Lying about 15km south west of Manama, A’Ali is a tourist hotspot for two reasons: the Dilmun burial mounds, and the traditional pottery.
There are around 10,000 burial mounds scattered across the western part of Bahrain, but the best place to witness this UNESCO world heritage site is in A’Ali. There are 13 single royal mounds and two double mounds here, and they are considered to be the best preserved in the Kingdom. They were built as two-storey towers and have a number of burial chambers worthy of the high status of those resting within.
Archaeologists have managed to identify the last Dilmun kings, Ri’ Mum and Yagli-’El, who were buried in mounds eight and ten. You’ll be able to find out lots of information about the history of these burial sites both here and in the Bahrain National Museum.
If you’re looking for a souvenir that’s a little better than just a fridge magnet or a T-shirt that says “I love Bahrain”, A’Ali pottery district is your best bet. You’ll find this near the pottery roundabout (a gigantic pot sculpture in the middle of a roundabout, it’s hard to miss) along Avenue 42. There are plenty of different bowls, dishes and containers created using traditional methods that have been passed down from generation to generation.
You’ll also be able to watch potters at work and they’ll be able to tell you about their methods and some of the traditional products they make – including a money bank that you can put your loose change into before smashing it when it’s full – much fun.
A’Ali is also home to Ramli Mall that has great shops including a LuLu Hypermarket and much more besides, plus a trampoline park where both kids and adults will be entertained. JumpUp even hosts a ladies’ night every Monday from 7pm to midnight so you can jump around when there are no kids about.
Inside the mall you’ll also find restaurants such as Karami, which serves up Iranian and Arabic dishes, Caribou Coffee, an international chain that does bagels, sandwiches and baked goods, or Kuche Kushari that specialises in Egyptian dishes. And if you’re after fast food, it also has all the usual chains such as Papa John’s, McDonald’s and KFC.
A’Ali pottery district
Watch the masters at work and pick up some great souvenirs created using traditional techniques in the thriving pottery district.
Avenue 42 (no number).
Dilmun burial mounds
The best-preserved mounds in Bahrain, including a number of royal ones.
Off Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Highway (no number).