Like culture, art and recreation, leisure and sports activities play an important role in communities. Their many benefits include improving the health and well-being of individuals, contributing to the empowerment of individuals, and promoting the development of inclusive communities.
The Kingdom of Bahrain boasts of a wide range of sports activities and facilities that provide a full access platform for nationals and residents to lead a healthy and active lifestyle and also for tourists to enjoy. From motor racing to golf and equestrianism to football, the Kingdom caters to diverse sporting interests with an expansive selection of private and public Clubs and venues.
Over the past several years, public authorities in the Kingdom of Bahrain have ensured that sports, youth work and other activities are accessible by both men and women of different cultural backgrounds and also people with disabilities especially the youth sector. This has been recognized with the different policies & programmes that support sports have been set in every governate of the kingdom ensure affordable activities, parks with sport facilities in neighborhoods and launching a variety of new sports stadiums, football pitches, and multipurpose sports halls, as well as Olympic swimming pools, youth centers, and youth sports grounds to make health and fitness more accessible.
Building on the legacy of the General Organization for Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Youth Affairs is tasked with implementing His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s vision for youth and sports in the Kingdom. Headed by His Majesty the King’s Representative for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Ministry continues working to improve access to sporting facilities and create the right environment for young Bahrainis to achieve their aspirations.
Shaikh Khalifa Sports City in Isa Town is one of the Kingdom’s leading sports venues. The multi-use stadium underwent a $24.4 million (9.2 million BHD) renovation in 2008 as part of efforts to further improve the sports infrastructure in Bahrain.
The project, which replaced the old Isa Town Stadium, features a main stand for the football stadium, which can accommodate 3,600 spectators. New facilities were added such as a medical centre, administration offices, a conference hall, and a VIP lounge and changing rooms.
The stadium also features a multi-purpose sports hall that can accommodate 3,600 spectators for handball, basketball, volleyball, and badminton matches. Moreover, it includes a swimming pool hall, featuring a stand for 500 spectators, a 50-metre-long swimming pool and a five-metre-deep diving pool as well as changing rooms, offices, and a training hall.
The state-of-the-art facility places Bahrain on the international sports map, enabling the Kingdom to host regional and international competitions. It also aims to help boost the sports movement in the country and create a generation of athletes capable of competing globally.
As part of Bahrain’s significant interest in sports and its active efforts to establish and maintain new sports facilities, the establishment of the largest Sports City in the Kingdom has been announced. The city will contribute to supporting the youth and sports fields, fostering an environment that promotes innovation and excellence. The initiative is considered one of the strategic projects aimed at developing the sports industry, positioning the Kingdom of Bahrain as a destination for regional and global sports events and tournaments.
The Sports City project is the largest in this field, as a full fledge modern sports complex will be constructed within the Kingdom of Bahrain. Designed to meet the highest international standards, the project will include a sports city containing an integrated sports stadium that will be the largest in the Kingdom of Bahrain accommodating 50,000 spectators, in addition to training fields, a track for athletics, multi-use halls that can accommodate 10,000 spectators, halls for individual games, Olympic swimming pools including infrastructure, external works, utility buildings and associated services for the city, it will also include a commercial complex, hotels, parking lots and a media centre.
Football is among the most popular sports in the Kingdom. Bahrain is home to leading global football training academies and a host of local clubs that cater to players of all ages and abilities. Besides the National Football Team; which is managed by the Bahrain Football association , there are other local sports clubs within the Kingdom:
Bahrain also as a National Stadium to host its international and local football matches. Located in Riffa, Bahrain National Stadium can accommodate 24,000 visitors and is used mostly for football matches. It was built in 1982 and renovated in 2012 to host the 21st Arabian Gulf Cup tournament.
Bahrain has a wealth of social clubs for expatriates, many of which feature an impressive array of sports facilities. Although some of these clubs are aimed at particular nationalities, many of them welcome citizens from other countries who don’t have their own National Clubs in Bahrain. There are also several private member clubs that welcome all nationalities, house various amenities, and encourage participation in group sports.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is home to one of the leading motorsports venues in the world, the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). “The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East” is an ultramodern motorsport facility located in the heart of the Sakhir desert and is best known for hosting the Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
Throughout the year it also entertains many other motorsport events including local, regional, and international racing series, as well as drag racing, Go-Karting, corporate events, conferences, and other track activities which the public can use and book via https://www.bahraingp.com/
The Kingdom of Bahrain is home to several leading golf clubs, including the Royal Golf Club , which features an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course and a 9-hole, par 3 Wee Monty course, both designed by international golfing legend Colin Montgomerie. Meanwhile, Awali Golf Club holds a special place in the Kingdom’s history as Bahrain’s first golf course.
As an archipelago of 33 islands, Bahrain has no shortage of watersport activities. Whether you want to jet ski, snorkel, or scuba dive, you can find a way to make a splash. Many of the Kingdom’s hotels and resorts have private beaches that offer a variety of entertaining ways to spend the day on the water. Meanwhile, Dive Bahrain is the world’s largest underwater theme park and offers scuba enthusiasts plenty to see and do. For more information about watersports in Bahrain, download the Bahrain Tourism app .
For more than 2000 years, Bahrain’s pearls have been prized as some of the best natural pearls in the world. In the past, pearl divers spent months away from home at sea. They were lowered on weighted ropes and remained underwater for over a minute with nothing but a nose peg to control their breathing.
Powered by the Bahrain Tourism & Exhibition Authority , individuals can joy the same experience hunting for pearls right here in the seawaters of the Gulf by visiting https://pearldiving.bh/
Horse riding, especially Arabian horses, is one of the most popular pastimes in Bahrain. There are stables and equestrian clubs across the island, with Rashid Equestrian & Horseracing Club being one of the prominent horsing clubs in the Kingdom and governed by the Bahrain Horse Racing Affairs Directorate which is the regulatory authority governing all aspects of horse racing in the Kingdom of Bahrain. There are also many riding schools and stables across the Kingdom offering experienced riders and beginners an ideal way to spend an afternoon.
Bahrain has several basketball courts designed to international standards, serving as ideal venues for players to develop their skills. The Bahraini Premier League, also known as the Zain Basketball League, is a professional basketball league in the Kingdom that consists of 12 teams including:
The Bahrain Basketball Association holds several competitions including: the Zain League, the Zain Super Cup, and Khalifa bin Salman Cup.
To locate sports facilities in Bahrain, please visit MYS Locator
With the rise in health awareness, many individuals in the Kingdom have included exercise as part of their daily or weekly routine in order to boost their physical as well as their mental health. The Government has established improving multiple public walkways in different governorates within the Kingdom to create a safe and clean space for individuals to walk, have a picnic, or simply just to spend time in the outdoors. Some walkways are even equipped with a couple of outdoor exercising tools, and others include a built in playground for children. Below are some of the walkways available in the Kingdom:
Privately owned gyms and sports clubs can be found all around the Kingdom hosting all kinds of sports and providing various equipment such as CrossFit, gymnastics, martial arts, swimming, and many more. Many of them also offer private and personal training sessions whether in the facility itself or from the comfort of your home.
For more information on sporting events and activities in the Kingdom, please visit www.calendar.bh, and download the Bahrain Tourism app.
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Content Last Updated: 07 Aug, 2023