Bharti AXA TRAVEL INSURANCE Travel Guide to Manama Indian Embassy in Manama Indian Embassy in Manama, Bahrain: Address: Building 1090, Rd. No. 2608, Seef, Bahrain Phone: +973 1771 2683 Visa Process for Indian Visitors to Manama Visa Process Copies in colour of the first and last page of the passport along with the observation page if any Confirmed air tickets with E-ticket number Confirmed Hotel reservations Visa Processing Time: 10-15 working days About Manama Manama is a modern city which shines a favourable light on the Gulf prosperity. It is the capital of Bahrain, a Persian Gulf nation which is an archipelago of 33 islands. The city lies on an ages-old major trade route and has witnessed rapid modernisation in recent times. While to a casual passing observer it may appear, and feel much like Dubai, but it has an elegance and charm of its own for the visitors. Manama is a small island relatively close to the coast of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. One can find many Arabs, Western expats and South and Central Asian immigrants in this little place and it continues to be popular as a spot to spend a weekend in the Saudi region, with many new destinations emerging to be popular with tourists in Manama. Places to Visit in Manama The National Museum is one of the most famous places in Manama and rightly so, it provides a brilliant introduction to Bahrain's history. There is a massive collection of artefacts including archaeological finds from the past, a dedicated area showcasing traditional crafts and satellite image of Bahrain. Everything on display is well-preserved here, and it includes Hall of Graves, art, sculpture, traditions, documents and manuscripts. One can shop at the museum too, making it a key Manama point of interest. The places to visit in Manama include the most acclaimed- Bahrain National Museum, mentioned above. Attached to the museum is the National Theatre, and the museum itself shows the historic generosity of the place, consisting of articles belonging to the past Dilmun civilization. National Theatre is a huge, stunning display of architecture covering an area of 12,000 sq. metres. Another place to visit is Bab el-Bahrain Souq which offers colourful handwoven fabrics, spices and pearls from the past. Traditional homes are setup at Muharraq, and a dynamic art scene is evolving in Manama that one must witness. Another monument not be missed in Manama is Al Fatih Mosque, the largest mosque in Bahrain. It is made of marble from Italy, Austrian glass and teak from India. It is a perfectly carved masterpiece built by local Bahraini craftspeople. It is as good from the inside as it is on the outside with its architectural features highlighting the whole space aesthetically. Bab Al Bahrain is a British construction done in 1945 and is now also known as the ‘Gateway to Bahrain’. Beit Al Quran is a perfect showcase of contemporary Bahraini architecture. There are Qurans, documents and manuscripts to woodcarvings inside the place. It is a good way to know more about the Islamic calligraphy. There are miniature Qurans available here. The exhibits are labelled in English. La Fontaine Centre for Contemporary Art is a fabulous showcase of art collection by regional and reputed international contemporary artists. The centrepiece of La Fontaine Centre is the 19th-century Bahraini townhouse. There are other entertainment options like an amphitheatre, a fine-dining restaurant and one of the city's best spas. Al Riwaq Art Space offers up some of Bahrain's best exhibitions, cultural events and film screenings. It's the heart and soul of the creative outpouring that has come to characterise the Adliya – a bohemian neighbourhood in Manama. Museum of Pearl Diving is a historic building and the most important sight in Bahrain. It is the first official centre for Bahrain Courts inaugurated in 1937. It was later in 1984 that it was formally declared a Traditional Heritage Center. Bahrain Fort Museum was openned for the public in 2008. It has an exhibition hall in the first building, attached to a child learning and training room. The second building, on the other side, comprises of a conference hall, a sea-facing cafeteria, a technician suite, offices, etc. The Bin Matar House is a part of the project to restore the traditional Bahraini houses. These houses are attached to traditional local families and famous cultural personalities from the past. The present look has ceilings made of palm leaf and wood beam, while the walls and the floors have been authentically redone. A famous archaeological site in Manama