Al Fatih Mosque

Top choice in Manama

This is Bahrain's grand mosque, built as a grand statement in honour of the founder of modern Bahrain, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Muhammad Bin Khalifa, who was known as 'Al Fatih' (the conqueror). The mosque's foundation stone was laid by his direct descendant, the late emir Sheikh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa in 1983, exactly 200 years after Al Fatih liberated the nation from the Persians. Built at a cost of US$20 million, it is the most sumptuous mosque in the country.

Marble was brought over from Italy to adorn the floor, glass from Austria was put into the windows and teak from India was carved locally to make the majestic 6m-high doors. Able to hold up to 7000 worshippers, Al Fatih has an air of majesty unmatched by other mosques in Bahrain and is the only one actively able to accommodate visitors. There are dedicated English- and Arabic-speaking guides on hand every day to give free guided tours. Simply turn up at the mosque office and request one. Those requiring tours in a different language or groups of 10 or more must phone ahead. Dress modestly.