Located on Muharraq Island to the north-east of the capital Manama, the Bahrain International Airport is the country’s largest flight facility and the Persian Gulf’s first international airport. It serves as a major hub for the national carrier Gulf Air, with flights to the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Egypt.
The Bahrain International Airport operates from a single terminal building set over two levels, with duty-free shops and boutiques scattered throughout the building, together with fast food chains, restaurants and coffee shops. There are three lounges available, including the Gulf Air First and Business Class lounge which is exclusively for the airline’s premium passengers, as well as the Marhaba and Dilmun lounges which are open to paying guests, no matter what class or airline they are travelling. The Bahrain International Airport was given the Best Airport in the Middle East Award at the 2010 Skytrax World Airport Awards. Flights to Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi are among its busiest routes, together with direct services to Cairo, Mumbai, Istanbul, London and Frankfurt.
Bahrain International Airport is situated around six kilometres to the north of Manama and best accessed by private taxi. Most hotels offer courtesy shuttles for their guests, or there are public bus services to the Muharraq bus terminal around once an hour.
It was a regular commercial service from London to Delhi in the 1930s which resulted in Bahrain building its first international airport, before being used by the United States Army Air Forces during World War II as a stopover en route to Iran and the present-day UAE. The Gulf Aviation Company, now Gulf Air, was established in 1950 and put Bahrain on the international stage, with the airport making its mark as the Persian Gulf’s most modern and advanced facility.