful work of engineering excellence in the beautiful Italian countryside, surrounded by breath-taking scenery. I had an opportunity to spend time driving this car on tight and winding roads. I doubt many cars can beat

the 296 in a street race on the sort of roads I was exploring this day. This car is made for tight, winding roads.

Ferrari have produced a Super Car that makes you feel like you’re a Super Driver. When pushed too hard in a turn, the result is gentle oversteer. Press hard on the throttle, and feel instant and awesome power that’s super smooth, giving a wonderful feeling of being in control.

I was in my element, barrelling into corners, dropping a gear or two, accelerating out of bends – over, and over, and over again. The roof was down and the sound of the engine, reacting to my constant braking and accelerating, was wonderful.

The 296GTS is the Spider (convertible) version of the earlier launched 296GTB hardtop. With the roof

86 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

up they look almost identical. The GTS weighs 70kg more, but otherwise there are few differences in appearance. Ferrari’s engineers attending the event assured us there was “zero noticeable difference in rigidity” (their words) between the GTS and GTB. This makes me wonder why anyone would buy a GTB when they can get a GTS without compromising driving performance.

Of course, I spent all my time driving on the mountain roads with the top down – it was a beautiful day!

Drive the 296 and you’re the centre of attention, but when the 14 second roof activation is in process - switching the car between hardtop and convertible, you’re even more so. I watched the people in the car behind me excitedly pointing as my car dramatically changed into a convertible. The 296 is Ferrari’s first production V6 (if you’re thinking about the Dino, it doesn’t count as it was never technically a Ferrari). They call this V6 “a small V12” to differentiate it from every other V6 on the market.

This is only the second production Ferrari to offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain. A rear-mounted 224-hp electric motor enables 25 kilometres of silent running at speeds up to 133 kph.

The V6 can produce 654 bhp. Add the electric motor, and the 296 produces a maximum 819 bhp/ 546 lb-ft of torque. It can rocket from zero to 100 kph in just 2.9-seconds.

As this is a two-seater, luggage needs to go in the boot, which is roomy enough for a couple of average size travel bags.

The design is gorgeous, and the interior is top-end luxury car level lavish, with screens and touch-sensitive electronic pads. Infotainment is controlled via an allglass instrument panel. The cabin is stylish, driver-focused, with everything located exactly where it should be.

Final words – I was very glad to have been “lost” that day. I arrived at the arranged destination about ninety minutes late –and I feel the lost ninety minutes had been well spent. n

For more info call Euro Motors, Bahrain’s official Ferrari dealership in Bahrain, on +973 1773 4734

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 87 Automotive
Of course, I spent all my time driving on the mountain roads with the top down – it was a beautiful day!

car bahrain

The Bentley Bentayga, Superzied

Bahrain Confidential goes to Vancouver, Canada to experience the new Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheelbase

If I was to look at the globe on my office desk to pick a list of 10 of the furthest away cities from Bahrain, Vancouver would be in that list. A beautiful city on the far west Pacific coast of Canada, it’s one of the top 10 most sustainable cities in the world with 95% of its electricity being supplied by renewable energy. The city is known for its great quality of life, stunning surroundings, friendly people, and being a short drive from Whistler - quite easily the most beautiful part of the world I have seen, with more pristine lakes, mountains and lush green nature than you can shake a stick at.

With all this in mind, it’s easy to see why Bentley decided to launch their supersized Bentayga here. Everywhere we drove in

Vancouver and Whistler was picture perfect, further helped by the clear blue skies we were graced with during the event.

The Bentayga is Bentley’s only SUV. First launched in late 2015 it was an instant success, quickly becoming the brands best-selling model of all time.

Enter 2022, and Bentley have launched the all new Bentayga EWB (Extended Wheelbase). It is the most luxurious SUV ever produced by Bentley. Stretched by 180mm, the cabin is longer than any other luxury SUV competitor by over 40 mm – the result of a massive cash investment of over $100 Million by the company to create the ultimate luxury SUV.

88 Bahrain Confidential December 2022

I partnered with a fellow journalist for the long scenic drive and we took turns to be driver and passenger.

I enjoy 12+ hour flights when flying in the comfort of Business or First Class as I can catch up on work, reading, podcasts, or sleep. The rear of the Bentayga EWB resembles this for me, and this was the feeling I had the entire time I was a passenger - the only difference being instead of looking down to clouds or the ground 36,000ft below I was looking up at the sky through the large sweeping panoramic roof, taking in Canada’s stunning nature and scenery.

