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Visit Bahrain’s art galleries and exhibitions

Whatever your taste in art or history, Bahrain has something to enjoy.
 
You’ll find a wealth of stunning contemporary talent, contrasted by places and exhibitions that take you back to Bahrain’s rich cultural heritage.
 
There are events throughout the year, such as the annual Bahrain Fine Art Exhibition in January, and ‘Art Market’, a showcase for young artists that was launched as part of the Spring of Culture and takes place every month during 2014.
 
Here’s a quick guide to must-see venues in Manama.
 
Contemporary
 
Albareh Art Gallery: celebrates diversity of established and emerging artists in the visual arts – painting, sculpture and photography – across the Middle East and beyond.
 
Al Riwaq Art Space: promotes contemporary art and design in Bahrain. Runs an annual six-week public arts festival, Alwan338, with work from local and resident artists.
 
Bayan Kanoo, Director of Al Riwaq Art Space, comments: “Al Riwaq is proud to be at the forefront of allowing local creatives opportunities to develop their practice, and engage with the public at large; which has shown its interest in and desire for more home grown creativity. We maintain a strong emphasis on public art and community engagement, and have witnessed a burgeoning scene of creativity and artistic expression, especially among the youth.”

La Fontaine: a unique arts centre based in an historical monument close to the old ‘Souq’. As well as art galleries and an open-air amphitheatre, includes a fine-dining restaurant and leisure facilities.

Historical
 
Bin Matar House: former home of Salman bin Matar, one of the Gulf’s most prominent 19th Century pearl merchants. Newly restored, reflects Bahrain’s cultural identity through architecture and design, and poignantly recalls memories of the bin Matar family.
 
Pearl Road: recently recognised as a UNESCO Word Heritage Site, the Pearl Road in Muharraq features old houses and buildings that relate to Bahrain’s pearl industry. The site was largely destroyed in 1868 and only rediscovered around 30 years ago. There is a visitor centre, museum and popular boat service to the Bu Maher Fort, from where pearl divers left for the sea.
 
On receipt of the Pearl Road’s UNESCO recognition, His Royal Highness Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, First Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Economic Development Board said that the new status signified the value of Bahraini pearls and recalled the country’s long-standing reputation for an industry that has contributed vitally to its culture and national character.