Dubai may get the foot traffic but Bahrain is now carving out its own sizzling path as the latest luxury hotspot on the Persian Gulf. The archipelago consists of 33 islands in the Persian Gulf, and while other Middle East destinations are brimming with tourists, Bahrain remains a locally oriented spot where the air permeates with spices and the pearls adorn the souks. From blue bejeweled private beaches to iced white malls punctuated with high-end boutiques, Bahrain is a true one-of-a-kind destination for those wanting to explore the shimmering sights of the glorious gulf. Throw in your share of ancient UNESCO World Heritage Sites and its own annual Formula 1 Grand Prix, and Bahrain will appeal to refined travelers in search of an exquisite yet unpretentious getaway in a modern and wealthy gulf nation.

Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain

Where to Stay

Bahrain understands seven-star luxury just as well as Dubai – and its collection of palatial hotels and overblown ornate spas are true testaments to this fact. There’s no better example of this than at the wonderful Jumeirah Royal Saray Bahrain. This sensation hotel stretches along the beachfront with luxurious finishes dotted across the property. In addition to its own private stretch of white-sand beach where guests can relax under the swaying palm trees, the outstanding resort has everything you could possibly ask for – world-class restaurants in marbled halls, a lush spa, first-class service and opulent interiors that prioritize comfort. The rooms and suites are adorned with plush furnishings and kept in a lovely cream color palette with a few gorgeous accents in the form of either sapphire blue velvet pillows or delicately wooden-laced coffee tables.

Our Bahrain Destination Guide also includes a comprehensive Luxury Hotel Guide with a complete list of our top picks.

Masso

Where to Dine

Cultures collide in fusion finery in the blue breath of Bahrain. It’s here you can dine in opulence on traditional Arabic dishes or fine-tune your palate with lively Mediterranean flavors, oriental notes or dabble in elegant gastro creations from some of the world’s best chefs. One of the most talked-about restaurants in town has to be Masso, a fine-dining spot that takes its status as the first farm-to-table experience in the desert. Date and wild rocket salads, fresh fish from the pearl-studded waters, and Mediterranean tapas adorn the menu and the vibe is always sociable. At Masso, you’re coming to a relaxed dining experience where friends and family can come together to share fantastic food accompanied by a wonderful list of wines. The uncomplicated décor, rustic wooden details and white linens ensure that Masso is a corner of peace in the midst of a bustling city.

Our Bahrain Destination Guide also includes a Restaurant Guide with our selection of the top culinary picks.

Formula 1

What to Do

Bahrain is one of those rare destinations where ancient landmarks and bustling bazaars rub shoulders with soaring skyscrapers and high-end bars. Speedboat trips along the gulf, horseback riding along the shore and pearl diving are just a few of the lavish experiences you can enjoy in the beauty of Bahrain. The Beach Boutique of Aldar North is a great place to play, where parasols line up in the sun, jet-skis soar across the surface of the water and dolphins can often be spotted jumping across the horizon. The good life comes to fruition each year during the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, which kicks off a week of festivities with a buzzing atmosphere.

You cannot take a trip to Arabia without indulging in a spot of shopping and the Moda Mall is the go-to for personalized shopping trips that have an exceptional staff to shopper ratio. Marbled floors guide you through a veritable maze of high-end brand names and there is always someone on hand to help you choose just the right designer handbag or beautifully curated pearls from the deep. The Al Areen Palace & Spa is a unique luxury experience that encourages high-class villa living with an Arabian edge. The villas are lavishly designed with private pools, bubbling Jacuzzis, vaulted ceilings, carved arches, and deep-soak bathtubs. When you aren’t relaxing in the bliss of your villa you can partake in endless Chinese inspired spa therapies or exploring the evocative cuisine that marks Bahrain on the map as a foodie haven.

Omega

What to Pack

No matter when you find yourself in Bahrain, you’ll want to keep it cool and stylish. The Omega Seamaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer is our choice in watches for Bahrain. The timepiece retains its sturdy and bold appearance, while simultaneously incorporating Omega’s revolutionary technology of today. These Garrett Leight Wavecrest D-Frame Acetate Sunglasses are a similar updated take on a classic. With its matte mahogany tortoise colorway and iconic silhouette, this is an endlessly versatile pair that will suit you for a variety of situations by day. Women can opt for this Proenza Schouler Buckle Mini Leather Crossbody Bag that is the perfect amount of stylish and mobile so you can freely move from place-to-place throughout the day. The classic black color pairs well with the monochromatic beiges, rusts and marigold yellow shades that are currently trending.