Maritime Heritage


The Kingdom of Bahrain is deeply rooted in its ancient maritime heritage.   

Today it continues to hold major naval significance, being the base of the US Fifth Fleet and the Royal Navy.  

In 1838, Lieutenant J. R., Wellsted, an officer in the British India service, underscored the prowess of Bahrain’s maritime commerce capability. He reported that the fisheries of the gulf employed 4,300 boats, manned more than 30,000 men:  

“Of these boats, 3,500 were from the Island of Bahrain, 100 from the Persian coast, and the remaining 700 from the Pirate Coast situated between Bahrain and the entrance to the Gulf of Oman.” Lieutenant Wellsted estimated the value of the pearls secured annually as approximately 400,000 British pounds, which is somewhat less than the average value of the output in recent years.” Washington Globe, Washington, D.C., August 13, 1839.

Image Credit: Courtesy of The Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities. Image Info: Shooi Dhow traveling on sea, Photo taken around 1900’s – 1910’s.  

Culture & Antiquities

Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities

The Bahrain Culture and Antiquities Authority mandate includes overseeing the culture sector in the Kingdom. The Culture and National Heritage Sector, is responsible for setting all plans and programs related to culture, arts, and heritage in the Kingdom of Bahrain, with a vision to update and develop the cultural infrastructure, and activate the role of culture in social and economic development.

The sector also supports cultural movements of Bahrain through developing the role of museums, folklore, and other cultural components within Bahraini society with the aim of enhancing the local community’s knowledge about its origins and civilization which date back to several millennia.

In addition, the culture sector seeks to engage with other cultures around the world by hosting a wide range of global cultural activities, as well as continuing its efforts to broaden cultural engagement at the local level. 

The sector also works to promote Bahrain and boost its image as a unique, dynamic, and civilized nation that is open to others.

Image Credit: Courtesy of The Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities.