6 Interesting Facts About Bahrain’s Oldest Industry Of Pearl Diving

Hera Shabbir

Pearl Diving has been a running industry on the island for more than 4000 years

Bahrain has been known as Arabia’s pearl diving hub for several years, making it one of the most successful and profitable businesses of the region. Read through these six interesting facts about pearl diving in the Kingdom, and its development over the years.

1. Muharraq was the Arabian Gulf’s pearling capital


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Through 1810 to 1923, Muharraq was flourishing in the pearl industry. The region was known as the Gulf’s most active pearling city, as numerous divers lived in the city. Muharraq also hosted the leargest fleet of pearling vessels.

2. Pearl Exports contributed to a quarter of Bahrain’s exports in 1877

Pearl diving was a thriving industry at the time, and gave Bahrain the most amount of revenue thorugh exports back in the late 1800’s. Bahrain’s pearls were sent to places like Bombay, Persia and Turkey.

3. Around 97% of pearl trading in the Gulf was in Bahrain

By the 1900’s, 97.3 per cent of the Gulf’s pearls were traded through Bahrain, only increasing the value of exports.

4. The diving ships are known as ‘Banoosh’ and ‘Boom’

These ships would load up around 60 divers, pullers, ship boys, a cook, a captain and captain’s mate, each time they set out to the waters for diving.

5. You can also go pearl hunting and apply for a license

Searching for pearls in oysters has become an attraction in the Kingdom, and you can actually find some on your own. You too can apply for a pearl license right here. With just a few forms to fill, you can book a session to dive in the waters, find some oysters, and even get your pearls appraised for value and quality.

6. Bahrain has a Pearling Path

The path is located in Muharraq, and is open to all visitors to learn about the pearl-diving history, parttake in exhibitions, and even hop on a boat ride for a tour.


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