A popular travel guide showcasing Bahrain’s hidden gems, popular spots and tourist landmarks has been released to the public.
At 248-pages, Streetsmart Bahrain is divided into five main sections: See, Shop, Eat, Chill and Sleep, each of which have been updated and offers readers a unique insight into the kingdom through the eyes of various local contributors.
Edited by former Bahrain resident and author Melissa Van Maasdyk, the guide also offers an express digital version alongside the hard copy.
“This year, contributors include talented chef Tala Bashmi, musician Isa Najem, singer Banah, and pearl merchants the Mattars,” said Ms Van Maasdyk, who now resides in Abu Dhabi.
“These complement content curated by a team who are passionate about Bahrain, including restaurant reviewer Faezeh Faiz, lifestyle writer Noor Nooruddin, photographer Phil Weymouth, illustrator Anna Thackray and designer Bader Kamal, who also produced the new digital add-on.
“This year’s cover image was taken by Bahraini photographer Ishaq Madan, who juxtaposed traditional wooden dhows with the iconic World Trade Centre.”
The fourth edition of the guide was initially launched as a special VIP commission for the Formula One Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2018.
The guide also offers a mobile-optimised express version of the book that features an “edited selection of places” mentioned in the hardcopy.
A downloadable QR code is located at the back of the comprehensive hard copy and includes itineraries for one to four days with links to short write-ups on all the places mentioned.
There’s also a cultural drive and a walking tour of Muharraq, covering the Pearl Route and the Shaikh Ebrahim Centre, complemented by illustrated maps, both of which have Google Maps links.
“This is perhaps the most exciting aspect of the add-on since it makes navigation a whole lot easier, particularly through Muharrraq’s labyrinthine alleyways,” added Ms Van Maasdyk.
“Given the guide’s mobile optimisation, one can quickly jump from one section to the next via buttons, making it fun and easy to use with lots of nice visual stimulation along the way.”
Readers will find a comprehensive directory in the hard copy covering Bahrain’s best cultural sites, restaurants, lounges, shops, markets, and beach clubs among others, making it a valuable guide for residents and tourists alike.
While the digital addition is more directed at tourists looking to discover the best of Bahrain in a limited amount of time.
“I think the two complement each other really nicely,” said Ms Van Maasdyk.
“(Also), for residents, it’s a handy go-to if you can’t make up your mind about what to do since it narrows things down.
“Once downloaded, the digital guide can also be forwarded to others, which comes in very handy for residents with visiting house guests.”
Streetsmart Bahrain costs BD8.9 and is available at Jashanmal bookshops at City Centre Bahrain, Al A’ali Mall and Seef Mall, as well as Projekt 8 at Moda Mall.
For updates, follow @streetsmartbah on Instagram and Twitter.