To precisely geolocate this site. Update if necessary.




Island / Atoll


Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf.

Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands, the largest being Bahrain Island, at 55 km (34 mi) long by 18 km (11 mi) wide. Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway. Qatar is to the southeast across the Gulf of Bahrain. The planned Qatar Bahrain Causeway will link Bahrain and Qatar and become the world's longest marine causeway.

In Arabic, bahrayn is the dual form of bahr ("sea"), so al-Bahrayn means "the Two Seas".

Bahrain is a generally flat and arid archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia. It consists of a low desert plain rising gently to a low central escarpment with the highest point the 134 m Mountain of Smoke (Jabal ad Dukhan). Bahrain has a total area of 665 km2, which is slightly larger than the Isle of Man, though it is smaller than the nearby King Fahd International Airport near Dammam, Saudi Arabia (780 km2).

Al Bahrayn  is the principal island in an archipelago of islands, including Al Muharraq and Sitrah, which together form the independent Sovereign Arab State of Bahrain. Al Bahrayn, about 35 miles W of Ras Rakan, has low coasts and is uncultivated except for a belt of fertile land that is along the N end.

From a position about 4 miles S of the N coast, a rocky tableland extends S for several miles and stretches across the island from side to side in a series of small cliffs. Al Bahrayn is reported to give good radar returns up to 25 miles distant.

Jabal ad Dukhan  is a small compact group of dark hills rising midway between the E and W coasts. 
The hills are usually the first objects seen when approaching the island. Oil tanks and water tanks on the hills and at Al Awali, 3 miles N, are prominent.

Winds—Weather.—The shamal reaches gale force at intervals but raises little or no ground swell at most of the moorings in Al Bahrayn; however, a short choppy sea makes up and is bothersome for small vessels.

Tides—Currents.—From Ras Rakan, the tidal currents set S along the coast. The currents are felt everywhere on Great Pearl Bank, especially near the reefs and islands.

The edge of the bank extends WNW from a position about 35 miles NE of Ras Rakan. There are overfalls in places on the bank.

Off Al Bahrayn, and among the off-lying reefs, the tidal currents are very irregular and are much affected by the wind, but usually follow the trend of the reefs. At springs, the currents attain a velocity of 1 to 3 knots.

Jazirat al Muharraq, low and sandy, has conspicuous groves of date palms and several villages along its coasts. Reefs, extending up to 3.5 miles offshore in places, fringe the island on all sides.

The reef extending S from the island terminates in Qassar Diwan, a rock about 0.3m high. There is a ship repair yard (Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard) and drydock on the S end of the reef, NE of Qassar Diwan.

A causeway extends about 4 miles SSE of Jazirat al Muharraq. It is fronted by a coastal bank with depths of less than 5m. 

A lighted buoy, with a racon, marks the limit of the shoal area extending SSE of Jazirat al Muharraq

Qassar Khusayfah is a low islet lying on the reef N of Jazirat al Muharraq.

Qalali, a village on the NE extremity of Jazirat al Muharraq, has several prominent towers associated with the airport SW of the village. Samahij, Al Dayr and Rayya are three villages on the N coast of the island.

Al Muharraq, a large town at the SW end of Jazirat al Muharraq, is connected to Al Manamah, on Al Bahrayn, by a stone causeway and a fixed bridge carrying a road. The bridge, with a vertical clearance of 4.6m, spans the deepest part of a boat channel.

The ruins of Abu Mahir, a fort with one large and three small towers, stands on a low spit at the S end of town.

The Quarantine Station and a minaret stand close N of the fort.

Al Hadd, a town located at the SE extremity of the island, is prominent when approaching from the E. A water tower in the town is conspicuous.

Sitrah, an island, lies close off the NE coast of Al Bahrayn. There are a few settlements among the date palms on the N side of the island. Two piers, one a T-head pier with a depth of 12m alongside, extend from the causeway which originates off the SE side of Sitrah.

About 0.5 mile SW of the S extremity of Sitrah, and on the E side of Al Bahrayn, is a concrete pier extending 0.4 mile SE, in a depth of 3.7m.

An oil refinery, oil tanks, and a high chimney are conspicuous about 1 mile inland from the root of the pier.

