A sanctuary on your doorstep
BY VICKY MCFARLANE
Take some time out from the hustle and bustle of life to relax, rejuvenate and recharge your batteries with a quick getaway to Bahrain’s very own (semi) deserted island paradise – Hawar Islands.
Although only a 45-minute boat ride from Al Dur Jetty, Hawar Islands is a world away. An archipelago of around 25 small limestone desert islands and islets, the largest of which is called ‘Hawar’, the islands are nestled 26 kilometers off the coast of Bahrain and only 1.1 kilometer from the Qatari mainland. A nature lover’s utopia, the islands feature a diverse array of wildlife, including the rare Arabian water bird Socotra Cormorant, flamingoes, in addition to small herds of Arabian Oryx and Sand Gazelles. The pristine waters also support a large population of sea cows or Dugongs, making the area an interesting place for both birdwatchers and divers.
As well as a diverse ecosystem of beautiful flora and fauna to enjoy, Hawar Island offers a plethora of activities for the whole family. The sole hotel on the Island is the newly refurbished Best Western Hawar Resort, part of a multi-million dinar redevelopment of the tourist destination. The resort offers 40 deluxe rooms, 16 two-bedroom apartments, and four royal suites with wrap-around windows for breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf – making for the ultimate family weekend break. As well as spectacular sea views, the resort’s restaurant offers an authentic daily Arabian buffet, while cocktails can be enjoyed at the resort’s Waves Bar. A myriad of activities, such as jet skiing, boating, giant waterslides, and quad biking are sure to keep the little (and big) kids happy in the sunshine. You can even explore the resort on bikes or scooters, or take an island bus tour to check out the local sights and wildlife.
In the coming years Hawar is set to be the place to be. The second phase of the redevelopment project will include the addition of a seaplane service, as well as two luxury boats to take visitors from Bahrain’s mainland to the islands. This will also include an expansion of the hotel facilities, a complete renovation of all the hotel’s beach chalets, more restaurants, and the construction of a number of new meeting rooms and ballrooms for events. Entertainment facilities, such as gyms and cinemas are also spearheaded for development within the next three years.
So, whether your idea of bliss is watching a glorious sunset over aquamarine seas, lying on the beach with a good book, or speeding through sparkling waters on your jet ski, Hawar Island undoubtedly offers a unique holiday experience that will feed the mind, body and soul.
To learn about great family getaway deals to Hawar that comprise boat transfers, accommodation and breakfast, or a day trip package that includes the use of all hotel facilities, visit the reservation office on the Al Fateh Corniche in Manama.
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