One of the first museums in the Gulf, the Bahrain National Museum opened in 1988. The site itself, on the edge of the sea, is a tremendous attraction, adding to its contemporary ambience which is influenced by the white travertine façade and dramatic courtyard decorated with contemporary sculptures. The exhibition halls showcase artefacts uncovered in the numerous archaeological sites in Bahrain and underpinning the longstanding history of the island. The rich collection covers 6000 years of Bahrain’s history. In addition to the archaeological exhibits, two halls are dedicated to local customs and traditions, featuring clothing, housing, rituals and traditional crafts. Moreover, the art hall features a permanent collection of works by some of Bahrain’s leading artists as well as regularly hosting temporary exhibitions.
Adjacent to the National Museum can be seen the Art Centre and Cultural Hall, both of which host temporary exhibitions and concerts throughout the year. A new addition to this cultural compound is the recently inaugurated Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage.