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Lighting up the night sky – Bahrain F1 Grand Prix
The 2014 Formula 1 Gulf Air Grand Prix – Bahrain’s first ever night race – took place on 6 April. Described by the world media as one of the most exciting F1 races in recent history, it was won by Lewis Hamilton, team Mercedes AMG Petronas.
Lewis’s blistering victory over 57 floodlit laps was the climax of the three-day festival at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC), dubbed the ‘Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’.
The event also featured ‘Business in Formula 1’, a unique initiative that brought together leaders from business and the automotive industry to explore joint opportunities for investment. It hosted high-profile speakers from across the racing world including Sir Jackie Stewart and representatives from Williams, McLaren Automotive and Bahrain-based Vmotion W.L.L.
On the final race day, Bahrain received welcome news that Bell Racing Helmets is to relocate its global
Formula 1 research, development and manufacturing to Bahrain, creating 100 jobs in the process.
The Bahrain Grand Prix attracts over 100,000 visitors every year. As well as having created nearly 400 permanent jobs, it supports around 3,000 employees in the retail, business and hospitality industries during the race season.
Bursting into life – Bahrain Spring of Culture
Two months of sheer bliss and exhilaration – that was the ninth Bahrain Spring of Culture held in Manama, voted this year’s Capital of Tourism by the Asia Cooperation Dialogue.
The festival was packed with events for every taste. Here’s a small selection:
Rock and Blues legend Eric Clapton, the ‘Musician’s Musician’ and the only triple inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, gave a one-off performance at the Arad Fort. With Clapton’s millions of fans globally, and his 50-year career, it was a night to remember.
José Carreras, leading Spanish tenor and one of the famous ‘Three Tenors’, gave a spellbinding performance at the Bahrain National Theatre from his extensive repertoire of operatic masterpieces.

500 Years of Islamic Calligraphy, at the Bahrain National Museum, featured breathtaking examples of religious works, landscapes and illuminated manuscripts from Ottoman-era Turkey, courtesy of the Sakip Sabanci Museum.
Muharraqi: Father & Son, a special exhibition at the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre for Culture and Research, displayed works from well-known Bahraini artists Abdulla and Khalid Al-Muharraqi, seen together for the very first time. Father and son work with very different media: Abdulla relies on traditional techniques, while Khalid innovates with digital art. The result was a beguiling meeting of the two worlds.

The Spring of Culture’s hand-picked entertainment catered for all ages, even toddlers. An enchanting performance of Eric Carle’s ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, and other children’s stories, by Canada’s Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia entertained younger audiences at the Alumni Club.
Announcing the programme, H.E. Kamal bin Ahmed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board, said: “This festival reflects the modern Kingdom of Bahrain and its rich culture”. Minister of Culture H.E. Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa, continued by saying that it: “will give the people of Bahrain the opportunity to experience new things through art, music and dance.”