Lighthouses of Bahrain
Bahrain is an island nation located just off the Saudi oil port of Ad Dammam on the south side of "The Gulf" (known in Arabia as the Arabian Gulf, and elsewhere generally as the Persian Gulf or Gulf of Iran). Bahrain consists of some 33 islands, the largest being Bahrain Island, 55 km long by 18 km wide (34 mi by 11 mi). The 25 km (15 mi) long King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, and the proposed 40 km (25 mi) long Bahrain-Qatar Causeway would connect Bahrain to Qatar. The island has a population of about 1.2 million, half of whom have come there from other countries.
The Gulf is a major center of shipping today, but
that was not true until well into the 20th century. As a result, no traditional Western-style masonry lighthouses were ever built in the area. However, included on this page are sites
of possible interest to lighthouse fans. Photos of navigational aids
in the Gulf are particularly scarce on the Internet, so contributions
from travelers to the area would be very welcome.
Aids to navigation in Bahrain are the responsibility of the Ports and Maritime Department of the Ministry of Transportation. Offshore navigational aids in the Gulf are maintained by the Middle
East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS), based in Bahrain. MENAS
has the important task of guiding the continuous stream of supertankers
in the Gulf.
The Arabic word for a lighthouse is mnarh or manara (منارة). Ra's is the word for a cape or headland, and jazirat is an island.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS
World List of Lights. Admiralty
numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog
Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.
- General Sources
- World of Lighthouses - Bahrain
- Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
- Online List of Lights - Persian Gulf
- Photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
- MENAS Services
- For an interactive map of MENAS navigational aids, click on "Tools" and then on "AtoNs Map."
Kawkab Umm al Sawali Light, Al Hidd, April 2011
Panoramio photo copyright hiddport; permission requested
- Bahrain Buoy
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); one long white flash every 10 s. Approx. 15 m (49 ft) sqaure skeletal tower on a round lightfloat. No photo available. We believe this light has replaced the Bahrain Lightfloat seen in port in a Lightphotos.net photo taken in 2008. Located at the start of the entrance channel for Bahrain. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. The international light lists no longer include offshore buoys of this type. Operator: MENAS. ex-Admiralty D7396; ex-NGA 29624.
- Kawkab Umm al Sawali (Al Hidd)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); continuous red light. Approx. 42 m (138 ft) round water tower. Trabas has a photo, a distant view is at the top of this page, and Google has a satellite view. Located at Al Hidd on Muharraq Island; this is at the northeastern corner of the country in the Khalifa bin Salman port district. Site status unknown. Admiralty
D7400.9; NGA 29707.
- Mina Salman (Mīnā' Salmān, Al Juffair)
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (137
ft); very quick-flashing light, white, red or green depending on direction. 40 m (131 ft) silo building. An aerial view is available, and Google has a satellite view. Mina Salman is the principal port of Bahrain, located on the northeastern corner of the island. This powerful directional light guides vessels into the port. Located on the Mina Salman waterfront. Site status unknown. Admiralty
D7406; NGA 29764.
- * Bahrain Yacht Club
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); quick-flashing white light. Light mounted on one corner of a square yacht club building. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of the south breakwater of the club's harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty
D7409.5; NGA 29737.
Information available on lost lighthouses:
- Lightship Bahrein (?-?). Lightphotos.net has a second historic photo. This vessel was active during the 1930s; we need information on its history. Before World War II navigational aids in the British protectorates of the Gulf were the responsibility of the Indian lighthouse service.
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Iran | East: Qatar | West: Eastern Saudi Arabia
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Posted April 4, 2012. Checked and revised June 20, 2018.
Lighthouses: 4. Site copyright 2018 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.