Fasten your seat belts and get ready for the Bahrain Grand Prix 2019. The Bahrain Grand Prix is the second race in the 2019 Formula 1 season and will take place on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at International Circuit, Sakhir. Here's everything you can do in Bahrain.
Three things to do in Bahrain
Indoor skydiving at Gravity
Feel alive at Bahrain’s first indoor skydiving centre. Jump into the tempered glass tunnel and experience what a body flight feels like. That too without jumping out of an aircraft and without a parachute. The freefall inside this 12-metre high wind tunnel will have you redefine indoor fun. Gravity is located near BIC so you can head to it when the track’s not buzzing with heady action.
Golfing at Royal Golf Club
Tee off at the golf club designed by Colin Montgomerie. Enjoy a game at the 18-hole championship golf course in the Royal Golf Club which also offers night golf. They also have a 9-hole wee monty course, a putting and chipping practice green and a golf academy.
Why not try something underwater? You are after all in Bahrain which comprises of more than 33 islands. While scuba diving, wakeboarding, kite and windsurfing are options, go for the more exotic alternative of pearl diving. You can choose your pearl diving company, dive centre and date on which you want to dive. The departures are from Ras Rayyah Port and each diver can gather 60 oysters. (oysters on ice with Champagne later in the evening?) Did you know that in Arabic, Bahrain refers to the two seas. This is a rare natural occurrence of fresh water springs sprouting in the Arabian Gulf leading to the perfect habitat for varied natural pearls.
Gulf Air, the flagship carrier of Bahrain, flies from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bengaluru and Thiruvananthapuram to Manama
There are a host of luxury hotels
The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain, with 245 rooms, is located at Manama, the capital of the Kingdom of Bahrain
ART Rotana, with 311 rooms, is located at Amwaj Islands
Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa, with 245 rooms, is situated in Manama
Wyndham Grand Manama, with 260 rooms. offers lavishness in Manama
Here's where you can feel like a very important person. This one also gives you an exclusive peek into what goes on behind the scenes of the F1 racing. Start with Sakhir Tower, head to the Race Control Tower, say hello to your favourite journalist at the Media Centre and buy a souvenir from the Welcome Centre. Experience the thrill of zooming on the circuit. You get to manoeuvre 15 turns, almost like on the actual race track. However real, remember your vrooming is way slower than the F1 drivers. But hey, you’ll be driving on the track that has catapulted many a racer to pole position and iconic status.
Time to buckle up!
Almost 75 per cent of the race can be viewed from the Sakhir Tower, including its start and finish. No wonder it's the hot favourite of VIPs, delegates and their bodyguards. The offices of the BIC staff, and Gulf Air, the main sponsor of the Grand Prix are located inside. The walls on the ground level are covered with pictures of the royal family and the crown prince. On display are pictures of the winners of the Grand Prix, and a flag with their signatures. Inside a glass showcase are commemorative shovels used for the Bahrain GP.
From level eight you can view it all. Let your gaze linger on the circuit’s Grand Prix track, inner track, outer track, off-roading track, drag-racing track, karting track, paddock circuit and the full 6.4km-circuit. See if you can spot the buildings of each Formula 1 team, their garages and support garages, the medical centre and TV compound. Don’t miss the first turn named after Michael Schumacher.
Head to the Race Control Tower from where the race track is monitored. Step into the main control room that seats CEOs and Marshalls for the flag, race and health. There are 40 remote control cameras giving live feeds of all that is happening on the track. Next is the Media Centre that can seat a whopping 500 media persons at a time. The last stop of the VIP Tour is to the Bahrain International Circuit’s Welcome Centre also known as Pit Stop. This is where you stock up on souvenirs. After you are done posing with the F1 car model, check out the racks of jackets and T-shirts of the participating teams. Don your favourite team’s cap, swirl their keychain and pocket a magnet for your fridge back home.
