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The endless variety of sports and leisure activities in Bahrain attract many tourists from neighboring countries. The island caters to varied tastes and those who prefer less sedentary pursuits will find enough to fill their calendars for months on end.

Leisure for Children

If you want to spend a fun day with the family, there is no dearth of choices in Bahrain. Kid's World (Tel: 680000) at Jannibiya, Funland Center (Tel: 292313) near the Marina Club, off Al Fateh Highway and Funtasia (Tel: 250808) at the Al Ahli Club Complex & GOSI Mall, Rally Town (Tel:531165), off Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Highway, are all equipped with games and rides for children of all ages. Many clubs, fast-food outlets and shopping centers also have play areas for children.

Water Sports

Water skiingBahrain's temperature and climate are ideal for sea sports enabling enthusiasts to enjoy their hobby almost all year round. The warm shallow waters of the Arabian Gulf offer a great setting for so many aquatic pursuits from night time sea fishing to sailing and scuba diving. There are also water skiing, and cruiser racing.

Nevertheless, one should be aware that there are frequent strong winds, both in-and off-shore, which can whip up in no time at all. It's not unusual to hear tales of 'experienced' sailors who glide away on calm sunny days only to get stuck in a storm and in need of assistance to make it back to terra firma. And bear in mind that the sea temperature varies from a sauna like 30 plus in August to a cool 16 in the winter months, so a wet suit might sometimes be advisable for avid water skiers or scuba divers.

Wind-surfingKeen sailors generally join the Bahrain Yacht Club (Tel: 700677), a family oriented power boat and sailing club run 'by the members for the members'. Its premises are located on the west coat of Bahrain, south of Sitra and facilities include wet / dry moorings for around 130/200 privately owned boats with Wayfarers, Toppers, and Lasers available for ire and a resident expatriate sailing instructor on hand for lessons. There is cruiser racing twice monthly, and a well subscribed annual offshore fishing competition. Onshore there is a swimming pool and sheltered beach with a club house which boasts of a very good coffee shop and restaurant.

In Manama town on the northeast shore facing Muharraq is the Marina Club (Tel: 291527), another very popular club. There is extensive wet and dry mooring, a boat hoist, servicing, painting, and repair yard. Some members' boats are available on rent for fishing or diving trips with a captain to navigate around difficult sand banks. For the youngsters and those young at heart can fun on jet skis, ski and tow, banana, ringo or Hobie Cats for a nominal price.

Golf (Bahrain Golf Club: 630999)

The country's first all-grass golf course, the nine-hole par 32 course layout is located off Zallaq Highway and it is only about 20 minutes drive from town. The scenic course includes four lakes with fishes, clubhouse with refreshment, shower facilities, satellite TV, trolleys and clubs for hire. The course is open from 7 am on all days except Monday. Bahrain Golf Club is also the perfect venue for corporate golf days which can be block booked and catered for according to specific requirements. Bookings must be done at least 24 hours in advance. There is also a sandy golf course at Awali and Sakhir which golf aficionados can use.

Horse Riding (Equestrian & Horse Racing Club: 440330)

There are many clubs which offer ample opportunities for equestrian activities. Bahrain has an impressive race course with a stand designed in the style of a Bedouin tent. One of the world's finest collections of pure desert breeds can be found at the Amiri stables. Horse racing competitions are restricted to Fridays. Indoor competitions are held every month. Bahrain Riding School is the first riding school in the Gulf formed in 1969. Qualified UK instructors give riding lessons. The school is located along Budaiya road, behind Jawad Cold Stores. For more information, call 690448

Other Sports

is one of the popular sports played by national and expatriate leagues, (Bahrain Football Assoc. 729563). Rugby is played predominantly by expatriates and Bahrain has one of the most powerful teams in the Gulf, (Bahrain Rugby Club 695809). Many expatriate take part in cricket leagues, (Bahrain Cricket Assoc. 660956). Motor sports have been gaining popularity and there are regular weekend races, (Bahrain Motor Club 686295).

Indoor Sports

Facilities to play tennis, squash and badminton are available at most hotels, compounds, and clubs. Basketball is one of the most popular indoor sports. Juffair Dome is the biggest and best-equipped for the game (Bahrain Basketball Assoc. 713019). If the sun and heat deter you from venturing outdoors, you can always try the ice-skating rink (Funland Center, 292313) and bowling alley (Bushehri Bowling Center, 593190/ Bapco Club, 753666), snooker tables and video games at various clubs or enjoy go-karting at Rally Town (Tel: 531165)

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