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Did You Know?

Bahrain regularly attracts more than three million visitors each year. That’s more than four times the country’s population!
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Arts, Crafts and Heritage
Heritage Festival: Best of craft on showIf you’re in Bahrain at the time of the annual Heritage Festival (usually in March or April), put the fete on your must-visit list. The event, of seven to ten days, offers the opportunity to see some of Bahrain’s finest crafts people at work: basket and textile weaving, potters among other handicrafts. You’ll be able to hear traditional Bahraini music, see old-time children’s games and costumes of yesteryear. Call Bahrain National Museum (1729 2977) for the festival dates.Craft Centre: Exquisite creationsThe Craft Centre in Manama, run entirely by Bahraini women, is a favourite with visitors, and it’s easy to see why. It has some of the most exquisite creations you’ll find, ranging from jewellery, iron, wood and paper products to embroidered and crocheted goods as well as highly artistic Arabic calligraphy and stained glass. You might be able to visit some of the workshops, particularly seeing how paper is produced from palm fronds. The centre is the perfect place for buying genuine souvenirs from Bahrain.Bani Jamra: Weaving magicPay a visit to the village of Bani Jamra where weavers produce works of art on their manually operated looms. Dhow Makers: A tradition continuesDhows are still built today in much the same manner as they used to be generations ago. It’s an education to watch the craftsmen in Manama curve the teakwood hulls and hammer the planks together into beautiful seacraft with nothing more than mental notes of plans handed down via word of mouth. Dhows are still very much used for fishing or the transporting of goods.A'ali Pottery: Feats of clayNo visitor can fail to be fascinated watching the artisans at work in A’ali which is the heart of Bahrain’s pottery industry. The potters still fire their pieces using ancient kilns and traditional methods handed down generation after generation. Many of the pieces resemble those found in ancient Dilmun digs.Karbabad: Fast hands, fabulous basketsKarbabad is famed for its basketweavers who use split palm fronds to make some exquisite utility and decorative items. You can pick up wall hangings, floor mats and a variety of baskets that’ll make great souvenirs or gifts for back home.Al Jasra Handicraft Centre: Crafts under one roofAl Jasra Handicraft Centre houses a number of traditional crafts. Set up by the tourism directorate, each room at the centre puts different crafts in the spotlight including palm weaving, pottery and woodwork. Items can be purchased at the gift shop at the centre.Rashid Al Oraifi Museum: Dilmun artefacts duplicatedLeading artist Rashid Al Oraifi’s museum is devoted to the art and artefacts of the Dilmun era. Over 100 works of art, including sculptures, from the period are put on display. One of the major attractions is his own paintings of the era for which he uses a special technique to give them a period effect. Bahrain Arts Society: Top artists show true coloursThe Bahrain Arts Society (1759 0551) boasts more than a hundred members whose artistic styles are as exciting as they are varied. For anyone interested in contemporary Bahraini art, a visit to BAS’ annual art show is a must. Also in this section: Popular AttractionsOff the Beaten TrackMuseums and Period HomesAlso Recommended... {MosModule top}
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