Bahrain offers a wonderfully diverse shopping experience, and will no doubt quickly become one of your favorite shopping destinations. With everything from glitzy sprawling shopping malls to authentically traditional souks, this guide highlights some of the very best shopping in Bahrain.
While not a traditional place to shop, there is no denying the elegant and sophisticated appeal of modern shopping malls, and Bahrain certainly has plenty to choose from. Bahrain City Centre is the largest in the kingdom, and not only has a wide range of international stores, but also a 20-screen cinema, two hotels and the largest indoor and outdoor waterpark in the region. The Bahrain Mall is another popular shopping mall, and manages to combine international brands with local favorites, such as Arabian Oud and Tarbouche Express. Nearby to the Bahrain Mall is the Al A’ali Shopping Complex and the Seef Mall, making the area quite the high-traffic retail district. Other malls worth a mention include Marina Mall, which is home to several mega-stores, the exclusive and high end Moda Mall, and Dana Mall, home to a range of unique local brands.
Located in the labyrinth of streets behind Bab Al Bahrain, the Manama Souq bursts into life in the evenings, and is known for being the best place to go for electronic goods, bargain clothing, spices, nuts, and other local essentials. Within the Manama Souq, you will also find the Spice Souq, situated in a quiet corner, and the Gold Souq, with hundreds of glittering rows of stalls that guarantee to dazzle your eyes. The Muharraq Souq is also worth a visit, and you will find it on Muharraq Island. Within this souq is the Suq al Qaisariya, which features a newly renovated collection of traditional stores that will soon form a significant part of an important heritage pathway being built on the island.
Carpets, Pearls and Pottery
While Bahrain is famous for a variety of things, the three most popular items that tourists tend to usually purchase from the kingdom when visiting are pearls, red clay pottery, and carpets. Pearls are the item that first put Bahrain on the map, and, in addition to being able to dive for pearls themselves, visitors can also purchase some gorgeous pieces from local stores, safe in the knowledge that Bahrain is one of the few countries in the world that sells natural, rather than cultured, pearls. Bahrain is also known for creating some of the most beautiful carpets in the world, with some of the finest carpet shops being found in Adliya and Manama, while those who want to purchase some local handmade pottery should head to A’Ali Pottery, which is the largest pottery handicraft center in Bahrain.
When it comes to retail therapy, Bahrain offers nothing but the very best. Whether you want to haggle for local spices at a bustling souq, or browse the latest couture fashions in a gleaming mall, you will not be disappointed by the unique shopping experience that you will discover in Bahrain.