Bab Al Bahrain

Bab Al Bahrain

The Bab Al-Bahrain project is one of the many projects the Ministry of Culture undertook to revive the old center of Manama. The project was done in collaboration with the Bahrain Real Estate Investment Company (EDAMAH).

Bab Al-Bahrain suq, located in the heart of Manama, has more than 30 shops which line its main façade and walkway, with more shops located inside Bab Al-Bahrain Mall. The suq also has a number of famous coffee shops which sell a wide range of food and drink options. Among these is Café Naseef, which opened in 1920 as Bahrain’s first ice cream shop, and Café Saffron which serves up many traditional Bahraini dishes and delicacies.

The Bab Al-Bahrain Suq offers its patrons a huge selection of goods, from Arabic perfumes, to jewelry, Bahraini sweets, local handicrafts, traditional antiques, handmade carpets, local spices, fine teas, and so much more. The suq also houses a post office and travel agency.

The Ministry of Culture’s tourism sector office is also housed within Bab Al-Bahrain, as well as a permanent gallery in the ground floor to welcome tourists and visitors to Bahrain and provide with all the information they need to enjoy their stay.

Not only is Bab Al-Bahrain a space for trade activity, but it is also a space to share and engage in all things cultural and social, with numerous cultural, social, tourism, and economic functions held there. One of the most noteworthy of these was the 21st Bahrain Heritage Festival in April 2013, an event which is held annually under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain.

The location also provides a place for temporary and permanent economic initiatives which seek to empower local productive families and youth projects. Among these is Ramadaniyat Market, which was held during the holy month of Ramadan in 2013, and Bab Market, which brings together small business owners on the last weekend of each month. The latest initiative, Art Market, is a special art market held on the second weekend of each month for the duration of 2014.

Bab Al-Bahrain embodies the unique identity of a traditional Bahraini market. It has been fully restored to how it was when it was first built in 1945. The restoration works included rebuilding the main façade and removing some of the additions done to it during the mid-1980’s.


Location: Manama- Central Governorate

Architects: Ammar Basheir

Status: ongoing

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