Al Muharraq
View of Muharraq with the skyline of Manama in the background
Al Muharraq is located in Bahrain
Al Muharraq
Location in Bahrain
Coordinates: 26°15′N 50°37′E / 26.25°N 50.617°E / 26.25; 50.617
Country Bahrain
Governorate Al Muharraq Governorate
Population (2010)
 – Total 109 695 [1]

Muharraq (Arabic: المحرق‎) (meaning Place of Ashes), is Bahrain's third largest city, and served as its capital until 1923. The Muharraq Town was established by the Sunni Arab tribes in the early nineteenth century.[citation needed] The city is located on Muharraq Island and has long been a centre of religiosity. Bahrain International Airport is located on the island.

The city's origins are ancient, going back to the time of Dilmun some 5,000 years ago, but it came to prominence in the historical records during the era of Tylos when Bahrain came under domination of the Selucid Greeks, and Muharraq was the centre of a pagan cult dedicated to the shark god, Awal. The city's inhabitants, who depended upon seafaring and trade for their livelihood, worshipped Awal in the form of a large statue of a shark located in the city.

By the fifth century AD, Muharraq had become a major centre of Nestorian Christianity, which had come to dominate the southern shores of the Persian Gulf. As a sect, the Nestorians were often persecuted as heretics by the Byzantine Empire, but Bahrain was outside the Empire's control offering safety. The names of several of Muharraq's villages today reflect this Christian legacy, with Al-Dair meaning 'the monastery' and Qalali meaning a 'monk's cloisters'.

Muharraq is home to Muharraq Club, which is Bahrain's most successful football club. The city is also known for its traditional market, or souq, and as a home of traditional arts and music; Ali Bahar, a popular and successful Bahraini singer is from Muharraq. Adjacent to Muharraq are the man-made Amwaj Islands, known for their large buildings, hotels and beaches.

Coordinates: 26°15′N 50°37′E / 26.25°N 50.617°E / 26.25; 50.617



Gulf Air has its headquarters in Muharraq,[1] and Bahrain Air has its headquarters in the Mohamed Centre in Muharraq.[2][3]


A doorway in the traditional architectural style in Muharraq

The Ministry of Education operates government schools. Boys schools include Abu Farias Al-Hamdani Primary Boys School, Al-Maari Primary Boys School, Hassan bin Thabit Primary Boys School, Omer bin Abdulazeez Primary Boys School, Sheikh Mohammed bin Essa al-Khalifa Primary Boys School, Omer bin Al-Kattab Primary Intermediate Boys School, Abdul-Rahman Al-Nasser Intermediate Boys School, Tariq bin Zeyad Intermediate Boys School, and Moharraq Secondary Boys School. Girls schools include A'amena bint Wahab Primary Girls School, Al-Muharraq Primary Girls School, Mariam bent Omran Primary Girls School, Zubaida Primary Girls School, Istiklal, Khadija al-Kubra Intermediate Girls School, Zanoobia Intermediate Girls School, and Muharraq Secondary Girls School.[4]

See also

Flag of Bahrain.svg Bahrain portal


  1. ^ Summers, Mark. "'It's business as usual' at Gulf Air." Gulf Daily News. Wednesday 25 July 2007. Retrieved on 24 September 2009.
  2. ^ "Contact Us." Bahrain Air. Retrieved on 22 June 2010.
  3. ^ "HQ Map." (image) Bahrain Air. Retrieved on 22 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Directory." Ministry of Education. Retrieved on 8 September 2009.

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