Shopping in Bahrain - What to Buy & Where to Buy

A small island rich in date palms and natural resources, Bahrain has become a popular tourist destination due to its cultural heritage, beautiful architecture and food. But did you hear about the popular souqs or markets that offer bewitching souvenirs and items of everyday use that you can shop from? Your trip to Bahrain can’t be rounded off until you pay a visit to some of the most famous Souqs, such as Souq Waqif, which is a paradise for aromatic spices and fresh seafood lovers and also offers a huge variety of clothes, wood, and antique jewellery items to choose from. Another famous market, Muharraq Souq, a local’s favourite for a rich indulgence in gold shopping. The market features multiple gold shops with authentic quality and traditional designs!

Best Places for Shopping in Bahrain

1. Manama Souq

If you’re searching for the best shops to get your hands on beautiful handicrafts, textile pieces, aromatic perfumes and spices, look no further! The Manama Souq is one of the most popular marketplaces located right behind Bab Al Bahrain in the capital city of Manama. The souk also has traditional coffee shops to taste the local cuisine and is loaded with small shops and stalls to departmental stores and malls to find everything, including clothes, toys, antiques, electronics, perfumes and incense, tobacco and even gold!
Location: Al Mutanabi Ave, Manama, Bahrain  
Opening Hours: 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM; 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM

2. Souq Waqif

Shopping in Bahrain
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Souq Waqif enjoys the reputation of being one of the most historical places in Bahrain, translated in Arabic as the “standing market”, wherein the merchants used to crowd both sides of the lanes and set up their make-shift stalls to display their unique and rich collection of goods to attract the buyers in the olden times. This marketplace is a one-stop place for exploring the best of spices, clothes, woods, and fresh seafood, you name it, they have it!
Location: 4FVV+FPC, Hamad Town, Bahrain
Opening Hours: 7:00 AM – 11:00 PMPhone: +973 3545 8899 

3. Souq Al Manama

Shopping in Bahrain
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Another addition to the list of historical marketplaces of Bahrain, Souq Al Manama dates back to 1949, the year when it was articulated by Sir Charles Belgrave. A hub for shopping for clothes, jewellery, food items and a lot more makes it a travellers’ favourite and its history making it one of the oldest marketplaces in the kingdom makes it a sure-shot place to explore and shop from.
Location: Bab Al Bahrain Ave, Manama 304 Bahrain

4. Muharraq Souq

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Popular as an all-rounder shopping spot for both travellers and the localities, Muharraq Souq is a not-to-miss marketplace in Bahrain. With its streets filled with the pleasing aroma of Arabian coffee, the place is a  gem for dessert lovers as it has one of the best sweet shops other than being the home to some amazing coffee places and the most visited malls in Bahrain. It is also famous for having one of the best and most authentic gold shops in Bahrain that widely attracts tourists. It offers best-in-town options in clothing, jewellery, coffee, spices, and much more. Although since it can be extremely crowded and parking spaces could be very hard to find, travellers are recommended to take a cab to avoid the chaos.
Location: Rd 1125, Block 208
Opening Hours: Saturday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM; 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM                                            
                                     Friday: 4:00 PM -  7:00 PM

5. Al Qusayrya Market

The Al Qusayrya Market of Bahrain was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012. It has evolved to be one of the most popular markets in Bahrain, and rightfully so. Not only is the place famous as the “pearl market” of Bahrain, wherein you can purchase the most authentic, radiographically certified pearls, but the place’s majestic and cultural architecture and beautiful cafes make it a must-visit place and grab a bite of the local cuisine!
Location: Al Muhurraq Market

6. Joofri Market

Joofri Supermarket, owned by the Joofri Group, is a famous family-owned marketplace in Bahrain which is thriving since the 1930s. it offers several quality products ranging from clothes to toys to everyday necessities making it a convenient stop-buy for anything and everything!
Location: Al, Tijjar Ave, Manama, Bahrain
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday: 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM; 3:30 PM – 10:00 PM
                                     Friday: 8:30 AM – 10:00 PM
Phone: +973 1721 3312 

7. Gold City Bahrain

Gold is one of those rich indulgences which you can get into without worrying about the authenticity for the hefty price you’re paying in this market. It is a heaven for jewellery lovers and hosts more than 150 jewellery merchants dealing in authentic and certified gold and other precious stones. It also offers a wide variety of traditional and contemporary designs.
Location: Goldcity contact number.38164459 Bahrain manama، 302, Bahrain
Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Phone: +973 3816 4459

8. Souq al Haraj

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A popular flea market in Bahrain, the Souq al Haraj in Isa Town is extremely famous for exploring unique yet cheap items and is a paradise for antique hunters. It’s also a good place to bargain down the prices as the antiques can cost a hole in your pocket.
Location: Isa Town
Opening Hours: Thursday and Friday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Malls in Bahrain

Bahrain is the kind of place that secures a top place in any traveller's list when it comes to shopping for both local delights as well as luxurious products. Although there are many malls in Bahrain for a visitor to explore, some malls, namely, the Seef Mall Bahrain, also known as the first mall of Bahrain, Dragon Mall Bahrain and The Bahrain Mall, top the list and are a must-visit whether you wanna shop luxury or not. These malls have a lot more to offer than a massive shopping experience. Most popular for their theme parks, large multiplexes and amazing range of cafes and food joints, these malls are located at a convenient distance from the airport and are open all week to make it a sure shot stop by for the tourists.

