There is a wide range of modern shopping complexes with imported luxury goods. Pearls are the main local speciality, used in finely wrought gold jewellery. Famous red clay pottery is available from the village of A'ali; hand-woven cloth from Bani Jamrah and textiles from Al-Jasra.
Manama is a great place for night shopping: just stroll through the labyrinthine streets behind Bab al-Bahrain to discover how locals spend their evenings bartering in the clothes, textiles and gold souks.
Sat-Thurs 0830-1230 and 1530-1930. Some shops are open for a few hours on Friday evenings in souks.
Nightlife in Bahrain
Restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas showing English and Arabic films can be found in the main towns.
Within the capital city, Manama, 'nightlife' generally refers to eating out with friends in some of the city's excellent restaurants, particularly in the Adliya district. Pick up a copy of TimeOut Bahrain for a listing of current favourites. There are also several fashionable nightclubs, mostly attached to hotels, which offer a mix of world music, house, R'n'B, hip hop and even the odd samba club. Live shows are advertised in the 'Nitelife' section of Bahrain This Month and in the English-language newspapers.
For something more 'highbrow', the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (www.bahrainexhibitions.com) features traditional music recitals and the five-star hotels often host quality acts from abroad. All top hotels have attractive bars featuring happy hour and live jazz or piano music.