The new Bentley Airline Seat specification is the most advanced seat ever fitted to a car, with 22-ways of adjustment and worldfirsts in a new auto climate sensing system and postural adjustment technology.

There’s a high-quality tablet that pops out in the back, as high quality as the latest iPhone, offering different seating configurations including business mode for when you want to get some work done,

or relax mode which kicks a foot rest down from the seat in front. You will be hard pressed to find another SUV on the market that offers this much comfort or customization.

Under the hood of the EWB is a 4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 knocking out 542 horsepower and 568 lbs-ft torque. It can accelerate from zero to 100 kph in just 4.5 seconds. Yes, it is pretty fast given its size and weight.

The Bentayga EWB also uses rear axel steering so it drives tremendously well, with excellent handling and balance. The roads around Whistler made for a great experience to really test the car on the long and windy mountain roads with all sorts of inclines and declines.

Powerful ceramic brakes, combined with responsive steering, help to deliver confidence when pushing the car along at high speed on twisty roads. Most definitely the entire package belies the weight of the car and assists in putting a smile on your face every time the revs climb over 3,000, as well as leaving more traditional sports cars and other SUVs in its wake.

The level of technology further underlines the attention to detail that exists in the mechanical systems of the car. An eightinch touch screen in the centre of the dash provides access to the infotainment system. It is straight-forward and easy to use with menus that are clearly labelled and self-explanatory.

The Bentayga EWB offers space, comfort, technology, sports performance, and genuine off-road capability along with exquisite handcraftsmanship and near endless possibilities for personalisation.

In 2021, Bentley achieved record sales of 14,659 cars, a 31% growth over the previous best from 2020 - and the Bentayga accounted for just over a third of this volume. The EWB is expected to be responsible for up to 45% of Bentayga sales, so helping maintain its position as Bentley’s number one model and the most successful and in-demand luxury SUV in the world. n

For more information, contact Bentley Bahrain on +973 1723 8822.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 89 Automotive

car bahrain

The New

7 Series:

BMW’s Most Luxurious and Polarising Car

Bahrain Confidential goes to California, USA, to experience the latest from BMW.

To get to this BMW drive event required the longest journey I’ve ever made, flying from Manama, Bahrain to Los Angeles, California. Some may say I’m mad to travel so far to drive a car for a few days, but such people don’t know the importance of the BMW 7 Series, and this trip included driving BMW’s first-ever fully electric 7 Series.

BMW i7 xDrive

The 7 Series was the main event, but this trip also entailed driving the majorly facelifted X7, BMW’s flagship 3-row luxury 7-seater SUV. Also, I had the opportunity to be amongst the first in the world to see BMW’s XM. The XM is a special project. It is an SUV like nothing else on the market – a wild cocktail of super performance, ahead of its time. It has style, luxury, comfort, and

90 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
BMW i7 xDrive

an aggressive presence, packed with a 4.4L V8 under the hood. It is also a plug-in hybrid. But back to my point – it was worth the 13,500km journey.

This was a beautiful, picture-perfect location that BMW selected for such an important drive event. We were stationed for 3 days in Palm Springs, a desert city located just over 2 hours east of Los Angeles. Palm Springs has a different terrain, climate, and energy compared to Los Angeles. The clear blue skies and rocky desert background littered with nature and palm trees made every corner excellent for us content creators.

45 years ago, in 1977, BMW launched the first generation 7 Series. Funny to think this big luxury saloon back then was only a fraction longer than today’s 3 Series.

The latest 7 Series design has sparked some controversy, dividing opinion. But I remember the same happening in 2019 when the previous generation 7 Series was launched with its forty percent larger kidney grille; it turned out to be a huge success and loved by both existing and new BMW customers.

Series and i4. Some other brands like Audi for example, are taking a different route with designing entirely new vehicles for their EV range. It’s all very subjective.

The 760i pushes 544 horsepower to all 4 wheels from its 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8, which uses mild hybrid technology. The 760i xDrive is powered by a 536-hp twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 and comes standard with all-wheel drive. This engine also uses a 48-volt hybrid system, and BMW claims it will rip to 100 kph in just 4.2 seconds

For comparison, the entry level 740i has a 375-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six as standard, assisted by a 48-volt hybrid system. Rear-wheel drive is the only setup available on this model. BMW estimates that the 740i will run to 100 kph in just 5.0 seconds. The more I look at this latest 7 Series, the more I love it. From the Swarovski crystal headlights (beautiful split headlights that gives a look you don’t see from other cars on the road) to the incredibly precise steering. The amount of technology is overwhelming and the car is just so comfortable.

