Life’s too short to dress badly. So that’s why we’ve taken a look at what’s on offer at some of the island’s newest shopping destinations.
EL MERCADO: Perched on the fringes of upcoming Janabiya, El Mercado has positioned itself as the vicinity’s friendly neighbourhood market. With a very contemporary design that is unusual in Bahrain, the outlets also are refreshingly new. Besides Alosra Supermarket, the mall houses Boots Pharmacy, Anytime Fitness Gym, Vanity Ladies Salon, The Groom Room for men and Festivity for fun party supplies.
A good selection of cafes and restaurants completes the mix here, including some of the latest dining concepts in Bahrain such as Wangs Funky Chinese Eatery, Maison Mathis and Choox Chicken Coop.
Editor’s fave: Joe Mama’s just for the double entendre slogan on the staff uniform T-shirts. Sorry, we’re not telling, you’ll have to check it out for yourself.
SEEF MALL MUHARRAQ: On the lines of the old favourite in Seef district, this newer version in Arad has brought some bustle to the area. Offering the ease of convenience and proximity to local residents, Seef Mall Muharraq has a fun, positive buzz about it that brings on the weekend mood instantly.
Besides go-to high street brands like Claire’s, Aldo Accessories, and New Look, local favourites like Wool House and A La Mode are also open here.
The venue offers a plethora of dining options to suit all tastes and budgets along with the added advantage of keeping kids entertained at Magic Island.
Editor’s Choice: Yours London offers up-to-the-minute fashion for larger ladies who often struggle to find stylish separates and accessories.
GALLERIA: An open-plan mall, Galleria looks every bit the swanky hangout it claims itself to be. The boutique retail destination is the epicentre of activity in the residential locale of Zinj, anchored by Lulu Hypermarket. Other popular commercial brands such as Lifestyle, Shoe Express, Sketchers and Olympia join the melee.
Canadian favourite Tim Hortons has made its debut in Bahrain at Galleria Mall and food and beverage outlets like Wok Station, Macchiato Café, Yas-e-Isfahani and Wafflemeister are also popular with the young and old.
The area is ideal for families to stroll the wide walkways and soak in the laid-back atmosphere. Children can frolic at the Kids’ Corner and visitors can spend leisurely hours by the water feature.
Editor’s choice: Innovation Coffee House is part of the funky Innovation Themes home store, we love the coffees and the tables.
AL RAYA MALL: This mall brings Alosra Supermarket, Starbucks, Pomodorini, Purple Swirl and Bluefield Burger Company as well as Charm Salon and Desire Boutique to Juffair’s hip hotel-lined street. With an opulent blend of sophistication and modernity, the mall boasts 4,000sq/m of shopping, along with entertainment and children’s recreation areas.
Editor’s choice: Challenge Chambers is a new twist to gaming for adults, bringing players a real-life experience. Participants are in it together to solve riddles, crack codes and figure out the missing links in the game by using intellect and intuition to make a successful escape from a locked chamber and thus win the challenge. Games are offered in English and Arabic.
DRAGON CITY: The sprawling shopping concept on the newly minted Marassi Al Bahrain is one of a kind in the Kingdom. Literally bringing China to your doorstep, the swathes of commercial space bring customers some unique items; ranging from kitchen ware, furniture, apparel and accessories to lighting, wallpaper and children’s toys.
The seemingly unending labyrinth of the mall spans over 54,000sq/m, encased in typical Chinese-inspired architecture, and accommodates 787 outlets. There are some great bargains to be had.
Editor’s fave: The Asian Dining Street offering the finest in Asian cuisine. All the walking and browsing through unique items will leave you hungry, for which the food court offers some hearty and pocket-friendly options.
JUFFAIR MALL: This one is a weekend staple for islanders in and around Juffair, with its family-centric layout and cinema screens for lovers of the motion picture. Ample parking space makes the approach in and out of the mall a breeze, thereby saving precious time to shop at the many retailers, relax at the cafés or catch the latest box office hit.
The USP of this arcade is the great balance of products it offers. Whether youre looking for groceries, gadgets, apparel, accessories or jewellery, gorgeous carpets and home décor items, it’s all here from the likes of Lulu, Royal Carpet and Evershine. A satisfying shopping spree can come to an equally enjoyable end with a stop at a host of food and beverage options at the food court or any of the stand-alone dining outlets here.
Editor’s fave: The American outlet store offering cut price US-branded fashions – sizes can be a bit limited though, so you need to search the racks.
GARDEN’S PLAZA: This one is a luxury shopping centre just off the Budaiya Highway that has a good range of stores and gourmet spots as well as MJ’s Bowling Lounge and Hospitalia by Yara, a top-notch cosmetic and medical clinic. If you are looking for art and craft materials that are not available easily on the island, head to Touch of Art at this mall for all your creative needs.
Editor’s fave: Ahmed’s Predator Studio for insane workouts and occasional free classes such as Zumba.
SAAR MALL: This one is the cherry on the cake of the upcoming Saar area. This stylish shopping haven has something for everyone with its myriad leisure, dining and shopping alternatives.
The highlights include top-notch brands, restaurants, cafés, banks, an indoor play area, the Big Game Zone, and a mini-cinema for kids alongside the convenience of Geant Easy supermarket on its premises.
Here you’ll find high-quality goods and services at prices that are consistently lower than other local retailers. Besides offering over 70 international points-of-sale, it also hosts regular social and cultural events, enabling the community to share great times together.
Editor’s fave: Galata – fresh flowers and a huge selection of Turkish sweets, including totally sinful Turkish delight, served up by a very sweet assistant.