The Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain has finally opened its new international airport terminal.

At 204,000 square metres in area (39 soccer pitches), the terminal is four times the size of the old facility and cost around USD 1.1 billion.

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The airport is the hub for Bahrain’s flag carrier, Gulf Air and is located on Muharraq Island less than 10 kilometres from the capital city of Manama.

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Over 30 carriers fly into Bahrain but Gulf Air handles over a third of the nearly 10 million passengers that currently use the airport every year. The new terminal has a capacity to handle up to 14 million passengers per year.

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The new terminal boasts 104 airside check-in desks – with many dedicated to premium cabins or elite status cardholders. There are two premium lounges – The Pearl Lounge which is open to non-Gulf Air passengers and the Falcon Gold Lounge – an amazing new luxury lounge for the airline’s Black, Gold and Silver Falconflyer members. The Falcon Gold Lounge is open around the clock and has a capacity for over 400 passengers at any given time. On offer are prayer space, shower rooms, children’s area, pool table, games console area, quiet space and a live cooking station complete with a fresh food & beverage concept.

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The terminal offers enhanced Duty-Free shopping, art galleries, restaurants and its architecture & interior design is very much in keeping with that of the Kingdom.

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Aircraft have been flying to and from Bahrain since 1927, when the Kingdom boasted the only international airport in the Gulf. In 1950, an airport terminal was built on Muharraq Island. Most of the flights from Bahrain are to the UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman – with its main long-haul routes to London, Mumbai, and Frankfurt.

This week, Gulf Air welcomed its second Airbus A321neoLR – designed with the special 70thanniversary Golden Falcon livery and offering 16 new flat-bed Falcon Golden seats. Fifteen more A321s are on order – with 8 offering flat-beds in the premium cabin.