760i xDrive

I drove both the electric i7 and the 760i xDrive. Both cars drive tremendously, as you would expect. Rear wheel steering makes manoeuvring around smaller areas a breeze, and whilst it is a big vehicle, the driving experience feels like you’re driving a smaller vehicle. I like BMW’s direction with the design strategy of their EV’s where both the combustion 7 and the i7 are almost identical in design, likewise with the combustion 4

I had a chance to test all the technology and gadgets this car is packed with. You can unlock the car with an iPhone app. There are tablet devices in the door panel to control the reclining business-class airline-style seats, climate, blinds, and even the cinema for passengers in the back. The massive 31-inch 8k screen is, to my knowledge, a first for any car brand. This is an incredibly big step in passenger entertainment, even having style in the way it folds out and tucks itself away. I enjoyed sitting in the back of this car as much as I did driving it.

I see BMW as innovative, pushing boundaries and creating products that people don’t yet know they love. By definition, that is what innovation is, right?

The design of the new 7 Series is unlike anything we’ve seen from BMW before. I remember saying something similar during the previous 7 Series drive event in Portugal back in 2019, but the 2023 generation has taken an even greater stride. Personally, I love the new BMW 7 Series, and it’s grown on me ever more since I first saw it revealed back in April this year. n

To arrange a test drive in Bahrain, call EuroMotors on +973 1775 0750.

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 91 Automotive
I see BMW as innovative, pushing boundaries and creating products that people don’t yet know they love.
760i xDrive

Enjoy Winter Celebrations at These Hotels in Bahrain

Elite Resort & Spa will be hosting a Christmas Brunch at La Brasserie Specialty Restaurant on 25th December 2022 from 12:30 PM onwards. Relish the lavish international Brunch Buffet with live cooking while enjoying the sea view, live entertainment, and more at a special rate of BD 11.00 net for adults, BD 5.500 net for kids between 6 to 12 years old inclusive of soft beverage, and BD 18.500 net for adult inclusive of unlimited selected beverages. For reservations, call: 1731 3333 / 3888 4451

The hotel’s room service is offering a choice of Pasta la Vista every day from 12:00 noon till 12:00 midnight, served with soft drinks at BD 3.900 net. Additionally, there will be Live Grills every Thursday & Friday from 7:00 PM till 11:00 PM with a special rate of BD

92 Bahrain Confidential December 2022
The Elite Hospitality team is welcoming its guests this winter with extravagant Christmas brunches and cheerful events.

On Bahrain’s National Day, enjoy a live grill and salad buffet accompanied by a live Khaleeji Performance at Captain Jack’s Poolside.

12 net per person, BD 6 net for kids, inclusive of soft beverages, and BD 22 net per person with unlimited selected beverages.

The sea view lounge bar at the Resort & Spa – Shift7 offers complimentary drinks on Ladies’ Night every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 7:00 pm onwards.

Celebrations for the Festive Season go on at Elite Seef Residence and Hotel, with a grand Christmas Brunch at Julio’s Specialty Restaurant on 24th December 2022 from 12:00 noon till 4:00 PM. Indulge in a festive celebration full of traditional delicacies in a beautiful setting at BD 15 net per adult, BD 25 net per adult (inclusive of unlimited selected beverages), and BD 7 net per child.

On Bahrain’s National Day, enjoy a live grill and salad buffet accompanied by a live Khaleeji Performance at Captain Jack’s Poolside priced at BD5 net per child, and BD 10 net per adult inclusive of one selected soft beverage, canned juice, or bottled water on 15th & 16th December 2022 from 8:00 PM till 11:30 PM.

Check out the New Year’s Eve – Gala Dinner at Captain Jack’s Poolside on 31st December 2022 from 8:00 PM till 2:00 AM where you can indulge in a sumptuous buffet and live grill while enjoying live music performance by DJ Sasy at BD 25 net per single adult, BD 49 net per couple, and BD 12.500 net per child. For reservations, call: 1758 3388 / 3602 0600

Elite Hospitality Catering is now delivering across different locations in Bahrain. You can order in for receptions, cocktail parties, BBQs, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduation celebrations. n

To know more about Elite Hospitality Group and its offerings, visit: or call 1755 8200

Bahrain Confidential December 2022 93 Feature
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