Over the centuries, the ancient city of Muharraq on Muharraq Island was considered as the capital of the pearls industry in the Arabian Gulf region, being home for the most significant number of divers. All the people of the island were involved in the pearls industry between 1810 and 1923, the period in which the pearling economy flourished, whether by supplying and developing related industries or serving the largest fleet of pearl ships. With time, the pearl economy declined almost simultaneously with the discovery of oil and natural gas in Bahrain. These changes led to a decline in the role of the city of Muharraq, and the rapid development of the city of Manama, located in the port on the mother island of Bahrain. Being the old capital, Muharraq preserved its identity. Despite the new urbanization process in the region, the city keeps its architecture, the lookout of its streets, and intersections as it was in the pearl industry period. Natural pearl plantations in the northern part of the Kingdom of Bahrain were the principal place of the natural pearl industry, which flourished in the Persian Gulf from the third century B.C. In 1877, pearl exports accounted for three-quarters of Bahrain's exports, most of which were directed to Bombay, Iran, and Turkey. At the beginning of twenty century, Europe becomes the most critical market for the Bahraini pearl exports, where the percentage of pearl products exported through the Kingdom of Bahrain is estimated to be 97.3% of the total outcome of the Persian Gulf in the years 1904 and 1905. The value of the Bahraini pearl exports doubled six times during the years between 1900 and 1912. The pearl economy reached its peak between 1911 and 1912, but the events that followed later led to the collapse of this economy. Wars, financial crisis, the emergence of cheap artificial pearls, divers strikes led to the deterioration of pearl trade during the thirties of the twentieth century, and its collapse entirely by 1950. For thousands of years, the pearl and its associated merchandise have shaped the economy of Bahraini society and its cultural identity. Bahrain has become the regional economic hub, where met people involved in the pearl industry. The continuity of the impact of the pearl heritage, with its material and immaterial dimensions, is today a unique vector to the Gulf-regional relations, social and economic, ethnic and religious relationships.
Pearl Path is a world heritage in Bahrain that passes through the ancient alleys of Muharraq. We encourage visitors to start their visit it the current location and pass to Bu Maher Castle and Bu Maher Visitor Center. Bu Maher Fort can also be reached by boat, which departs the Bahrain National Museum every half an hour between 10:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., except on Tuesdays. By the second quarter of 2020, Bu Maher Castle will be connected to the rest of the Pearl Trail via a pedestrian bridge, and visitors will be able to walk from the southern coastal point of the path to the northern end. Currently, visitors can return by boat to the Bahrain National Museum after visiting Bu Maher Castle and continue their visit to the track in Muharraq.
Bu Maher Castle and Visitor Center open daily from 10:15 am Until 4:30 pm, except for Tuesday
The Pearl Path Visitor Center is
open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on Thursdays
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