is the Barbar Temple which dates back to 3000BC. It is believed that the temple was a place of worship since two altars and a natural spring were uncovered here. Among the family attractions in Manama is the Zallaq Park, to visit and enjoy the variety of wildlife species and local flora and fauna. Then, there is Bahrein International Circuit which hosts the Formula One Circus every year, sometime in March. Tourists can also visit the Grand Prix track and indulge in Go-karting using a 4x4 vehicle. Dilmun Water Park is a water park right in the centre of the Al Green desert area. Here you have an option to take the slides, wave pools, etc. The Tree of Life, a 400-year-old mesquite tree, lies at the centre of the Arabian desert. The survival of the tree in the thick of the desert without water or any sight of vegetation, is a long-standing mystery. How to Reach Manama To reach Manama, you need to take a flight to the Bahrain International Airport. There are around 43 air carriers which fly to and from the airport. Apart from the major Gulf regions like Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Bahrain airport is directly connected to major international destinations like New York, Mumbai, Bangkok, London, Melbourne, Cairo and Singapore. The King Fahd International Airport is at a distance of 53 km from the city centre and is a large airport which hosts several international and domestic flights to and from Bahrain. SABTCO's Bahrain Limo taxis can connect you from the airport to the city like Manama. Rental vehicles or cars are not allowed to pass through the border. Bahrain is connected to the mainland of Saudi Arabia by a 26 km (16 miles) long bridge called the King Fahd Causeway. Travelling in Manama Taxis can be expensive. Still, it is the best way to roam around in the city minus the need to rent a car. To rent a car may prove to be a better value-for-money deal. Manama is a small city, and it is generally safe to not get lost in the small island location. A map would help you suffice here on own. Best Time to Visit A visit to Manama can be planned in the winters, autumn or the springs. The winter season is from December to February. The best season is to visit Manama is October to December, which is the pre-winter time. The winters can have an average temperature in the range of 14 to 20c. However, spring and autumn can be more pleasant with temperatures in the range of 20 to 30c. It is never too hot or too cold. January to March and October to December are the best months to tour in Manama. Mostly in January, the city hosts a variety of shopping festivals turning the city into a cultural and shopping extravaganza. One of the popular city shopping affairs is the mega event of ‘Autumn Fair’ held in January every year. Tourists have an option to indulge in speciality foods, invest time and effort in textiles, home décor items, electrical goods, brassware, jewellery, toys, gizmos and so on. Manama is an integrated location and part of the big Shop conducted by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) and Tamkeen. It is held in January and February every year. What to Pack? Leave space in the suitcase to carry back shopping items Carry a versatile style of clothing. Include comfortable, loose-fit and cotton fabrics preferably For an evening out, carry smart casuals or dresses Carry flip flops, comfortable pair of shows and for the evening outs, carry something elegant to match the dress Carry the essential creams like the sunscreen, sun moisturizer, etc. Additionally, travel insurance should be on your essentials list while visiting any foreign location. Travel insurance plans are very helpful in case of emergencies like theft, loss of cash and even medical emergencies. Top Delicacies Local yoghurt: it is served with every kind of dish in Manama. Kaboo: it is hot bread. Bahrat: it is a mixture of spices used extensively in all local dish. Ghouzi is a festive dish consisting of roasted lamb with a filet of chicken, rice, eggs, onions and local spices for flavours. Falafel: it is fried chickpea balls. Samboosa: it is pastries stuffed with spiced meat. Hummus: a chickpea spread. Babaghanoush: like hummus but made of aubergine. Khubz: pitta bread with fish sauce- mahyawa. Machboos: rice served with chicken or another meat with spices. Local Fish: Halibut, chimaera, mackerel and bream, prepared using spices, grilled and served with rice. Qoozi: a roasted lamb dish served with rice stuffing, boiled eggs, onion and spices. Muhammar is a rice dish cooked using saffron and dates. Dates: combining nuts or local