As a moderately hipster Arab with an appreciation for clean streets and dirty art, I've always been on the lookout for a place where “hipsterism” is a kind of second skin. And then I found Bahrain.

Let me first clarify that I don't mean hipster in the superficial sense. Hipsterism is not the practice of having bearded men ride around in unicycles. Instead, hipsterism is a way of life, a mindset that forces you to recognize the essence of things around you. 

Here are the reasons why Bahrain is the perfect Arab destination for the hipster community:

1. Manama’s streets are filled with charming 1920’s coffee shops.
2. It has its own version of McDonald’s and it's called Jasmi’s
3. The Haraka Melting Moustache shop serves as a better definition of "hipster" than any entry in Merriam Webster
4. Lanterns Lounge & Restaurant is perfectly awkward
5. Baan Saeng Thai restaurant meets American bar, with floor seating

6. Full moon parties on the different islands of the lovely archipelago that is Bahrain

7. Island-living means open-minded living

Source: Wikipedia

The island of the "two seas" has had many a civilization come through it, starting with the Dilmun civilization of the Bronze Age. It has been an important trading center since, and the island's openness to cultures in flux is part of its modern-day DNA.

Bahrainis instinctively look outwards and welcome all incomers.

8. The animals

dugong bahrain
Source: Wikipedia

The kingdom has five protected natural sites, four of them marine environments. The breeding colony of Socotra cormorants on Hawar is the largest in the world and dugong reservation in the archipelago is the second largest outside Australia.

9. It’s old school

old bahrain muharraq
Source: Wikipedia

Bahrain is home to historical sites which date back to 2000BC. The first oil well in the Arabian Gulf was discovered in Bahrain in 1932. So yeah, they were the first to receive the gift of “black gold”.

10. And down-to-earth

Bahrainis can be found working in banks, as cab drivers or coffee shop owners. They participate in the daily life alongside expats, which makes it easier to mingle and get to know their traditions and lifestyle. Plus Bahrain is the most affordable city in the GCC region!