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Bahrain is often described as ‘the pearl of Arabia’ – for reasons both figurative and literal. The smallest Arabian state, it is most famous for its production of some for some of the most perfect pearls known to exist – this has led to the establishment of a famously long love affair between Jacques Cartier – of Cartier, Paris – and the country.

Today, the forts from ancient times, such as Arad Fort, are the dominant draws for visitors with a strong interest in this part of the world. Bahrain still maintains Muslim practices, and while visitors are welcome to visit religious attractions such as the Seyadi Mosque and the Al Jasra House, they must follow Muslim principles. Aside from this, it is well worth purchasing some of the illustrious pearls here – for truly unique gifts as well as for your own pleasure. Also recommended is the Yatama Song, which makes pottery and traditional good, and is located on Crown Prince Street in Hamend Town. Hiring a car when visiting Bahrain and its capital, Manama is by far the easiest way to negotiate the state, as well as to enjoy the mystical beauty of this diamond in the Arabian rough.

Other, more modern developments in the tourism industry mean that Bahrain now boasts some truly marvellous billion dollar Durrat Al Bahrain, which is named after the most perfect pearl. A man-made development, it covers a 20-kilometer stretch of reclaimed land and sea. The project resembles a necklace and will eventually consist of thirteen islands spread over twenty square kilometres. Similarly, work is now completed on the Amwaj Islands which is a similary impressive, multi-billion dollar investment. Another particularly recommended time to visit Bahrain is during the Grand Prix. It is then that the small state really comes to life and is sure to offer you something spectacular.

Cities in Bahrain