A vibrant shopping landscape has sprouted over the years in Bahrain and today we’re spoilt for choice. Here’s our pick of the latest stores to launch on the island
Along, long time ago, way back in yesteryear, there was a time when the most exciting shopping experience you could have in Bahrain meant a visit to the Yateem Centre. These days we’re utterly inundated with local, regional and international brands jostling for our attention in the malls and on the highways. The past few summer months alone has seen a range of new stores with all sorts of fresh products open their doors so we took a tour (purses at the ready) and swooned over the best.
Ali Photography Good for: Snap happy folk Successful Bahraini photographer Ali Alriffai opened a brand new retail shop in April this year that sells all kinds of professional photography equipment including Profoto (a light shaping company) products as they’re now the official dealer for that brand in Bahrain. Open Sat-Thu 10am-1pm, 4pm-9pm. Showroom 7, Estiqlal Highway, Riffa (1714 0023).
Baylis & Harding Good for: Unique pamper products This London-based brand has infiltrated the bath and body market with a focus on affordable luxury. And what a treat their products are – now encompassing everything from hair care to fragrances, body butter to hand wash. They use a range of natural and pampering ingredients and even have a collection of fair trade products for the ethical consumer. The shop is open from this month until December by request so an appointment is a must. The idea is to offer dedicated time to each customer to properly introduce the brand to them, along with tea and dates on the house. Appointments only. Al Raya Mall, Juffair (3777 4006).
Cake Boutique Good for: Droolworthy dessert creations Cupcakes are a big thing in Bahrain. The fad invaded years ago and planted a firm foot on the island so it’s certainly here to stay. A great thing for newbie Cake Boutique in Seef Corner which has taken the concept to the next level. The first thing you notice when you walk in the doors is how pretty and girly it all is. There’s also an open kitchen that even faces onto the street outside so you can watch the talented chefs and cake decorators do their thing. Of course, it’s not just about cupcakes with them. They also make elaborate customised cakes and pastries for every occasion so it’s a one-stop-shop for all your fluffy confectionary needs. Open daily 9am-10pm. Seef Corner, Seef District (7722 5333).
Doe A Deer Good for: Treats for tots This beautiful little Hamala-based store offers all things cute and quaint for your babies and toddlers. They stock international brands in this home grown boutique with products ranging from suitable home furnishings to strollers, outfits for newborns to novelty rattles – any parent could easily get lost for hours in here perusing and buying stunning treats for the little ones. Open Sat-Thu 10am-2pm, 5pm-10pm. Fri closed. Al Dhila’a Strip, Hamala (1727 6767).
Hoss Intropia Good for: Elegant but individual looks Since its inception in 1994 in Spain, Hoss Intropia has been offering elegant and creative looks to dedicated fashionistas in countries all over the world. It’s one of the newest brands to arrive on the island in a chic store in Bahrain City Centre, featuring the epitome of Spanish creativity and femininity – the brand specifically reaches out to strong but sensitive powerhouse women that love to strut their stuff. Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Bahrain City Centre, Seef District (1717 7771).
Jo Malone Good for: Exotic bath and body products Jo Malone London, the celebrated British lifestyle brand, has opened its first boutique on the island in a luxurious setting incorporating elements from the original store in London. This includes library-style shelves, linear glass bottles and gift boxes all over, not to mention an actual ‘Tasting Bar’ where customers can try different fragrance combinations and get a hand and arm massage using the aroma of their choice. Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Bahrain City Centre, Seef District (1717 7771).
Pinko Good for: Edgy collections Trendy styles are what Italian fashion brand Pinko is all about. Launched in the early 1980s, this contemporary womenswear brand has expanded its global network and now reached our very own shores. The collection features everything ranging from jackets and dresses to handbags and jewellery accented by bold colours, unique prints and the most up-to-date trends. It’s perfectly suited to the young-at-heart fashionista. Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Bahrain City Centre, Seef District (1717 7771).
Sacoor Brothers Good for: Sophisticated outfits This international fashion house was born in Lisbon, Portugal way back in 1989 and has since conquered the world’s most stylish markets. They particularly have a strong presence in the Gulf market and now in Bahrain too. With a host of sophisticated men’s, women’s and kid’s collections ripe for the picking, Sacoor Brothers is perfect for trendsetters looking for a grown-up look at a reasonable price. Open Sat-Wed 10am-10pm; Thu-Fri 10am-midnight. Bahrain City Centre, Seef District (1717 7771).
Santa Maria Novella Good for: Legendary fragrances The Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is one of the world's oldest pharmacies, originating in the 13th century and created by Dominican monks in Florence, Italy. This is when they began producing medicinal products such as rose water (which at the time was considered to be a disinfectant). Opened to the public in 1612, this pharmacy has now been offering a range of beauty products for five centuries, launching bespoke fragrances for celebrities and royalty, and with stores all over the world including Bahrain. The island’s boutique, which offers more than 700 products including perfumes, body and facial care, home fragrances, teas, chocolates, jams and honey, is currently in its soft opening phase with the grand opening taking place at the end of this month. Then, in October, the team plans to launch their exclusive treatment room with facials and massages available from an expert therapist using the Santa Maria Novella SPA line. Open daily 10am to 10pm. First floor, Al Aali Mall Complex, Seef District (1747 1766).
Twenty4 Good for: An affordable yet stylish lifestyle The latest offering from the Red Tag group launched for the first time on the island late last year, bringing a more upmarket but still very affordable selection of clothing and housewares from cushions and throws to bedding. There’s also a good extended size section and plenty for kids. Within the past couple of months, the brand have already launched their second branch of Twenty4 in Enma Mall. Reports say another branch should also be opening in Ramli Mall soon. Open daily 10am-10pm. Bahrain Mall, Sanabis (3965 0789). Enma Mall, East Riffa (7712 2222).