This post is part of a series on Bahrain’s tourist attractions, notable places of interest, and just about everything I love about the island. Bahrain has been home to me since 2007.
Living in Gudaibiya, it has been part of my routine to go to central Manama every end of the month for bank duties (especially at times online banking just sucks baya). It’s also a great excuse to get some additional walking exercise. 🙂
So we get on a public bus (Bus No.5) from Dasman-Daiso Gudaibiya stop, pay 200 fils ($ 0.53) and get off at Bab Al Bahrain stop. From here you can easily walk your way around. Note: wear comfy shoes lah.
Bab Al Bahrain (Arabic: باب البحرين, Bāb al-Baḥrayn) means Gateway of Bahrain. It is located in the Customs Square in Manama’s former central business district (CBD) and marks the main entrance to the Manama Souq. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bab_Al_Bahrain )
I was surprised when I got off the bus and saw the newly renovated, very blue lit Bab Al Bahrain.
My favorite color is blue lah. 🙂
By the way, here’s how the Bab al Bahrain looked like before renovation, during day time. I think I took it sometime in 2008.
So I hurried to do my transactions with AUB, Citi and SCB, which were all in the vicinity, then went back to explore Bab Al Bahrain’s new look. 🙂
I believe it was the inauguration night, i think i saw it announced in GDN that week. There was an ongoing program and music played all over the place. And people everywhere siempre. 🙂
The Bab Al Bahrain building houses the tourist information office and a handicrafts / souvenir shop. I’ve bought key chains, bookmarkers et al here prior as “pasalubong” to my friends back home.
I remember from the stories of our favorite cab driver Baba Khalil that before, the Bab once stood so close to the water’s edge, even Marina Mall & Ocean Café, thus their names. However, due to extensive land reclamations, actually until the present, the sea has become far…
Now you need to get past the highway and the Bahrain Financial Harbour to get to the water.
When you actually get past the giant arch of the Bab, you’ve actually entered Manama Souq!
Restaurants, shops for all kinds of goodies – spices, sweets, souvenir shirts, shawls, shoes, electronics, gold, silver, precious gems, plus the Gold Souk building, and much much more, here you can find.
The road along the Bab is called Government Avenue and yes, many government offices are located within the area, as well as the Manama Post Office (which is across the Bab actually), the Gold City (like a mall, different from Gold Souq which is inside Manama souq), the World Trade Center, major banks, telecom offices, hotels and restaurants.
I looked at my watch and realizing it was already past 8pm, rushed to the bus stop fronting King Faisal Highway. I don’t wanna miss the coming bus nor spend at least BHD 2.000 (USD 5.30) on a cab (stingy me lah, hehe).
While waiting, you have a pretty view of the Bahrain Financial Harbour’s twin buildings.
Bus No. 5 finally arrives and takes me back to Gudaibiya. See u till next month end Bab Al Bahrain!
NB: Unless we crave anytime soon for the super yummy Thai food from Honey’s Resto beside Gold City, wink, wink. 🙂