cheese stuffing. Gahwa is a traditional drink or coffee laden with cardamom and saffron. Indian Restaurants in Manama Rasoi by Vineet Cuisine: Indian, Asian, Vegetarian Friendly Location: Al Fateh Street, Gulf Hotel, Manama, Bahrain Contact No.: +973 1771 3000 Baharat Restaurant Cuisine: International, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern Location: Le Meridien Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway, Al Seef, Manama, Bahrain Contact No.: +97 31 7171 000 Nirvana Cuisine: Indian, Asian, Vegetarian Friendly Location: The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel & Spa, building 112, road 40, block 428 Contact No.: +973 1758 0000 Shopping List Essentials Buy scarves of spices to cow toys in multi-souks of Manama. Manama pearls and 24 Karat gold from the Gold Souk. Moda Mall consisting of designer stores like Armani, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Christian Dior, etc. Manama is a pottery specialist like an exquisite earthenware pot. Visit Bahrain City Center Mall for fashion, electronics and accessories, etc. Healthcare Centers Bahrain Specialist Hospital Salmaniya Medical Complex King Hamad Hospital Royal Bahrain Hospital You may also check with your travel insurer about the networked hospitals. Networked hospitals may allow cashless treatment for the patient associated with the insurer. Currency The local currency in Manama is Bahraini Dinars (BD), and each dinar is broken into 1,000 Film (units). Notes are available in the denominations of one, five, 10 and 20 dinars. Coins are in the denominations of five, 10, 25 and 50 fils. Cash and credit cards are widely used. In the local souq, only cash is accepted. Using benefit is a common practice. It is a Bahrain banking system, giving tourists the access to use Bahrain ATM card across supermarkets, shopping centres and also, some hospitals. But, you still need cash. Therefore, it is recommended to buy some Dinars beforehand, or make use of currency exchange facilities at the bank, exchange bureau or the airport. Dos and Don’ts of Manama A. Dos First Greetings: Reply to ‘Asalam-O-Alaikum’ (peace be upon you) with ‘Walikum-Asalam’ (and peace be upon you) Etiquettes: Leave your shoes outside the mosques or religious places. Calling people with prefixes like Mr, Sheikh or Haji Being a Guest: Accept invitations to dinners and gatherings. On a tea (Qahwa) party drink at least and only two cups. Place your hand on top of the cup while returning it to the host after you are done (indicating that you will not drink more). Always Carry Your Passport B. Don’ts Drinking & Smoking: Drinking is prohibited, so forget about it, cigarettes are not, so may smoke. However, avoid both during Ramadan, especially in public places and day time. Fashion Sense: Never wear shorts in public Discussion Points: Avoid talking about religion and politics unless you only wish to learn about traditions and not criticize them Basics of Local Communication The official language is Arabic, and English is also spoken widely. The non-Bahraini population speaks Farsi too. Bahrainis are intensely friendly, and you will always find a local greeting with a sense of personal enthusiasm and delight. Smiling and direct eye contacts are important. Bahrainis greet each other warmly and like drawing long conversations to get acquainted. It is thus, good to be familiar with some common greeting phrases in English and Arabic both. English Arabic Good Morning sabah alkhyr My name is… aismi hu Where is…? ayn hu Yes nem fielaan No La Please raja' Sorry asif How much is this? kam thaman hdha Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Planning on an international trip? Take a look at our FAQ section that resolves commonly-asked queries on travel insurance. How do I benefit with Travel Insurance? Overseas travel insurance protects you when you are travelling in a foreign land. The insurance covers the expenses incurred during events like flight cancellation, illness, injury, misplaced baggage, loss of passport, etc. There would be financial reimbursement offered to cover the financial risk. Are Children and Senior citizens covered? Children from the age group of 3 months are covered.Senior citizens are also covered, with maximum entry age restricted to 85 years.For buying a policy covering people above 60 years of age kindly contact our representative at 080- 49010200. MORE FAQs Why choose Bharati AXA Travel Insurance Travelling overseas is always fun. its more fun when you know your trip financialy secure. 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