Sitrah Causeway, extending about 3 miles ENE from the E side of Sitrah, terminates at Sitrah No. 2 Oil Loading Wharf. The causeway carries a road and oil pipelines. A conspicuous water tower, marked by red lights, stands l.5 miles NW of the root of the causeway. South of the oil tank farm there are a few scattered villages, but mostly the coast is barren and uninhabited.

The channel separating Sitrah from Al Bahrayn is very shallow and is spanned by a road bridge, which also carries oil pipelines from the Al Bahrayn refinery to the oil-loading piers.

Tides - Currents:

Mean HWS rise 2.4m at Mina Salman, while it rises 2.1m at Sitrah. Mean LWN rise 1m at Mina Salman and 0.8m at Sitrah.
Off Al Bahrayn, tidal currents are affected by the wind, but generally follow the trend of the reefs, attaining rates as great as 3 knots.

East of Jazirat al Muharraq, the tidal currents generally set N and S. Caution is advised near Fasht al Dibal, as the W tidal current sets S in the vicinity of the reef. Transiting vessels should keep well to the N.

Currents in the entrance to Khawr al Qulayah are strong, sometimes reaching 4 knots. Due to recent port development, currents may be greater than expected.
Strong tidal currents of up to 1.5 to 2.0 knots have been reported (2007) off the new Khalifa Bin Salman facilities.

Depths - Limitations:

Two fairways are available to vessels approaching Sitrah and Mina Salman. Vessels drawing less than 9.1m use an alternate fairway, while more deeply-laden vessels use Deep Draft Channel.
Vessels drawing up to 12.2m may use Deep Draft Channel at any time, while those drawing up to 13.4m will be governed by the state of the tide.
The Deep Draft Channel has a minimum width of 260m (slightly wider in the turns) and is being dredged (2009) to a depth of 15m.
Hayr, an extensive shoal with a least depth of 7.9m, obstructs the seaward approaches to the entrance channels. Shoal patches, with a least charted depth of 9.6m, lie up to 2.5 miles S of the shoal.
An extensive artificial reef has been constructed NW of Hayr Shutaya, as best seen on the chart.
On the E side of the approach channel, the 10m curve encloses most of the dangers, but several shoal patches, with depths between 5.5 and 9.8m, lie up to 7.5 miles N through W of Fasht al Dibal.
Foul ground E of Jazirat al Muharraq extends to within 0.3 mile of the track, about 6 miles E of the island.
Several wrecks and a submarine cable encumber the channel and are best seen on the chart.
Several shoal patches lie NE of Sitrah Anchorage, but are contained within the 10m curve. A natural basin, containing Sitrah and the shipyard N of it, lies at the end of the approach fairway. At the W end of this basin lies the entrance to Khawr al Qulayah and the dredged channel to Mina Salman.
JB Antibes

Persian Gulf - Arabian Gulf

  • 61 sites
  • 71 photos
  • publication date: 7 Jul 2023
  • .pdf file size: 37 Mb
Share your comments or photos on "Bahrain"

Sites around Bahrain

Flying distances - Direct line

Khawr al Qulayah Bahrain

Khawr al Qulayah is an extensive inlet circled by and containing reefs and other dangers best seen on the chart.
A channel, with a least depth of 9.5m, leads through Khawr al Qulayah to a basin, with the same depth, off Mina Salman, although caution is necessary, ...
17 Oct 11

Mina Salman port

At Mina Salman, the Deep Water Jetty, which is 30m wide and 800m long, extends SE into Khawr al Qulayah and provides ten berths, each 150m in length. 
Berths 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 are on the N side of the jetty, while Berths 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 are on the S ...
14 May 20


Dammam's King Abdulaziz Sea Port, located on the coast of the Persian Gulf, is the second largest port of Saudi Arabia.  It has large equipment that allows it to receive various types of vessels. The most important equipments are 56 multi-purpose hoist, 8 container cranes, and ...
9 Jan 13

Ras Laffan

Harbor protected by a breakwater.
27 Mar 12

Ras Al Ghar

Small port protected by a breakwater.
27 Mar 12

King Abdul-Aziz Naval Base (KANB)

King Abdul-Aziz Naval Base (KANB) is located just south of the steadily growing Jubail commercial port and industrial complex.KANB  has extensive waterfront operational and protective works, drydocking and shop repair facilities, a training complex for several hundred students ...
9 Jan 13