The term "Gulf States" refers to the Arab states on the south side of "The Gulf" (known in Arabia as the Arabian Gulf, and elsewhere generally as the Persian Gulf or Gulf of Iran.) Northwest to southeast, the Gulf States are Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qater, and the United Arab Emirates. In the Lighthouse Directory, there are separate pages for the lighthouses of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. This page includes lights of the two remaining states: Bahrain and Qatar.
Bahrain is an island nation located just off the Saudi oil port of Ad Dammam. There are some 33 islands, the largest being Bahrain Island, 55 km long by 18 km wide (34 mi by 11 mi). The 25 km (15 mi) long King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, and the proposed 40 km (25 mi) long Bahrain-Qatar Causeway will connect Bahrain to Qatar. The island has a population of about 1.2 million, half of whom have come there from other countries.
Qatar occupies a peninsula projecting 160 km (100 mi) northward into the Gulf east of Bahrain. The capital, Doha, is on the east side of the peninsula. The country has a population of about 1.8 million.
The Gulf is a major center of shipping today, but that was not true until well into the 20th century. As a result, no traditional Western-style masonry lighthouses were ever built in the area. However, included on this page are various sites of possible interest to lighthouse fans. Photos of navigational aids in the Gulf are particularly scarce on the Internet, so contributions from travelers to the area would be very welcome.
Aids to navigation in Bahrain are the responsibility of the Ports and Maritime Department of the Ministry of Transportation. In Qatar, the Qatar Ports Management Company is probably responsible. Offshore navigational aids in the Gulf are maintained by the Middle East Navigation Aids Service (MENAS), based in Bahrain. MENAS has the important task of guiding the continuous stream of supertankers in the Gulf.
The Arabic word for a lighthouse is mnarh or manara (منارة). Ra's is the word for a cape or headland, and jazirat is an island.
ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volume D of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.
Ra's Umm Hasah Light, April 2011
Panoramio photo copyright Hamad Albaz; permission requested
Information available on lost lighthouses:
Notable faux lighthouses:
Adjoining pages: North: Iran | East: United Arab Emirates | West: Eastern Saudi Arabia
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Posted April 4, 2012. Checked and revised March 21, 2013. Lighthouses: 5. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.