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


This jewel in the centre of the city, adjacent to the Sheraton Hotel (residents can walk from the rear entrance), is a well-established, spacious, elite shopping centre. It’s a magnet for discerning shoppers from Bahrain and beyond.

Designer stores include Escada and world famous jewellers, Tiffany’s. Local based jewellers include the Jewel House and Asia Jewellers, both producing eye-catching, dazzling pieces for the top end of the market. Exclusive household adornments, antiques, fine locals arts and crafts, well-known perfumes (local and international) are represented. In total, there are 120 well-appointed stores and several food outlets.

Look out for the model of the new Bahrain World Trade Centre, construction of which is well under way just next to the existing centre. The new 50-storey high twin towers, will include an extension to the existing shopping mall. Both the existing mall and the extension are to be rebranded as Moda Mall, and will offer even more quality shopping, several fine dining outlets and a health club.

The Sheraton Hotel is also undergoing an extensive facelift to provide catering and conference facilities along with leisure and fine dining amenities and will form an integral part of this new development. Keep your eyes peeled!

Sitra Mall


The newest of the malls, with the potential for 118 retail outlets, Sitra Mall is a located in Sitra, a suburb just south of Manama on the road to the south of the island. It’s the only mall set on the seafront, and you can take full advantage of this view from the 12-outlet food court offering waterfront dining.

The mall caters for across the board, value for money family shopping with ongoing promotions guaranteed to keep the customers happy.  It’s just the place to stock up on clothing, accessories, footwear and cosmetics. And the food selection at the anchor store, Le Marché hypermarket, is just amazing. With parking for 850 vehicles, you’ll always be sure to find a space at Sitra Mall.

Craft Centres


Venturing further a field, hail a taxi to the Bahrain Craft Centre in Isa Al-Kabeer Rd, in the Salmaniya area, where you can watch traditional crafts including paper making using date palm leaves (which is then skilfully crafted into unique greeting cards or pictures), calligraphy, stained glass and embroidery.

Apart from the workshops, there is a bright, airy, central gallery and showroom where you can purchase all of the items made on the premises as well as other locally made goods such as the bold, geometric-patterned wool rugs from the looms of the Ad-Diraz Weavers.

To gain a further insight into local crafts, visit the Al Jasra Handicrafts Centre, in the beautiful village of Al Jasra, near the King Fahad Causeway (heading to Saudi Arabia). This tranquil craft centre hosts a variety of workshops where you can watch pottery-throwing, basket making, weaving and model dhow (local boat) making. On the first floor, you can watch several local artists at work in their studios.