As one of the oldest and busiest areas of the city, Gudaibiya is one of the most interesting and inviting neighbourhoods of Manama, the capital of Bahrain. It is a small district of the city saturated in cosmopolitan landmarks and attractions, and significant buildings of culture and politics, making it an important hub in the centre of the capital. It has a large international population, prominently people from India, Ethiopia, Pakistan and the Philippines, and is a popular destination for expatriates who are new to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
One of the main features of Gudaibiya is the EbrahimAl-Arrayed Poetry House, a building filled with culture, art and history as the late home of the famous Bahraini poet, Ebrahim Al-Arrayed. Other nearby cultural centres include Al-Qudaibiya Palace, in iconic decoration with a bright pink exterior and onion dome, which has hosted various important political conferences and is the weekly meeting place of the King’s cabinet. Another architectural landmark is Gudaibiya Mosque, a beautiful, local religious centre, and various international embassies scattered around the area. After a tour of cultural buildings, visitors can relax in Gudaibiya at any of the bars, restaurants and cafes, enjoy traditional cuisine, or take a walk in Al Andalus Park.
Visitors can navigate the neighbourhood of Gudaibiya by using the extensive city road network, or by simply walking from the adjacent districts of Manama. There is also a harbour in the city, for visitors arriving by boat, and local buses travelling between all the central neighbourhoods and suburban areas. The nearest airport to Gudaibiya is Bahrain International Airport, under 10 kilometres away, which acts as the main transport hub of the Middle East.
The history of the area that is now Gudaibiya dated back as early as the Bronze Age, as archaeologists have discovered evidence of the Dilmun civilisation, who once used the site as a major regional trading centre. The city of Manama developed into a political hub and capital by the 16th century and Gudaibiya became home to the buildings of the government. The whole city, including its central neighbourhoods, faced major urbanisation following national independence, transforming Gudaibiya into the cosmopolitan environment it is today.