Top 8 Things to Buy from Bahrain

1. Bakhoor

Bakhoor, Bahrain
Any special occasion or religious ceremony is enlightened by these aromatic wood chips that boast of the Arabic culture. A star-selling souvenir of any local souq or market in Bahrain, Bakhoor is widely available across the street markets of Bahrain as well as the malls and is a must to get your hands on these sweet-smelling incense sticks derived from the thinnings of fragrant trees, making it a non-toxic and natural gift that will relax your senses with it’s distinct, earthy aroma.

2. Pearls

Bahraini Pearls
A trip across Bahrain is not complete without exploring the pearl shops spread all across the land. Pearling industry is deeply rooted and dates back to the 1930s, fueling Bahrain’s economy ever since. Hence, you should get out on the streets and buy the best piece of pearl-studded ornament for yourself from some of the best shops, namely, Al Mahmood Pearls, Al Fardan Jewellery and Mattar Jewellers.

3. Dates

Arabian Dates
Famously known as the “elixir of the Middle East”, dates are a delight for taste buds and offer some excellent health benefits, such as aiding digestion. Go ahead and buy a pack to satisfy your unique taste. They’re now available in a large variety, including dates coated with chocolate or dates stuffed with nuts, lemon, almonds, and oranges. A popular and trusted name in the market for dates is Bateel. Fresh dates are best bought from a farmer’s market as they offer the best bargain, and preserved dates or date jams can be bought from many shops in the local marketplaces and malls.

4. Perfumes

Perfumes in Bahrain
Bahrain is also renowned as the “Kingdom of Perfumes”, owning to the majestic perfumers that infuse their years of experience and high-end expertise to make the perfect blend of aromatic oils to produce a scent that one can never forget! They’re proficient at taking note of your choice of scent and diligently combine the oils to give you exactly what you asked for. These perfume shops can be found virtually all across the marketplaces of Bahrain and are a pretty affordable and exquisite gifting option, as well as they’re poured into beautiful glass bottles.

5. Abayas

Another thing that adds to the list of souvenirs is an Abaya, a traditional Bahraini outfit worn by women, reflecting the touch of Arabic culture in the country. This loose and flowy outfit makes it a perfect companion to Bahrain’s hot and humid days. The local markets and shops in malls are loaded with a plethora of designs for abayas, from traditional ones to ones with a modern hint, and there’s one to suit everyone’s taste! So to all the girlies reading this, don’t forget to pick a beautiful abaya and pair it with a matching scarf!

6. Rugs

Rugs in Bahrain
Rugs make for an elegant souvenir to give your homes a touch of your travel log. Bahrain offers high-quality Persian rugs, skillfully woven and available in beautiful colours and intricate patterns. Authentic rugs can be purchased from local souks across the streets of Bahrain.

7. Pottery and Handicrafts

Bahrain Pottery
Local marketplaces of Bahrain are a gem for beautiful and unique handicrafts that portray the kingdom's cultural heritage. One can choose from a wide variety of alluring tapestries, wall hangings, woven baskets, glass mosaics and whatnot! Pottery makes a unique choice of souvenir as the craft has been passed down from the generations of skilled porters dedicatedly to honing their skills to produce the most unique designs. A good choice would be to check out the traditional village of A’ali to get your hands on one of the kinds of Bahraini pottery articles to add a dash of earthy decoration to your home!

8. Gold

Another popular choice of souvenirs, or rather an investment, is gold. Being a Middle-Eastern country, Bahrain is popular for its premium quality as well as the beautiful designs of gold ornaments. One of the best places to check out for this generous indulgence is Gold City in Manama Souk, which is inhabited by multiple shops selling 21-karat and 24-karat gold and other precious jewellery. One can choose from the displayed designs or get a custom-made piece of jewellery which can also be studded with gemstones, pearls, diamonds, etc.

Bahrain never ceases to overwhelm its tourists with the plethora of souvenirs to choose from as well as the abundant and colourful souqs and malls to visit for their shopping spree hence this comprehensive guide will be handy for your trip to the Kingdom of Bahrain!

This post was published by Muskan Jaggi

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