Muharraq Governorate

Muharraq and Manama. © TheBahrain.Com

Muharraq Governorate

Muharraq Governorate
Muharraq Governorate

The Muharraq Governorate (Arabic: محافظة المحرق‎; transliterated: Muhafazat al-Muharaq) is one of the five governorates of Bahrain. It is now co-extensive with the municipality of Al Muharraq and with Muharraq Island together with outlying islets. It includes the former municipality of Al Hadd at the southern end of that island.

The centre of Muharraq contains some of the oldest residential properties in the Kingdom, many of which have been rented out by their Bahraini owners to expatriate workers. There are also many buildings of historic interest in the town's crowded lanes, including the Shaikh Isa bin Ali House, Siyadi House, the wind towers, and the neighbourhood of journalist Abdullah Al Zayed House, as well as the impressive Arad Fort.

The government has been accused on not putting enough money into the restoration of these historic sites to turn them into tourist attractions. The head of Salafist Asalah party, Ghanim Al Buaneen, responded to news that the government was to invest BD5 million into protecting these sites by dismissing the amount as too little and said the island needed between BD50 million and BD100 million for the facelift of entire old areas. Al-Menbar Islamic Society MP Dr Ali Ahmed said the effort to preserve Bahrain's traditions had not been a success story due to the government's poor planning and the public unawareness about the initiatives.

Local councillor Majeed Karimi came to international prominence in 2005 when his spearheaded Islamist party, Al Wefaq's campaign decided to ban lingerie mannequins, blaming them for rising divorce rates in the area. While Al-Menbar Islamic Society local councillor, Saleh Al Jowder, launched his bid for a parliamentary seat in 2006's election by announcing that the council would deal with complaints about peeping toms by fitting all multistorey buildings with one way glass so that residents cannot see out.

Muharraq island is also the site of Bahrain International Airport, although the local Asalah MP has called for it to be relocated because the sound of aeroplanes landing and taking off has disturbed local residents.

Bahrain International Airport (Arabic: مطار البحرين الدولي‎) is an international airport located in Muharraq, an island on the northern tip of Bahrain, about 7 km (4.3 mi) northeast of the capital Manama. It is the primary hub for Gulf Air and was the hub for the now defunct Bahrain Air.

A BD113m ($300 million) expansion and refurbishment program was launched in the third quarter of 2006 which will see the creation of a new multi-storey car park and retail complex adjacent to the main terminal building. The expansion also includes a full resurfacing of the main runway, a new perimeter fence, state-of-the-art security systems and additional aircraft parking bays. Runway 12R/30L is mostly used as a taxiway.

A significant portion of passengers served by the airport are Saudis and Western expats working in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Designated bus and limousine services move passengers from Dammam, Khobar and other Saudi cities to Bahrain Airport.

In 2010, Bahrain Airport was named as the winner of the Best Airport in the Middle East Award at the Skytrax 2010 World Airport Awards.

The newly built Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Park At Hidd, which cost an estimated $18million to construct. The park features a 5225 square metre artificial lake in which one can enjoy paddle boating. The park also has fitness equipment along the walking track.

Arad Fort (Arabic: قلعة عراد‎; transliterated: Qal'at 'Arad) is a 15th century fort in Arad, Bahrain. Arad Fort was built in the typical style of Islamic forts during the 15th century A.D. before the Portuguese invasion of Bahrain in 1622 A.D. This fort is one of the compact defensive forts in Bahrain. In its present location, it overlooks various sea passages of Muharraq's shallow seashores. In the past, there was an inaccessible marine channel which was controlled by the local people to prevent ships from breaking through to the island where the fort is located. The fort is square and on every corner there is a cylindrical tower. It is surrounded by a small trench which used to be filled with water from wells that were drilled especially for this purpose. In every corner of the upper wall of the fort there are nose shaped openings for marksmen.

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