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Bahrain : The complete guide for visitors and expatriates - From suqs to super shopping malls
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Rug Shopping


To round off a perfect day’s shopping, head for the suburb of Adliya, in particular Osama Bin Zaid Avenue, where you can stroll along the pavement soaking in the sights of rugs from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey.

The evening is really the best time to visit this area as it comes alive with the mix of shoppers, restaurant and café goers.

Venture into any of the shops and they will gladly unveil mountains of rugs with a dazzling variety of patterns and colours. Sit and drink a gahwa (local coffee) and  you will find out about the origin of the rugs – whether they are made of silk, wool or a combination of both; hear tales about the people who make them; discover the meaning of the different designs; and be informed about the number of knots per square centimetre, which is a good indicator of quality.

You’ll find it hard to resist as the selection of rugs is unlikely to be surpassed elsewhere. Of course, bargaining is a must. As a reward for your exertions, Adliya’s fine selection of cafés and restaurants beckons you – a relaxing way to end your first day of shopping.

Marina Mall


Day two of our virtual tour promises to be equally exciting. A great place to kick-off is Marina Mall, where they offer affordable, good value shopping under the Al Rashid Group (ARG) umbrella whose stores comprise Mothercare, Shoe Mart, Sarah (sssh…lingerie!), Splash (young and trendy), Home Centre, Lifestyle (everything a woman could want), Bossini and Lee Cooper. Several stores have recently undergone extensive refurbishment.

It’s a real ‘one stop’ shopping mall where you can find everything from newborn and toddler clothing, toys, nursery products, home furnishings, gift ideas, trendy teens and adult clothing and footwear, lingerie and more. Independent stores such as NineWest and G2000, are also represented, making a total of 15 stores that include Costa Coffee, Cellucom, Milano Ice Cream, Hour Choice, Planet Charming, and much more.

The recently renovated food court offers tasty Chinese, Indian, Arabic and Italian cuisine and a fantastic lunch buffet for hungry shoppers. You can try a new concept – Fry Station (offering a naughty-but-tasty variety of fried items) and other well-known food outlets. Meanwhile, the kids will have great fun at the Magic Island play zone.