Lighthouses of Bahrain
The Kingdom of Bahrain is an island nation located just off the Saudi Arabian port of Dammām on the south side of the Persian Gulf. 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. Small but densely populated, Bahrain has about 1.5 million residents.
The Al Khalifa dynasty has occupied the throne in Bahrain since the 1780s. However, Britain established a protectorate over Bahrain in the 1860s and the country did not resume full independence until 1971, following a referendum held by the United Nations.
A note on nomenclature: the Persian Gulf (as it is usually known in the West) is called the Arabian Gulf in Arabia and the Gulf of Fars in Iran. The International Hydrographic Organization calls it the Gulf of Iran and many commentators avoid all nomenclatural problems by calling it simply "The Gulf".
The Arabic word for a lighthouse is mnarh or manara (منارة). Ra's is a cape, jazīrat is an island, minā is a harbor, and shi'b is a reef.
Aids to navigation in Bahrain are the responsibility of the Ports and Maritime Affairs 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
also supplies and maintains many of the navigational aids in Bahrain under contract.
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.
- Navigational chart for Bahrain.
- Navionics Charts
- Navigational chart for Bahrain.
Kawkab Umm al Sawali Light, Al Hidd, November 2016
Google Maps photo by Valeed Mulla
- 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. Valeed Mulla's photo is above, Trabas has a photo, 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. Ayman Al Binmohamed has a street view and 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.
- Khawr Al Qulay'ah Range Rear
- Date unknown. Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); quick-flashing white light for 3 s, then 5 s off. 8 m (26 ft) square skeletal tower carryin large daymark panel painted red with a white triangle, point down. Lightphotos.net has a photo but the light is hard to see in Google's satellite view. This range guides ships on their approach to the inner harbor of Khawr Al Qulay'ah. Located on Qassar Al Qulay'ah, a small island in the entrance to the inner harbor. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty
D7404.1 NGA 29744.
- * 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: Southwestern Iran | East: Qatar | West: Eastern Saudi Arabia
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Posted April 4, 2012. Checked and revised September 27, 2022.
Lighthouses: 4; lightfloats: 1. Site copyright 2022 Russ Rowlett and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill.