With Bahrain gaining in popularity as a tourist destination, many tour operators have begun offering package deals with charter flights and hotel stay. Check with your travel agent, there are some real bargains to be had!

'Ghahwas' infused by
a breath of fresh air

Smoking a shisha is unique to the Middle East. The shisha, also known as hubble-bubble because smoke is drawn through a water pipe, is a common sight in traditional cafés around the country.

In Bahrain, cafés mostly use Egyptian tobacco which is custom-blended in the local ghahwas to give it a special aroma.

Customers are so demanding that everyday you see one more innovative idea being implemented. The latest trends include using a fresh apple, stuffed with tobacco that is already flavoured with apple, which is placed on top of the shisha to be burned under the coal.

Ice has also been introduced to help regular smokers reduce the hazards of smoking. The ice basically cools the inhaled smoke thus reducing any burning sensations that may occur.

Other then the standard fruit flavoured tobacco, the ghahwas have also concocted their own blends, giving them their own names. They have also started mixing fresh fruit juices and fruit pieces in the water to give the shisha a better flavour.

Colourful shisha pipes on sale at the souk (m arket)

By Ghada al Ansari

Arabic cafés sporting a
different look

Arabic restaurants

Bahraini Ghada Al Ansari is a frequent visitor to the island's many Arabic cafés.
Because she loves socialising and meeting new people, she made time in here hectic family/work schedule to study and eventually work as a public relations executive at Gulf Hill and Knowlton.
She counts among her hobbies photography and reading books that "explore the humaan mind". She loves snorkelling and fishing, and promises to one day start diving and clean up the ocean bed!