Splendid tourism potentials of Manama Souq showcased
Photo credit: Uma Bhadhra
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
Nargis Al Banna
The unending tourism potentials of Manama Souq were showcased during a media tour organised by the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (BTEA) on Tuesday. It was held under the theme ‘The Story of Manama’.
The tour focused on highlighting the Manama Market as one of the most important tourist destinations in the Kingdom apart from encouraging citizens, residents and tourists to visit the souq.
According to BTEA, such tours are aimed at visitors and tourists, offering them a unique experience while exploring traditional elements as well as the rich heritage of the Bahraini society.
“The authority is keen to provide everything necessary to ensure the success of these tours, including the provision of a licensed and experienced tour guide to accompany visitors during these tours that keeps pace with the tour towards the targeted destinations and landmarks and focuses
on the tourist attraction in terms of the diversity of food and goods in the market.
“These tours provide tourists, visitors, and even citizens and residents with the opportunity to rediscover the market area with its historical, heritage and religious landmarks that tell a rich part of Bahrain's history through the ages.”
As part of the efforts to boost Manama Souq tourism many events have been organised by BTEA and one of the prominent ones among them was Manama Gold Festival. Nearly 180 gold shops in the area took part in the festival, clocking a total sales of over $3.1 million in a month. Many events were also held during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
In a statement issued to the media, BTEA Chief Executive Officer Dr Nasser Qaedi said: “Revitalising Manama Souq tourism is one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Tourism. We are working to accelerate the restoration of the Manama market's deserved position at the forefront of tourist destinations in Bahrain and the Arabian Gulf, especially it being one of the oldest commercial markets in the region.
“The souq includes many heritage buildings, and there are different places of worship that embody the coexistence and civilisational fraternity that prevailed in Bahrain throughout the ages. It is considered the first attraction for visitors and tourists from the Arabian Gulf, the region and the world."
There are plans on cards to set up an outdoor cinema viewing facility and organising ‘Bahrain Design Week’, and the authority is working with art associations to attract regional artists to participate in these activities.
This programme of events is an essential part of the Manama Market Development Project, and goes hand in hand with efforts to revive some of its houses, shops and various landmarks, and develop squares such as Tawaweesh Square.
Manama Market Development Project aims to give the souq a modern design inspired by the Bahraini heritage to reflect Bahraini identity and authentic heritage.
“Work is underway to develop the facades and banners of the shops, which include 275 shops located on five main streets around the market, namely Al Mutanabbi Street, Bab Al Bahrain Street, Shaikh Abdullah Street, Al Tajer Street, and Crown Prince Street in the Manama Market.
“The Manama Market Development Project will give a whole new look to the current site and will contribute to improving existing facilities and services as the market is an important tourist site.”
The Manama Market Development Committee consists of representatives of the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, the Urban Planning and Development Authority, the Economic Development Board, the Capital Governorate, the Capital Municipality Council, as well as a number of Manama market traders.
Traditional lamps on display at one of the shops in Manama Souq
The post office at Manama Souq
A unique display of stamps released by Bahrain Postal Department
Little India Project symbolises the strong and historic ties between Bahrain and India
Haji’s Cafe is one of the monumental cafe shops at Manama Souq