There's more! At night! Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) a motorsport paradise in the Sakhir desert opened officially in 2004. For the last six years, it has been organising night races where spectators are treated to the sight of F1 drivers in their powerful cars zipping by huge floodlights. Double the fun. Double the glitz and action. For the icing on the cake, you can take it a notch up by getting into the pit lane, rubbing shoulders with celebrities, catching up with the team you are rooting for and enjoying performances by world renowned musicians.
Apart from the Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit also hosts drag races and superbike competitions. If you think you have what it takes, hop into a Top Dragster. This car’s 10,500cc engine can get you to 274kmph and your instructor who drives the mean machine will cover a quarter-mile in 8 seconds. It gets better. The car seats three so you can take a friend along to experience the heart pumping action. Ask for the dragster experience at the Bahrain Drag Racing Championship.
I want more!
Karting aficionados can head to any of the five different tracks on the circuit. It's the only venue in the world approved to host international competitions in the night, thanks to its powerful floodlights.
Architectural gems of the island nation
Bahrain World trade Centre
This modern architectural marvel was constructed in 2008 and is the kingdom’s primary intelligent building, housing its two iconic 44-storey office towers shaped as sails and the uber luxurious MODA mall with its chic brands and fine dining options. It is also the world’s numero uno skyscraper that includes wind turbines in its design. The Manama waterfront couldn’t have asked for a better sustainable building than this one.
Gastronomic delights of a Bahraini Breakfast
Relish a typical Bahraini breakfast fit for a king at Saffron by Jena. Choose from Balaleet, which is vermicelli topped with an omelette, Egg Tomato which is scrambled eggs with tomatoes, Foule which is a bean dish and Hamsat Nikhi which is cooked with chickpeas. Zinzibari has a salty and sweet taste courtesy the cheese and jam filling inside its flaky pastry.
There is pan-seared chicken liver and kebab roll which is a potato patty in a burger bun. The accompanying breads are Mihyawa which contains fish water and kuboos, the Arabic bread which is freshly baked outside most restaurants. Sip a drink made with saffron threads and vimto made with cherry syrup. There is also rose milk and karak tea which is tea with milk. Bon Appetit!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has an underground room showcasing the traditional process for extracting date molasses, an important export from the island in the olden days.
Al Jasrah House
Built by Sheikh Hamad bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, this simple in appearance and high on aesthetics Al Jasrah House was constructed using coral stones, lime, gypsum and clay.
Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa House
Dating back to 1800CE, this restored traditional Bahraini house is one of the oldest homes in the town of Muharraq and the best example of Islamic Gulf architecture. Typically, there are separate quarters for the sheikh, the family, the servants and guests.
Land Rover Experience Bahrain
There are 32 obstacles that take you up steep inclines and bring you hurtling down. In between, you negotiate humps and mind-bending curves over a 3.5km stretch. Up for it? A large part of this track, roughly 70 percent, is natural and the rest is man-made. It is also the only such official course in the Middle East. You have the option of choosing to be the passenger or getting into the driver’s seat yourself. So, strap yourself in and get ready for the most nerve-racking hold-on-to-your-seat 45-minute drive.
It goes without saying that before you step on the gas, you get trained on the safety features and the technology of the car in a half session that seems longer. But hold your horses, it's for your safety, remember? Then you get a half hour practice session. This lets you get familiar with the features of the car, it's level of suspension, terrain response system, high and low range crucial to torque and control.
Manoeuvre the Land Rover over sand and encounter a rocky path. There is no time to revel in this little accomplishment of making it past both sand and rock for there's hilly terrain up ahead and a water body, too. Splash through water and steer over challenging gravel. You want to throw up a fist and let out a victory hurrah but you are descending headlong on the twin hills that resemble camel humps and you have to brace for the climb back up another hill. Gird up for the boomerang ascent before you get yourself and the vehicle back on the tarmac. All you require to drive this beauty is a valid driving license. To ensure that the vehicle never lets you down, the tyres of the Land Rover are changed every five months while the car is serviced after every 12,000kms.