Benefits of business trips to Bahrain

It proclaimed itself the 'business friendly' destination, but what awaits the traveller after the recent unrest? Farah Halime discovers.

Bahrain National Museum has five exhibition halls.
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As Bahrain battles to save its business-friendly image, the kingdom is keen to impress the astute corporate traveller.

The exclusive Capital Club, on the top two floors of the East Tower at Bahrain Financial Harbour, is one of the island's marvels and ideal for a meeting, if only for its spectacular views of the country.

Although it is strictly off limits for non-members, it is a popular venue for Bahraini business people trying to dazzle their guests.

Curfews may still be in place that will limit your movements beyond 10pm, depending on the area, but there is still plenty to see and enjoy in Bahrain.

Juffair, a suburban neighbourhood in Manama near the US Fifth Fleet base, has a restaurant and cafe-lined street for a European-inspired evening, which although quieter than normal is mostly open until the early hours.

Then there is the Bahrain National Museum, the oldest in the country. It has three halls devoted to archaeology and the ancient civilisation of the Dilmun, and two more that depict the culture and lifestyle of Bahrain's pre-industrial past.

To sample local art, a visit to galleries such as Al Riwaq Art Space, Albareh Art Gallery and Bin Matar House can be an enjoyable experience. As for that shopping trip, most of the buying and selling in Manama takes place at the Bab al Bahrain souq district where vendors sell souvenirs, crafts, fruits, clothing and a rainbow variety of spices.

While the markets cannot compete with the likes of Damascus or Marrakech, the souq still forms the historic soul of Manama.