Bahrain continues tourism growth

Receiving more than 12 million visitors from around the world in 2019 alone, Bahrain has grown to become a buzzing hub for tourism and continues to maintain its position as an ideal destination for experiential travel due to the unique experiences it offers its visitors that also distinguishes it from any other country in the Arabian Gulf.

With the capital, Manama, recently being named ‘Capital of Arab Tourism’ for 2020, Bahrain continues to launch projects and events that are highly favoured by tourists and appeal to audiences of different ages and interests from around the world, ultimately leading to the growth of the tourism industry.

In addition to hosting events and festivals that held in the Kingdom of Bahrain throughout the year to further develop the local tourism sector, the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) has also been focusing on growing Bahrain’s Mice potential with the new exhibition centre, which is currently being built in Sakhir and is expected to be complete within the next two years.

Built on a land area of 308,700 sq m, with a built-up area of 149,000 sq m, the new exhibition and conference centre project will include 10 exhibition halls covering a total area of 95,000 sq m, equipped with the advanced facilities to effectively attract and host prominent international events and exhibitions. The conference centre, which will cover an area of 4,500 sq m, will be equipped with state-of-the-art displays and technical amenities, and will comprise 27 small and medium sized halls with the capacity of accommodating approximately 4,500 guests.

The new exhibition and conference centre will support the Kingdom of Bahrain’s efforts in creating a vibrant environment conductive to attracting additional business and commercial opportunities, as well as foreign investment, in order to further strengthen the Kingdom’s position as the leading business and investment hub in the region.

As part of its pursuit to continuously develop the tourism sector as a whole and consistently providing a unique experience for visitors, the BTEA launched the world's largest underwater theme park in September 2019 in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Environment and the private sector. The unique diving and eco-friendly project covers an area of over 100,000 sq m and will provide a differentiated and enjoyable experience for tourists and diving enthusiasts alike.

Bahrain boats a range of adrenaline-infused recreational activities visitors can enjoy including the ultimate go-karting experience at the Bahrain International Circuit and the indoor skydiving experience at Gravity. For a memorable diving experience, tourists can enjoy the pearl diving along with professional trainers to search for natural pearls which can still be found today in the deep blue waters of the Arabian Gulf.

In addition to the popular tourist attractions that cater to a myriad of interests, Bahrain is also known for its historic attractions that showcase the passing of ancient civilisations making it the ideal destination for history lovers to explore.

The exceptional site of Qal’at Al-Bahrain, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2005, is a must-see attraction located atop a 17.5 hectare artificial hill and is one of the most famous archaeological landmarks during the Dilmun era in Bahrain. Tourists can also visit the Pearling Trail, which was also listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in June 2012 and is located along the Island of Muharraq in the form of a long trail that consists of three oyster beds located in the northern territorial waters of Bahrain.

Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2019, the Dilmun Burial Mounds, which also frequently visited by visitors and locals, are evidence of the Early Dilmun civilisation in the 2nd millennium BCE, where Bahrain’s prosperity at the time as a trade hub enabled the inhabitants to develop an elaborate burial tradition.

Bahrain has taken great strides in enhancing its position as an ideal tourism destination due to its popular landmarks and attractions, rich history, civilization and traditions that distinguish it from any other country in the Arabian Gulf.

BTEA will continue to develop projects that provide visitors with unique and memorable experiences as it continues to focus its efforts towards establishing the Kingdom as a prominent destination on the global tourism map.