Built in 1992 to mark the 60th anniversary of the discovery of oil, this museum is housed in a grand, white-stone building quite out of keeping with the surrounding nodding donkeys and sprawling pipelines. In the shadow of Jebel ad-Dukhan (Mountain of Smoke) – Bahrain’s highest point at just 134m – the building is a befitting symbol of the country’s wealth, for it marks the point at which ‘black gold’ was struck for the first time on the Arabic side of the Gulf.
The museum has exhibits, photographs and explanations about the oil industry in Bahrain. A few metres away, you can see the country’s first oil well, which was constructed in 1932.
Ring ahead to check opening times, as the museum is seldom visited despite being clearly signposted along an unmarked road south of Awali. There is no bus service to this region. By car, it takes about 40 minutes to reach the museum, which is 35km south of Manama.