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Bahrain, a small island nation in the Persian Gulf, is known for its rich history and vibrant culture.

Sports have always played a major role in the lives of Bahrainis, from traditional events to modern competitions.

Let’s explore the 11 most popular sports in Bahrain that ignite the fervor and passion of its people.

Most Popular Sports in Bahrain:

  1. Soccer
  2. Athletics
  3. Basketball
  4. Volleyball
  5. Camel Racing
  6. Horse Racing
  7. Rugby
  8. Swimming
  9. Tennis
  10. Table Tennis

#1 Soccer

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Bahrain: 1950s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bahrain: Salman Isa (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bahrain: 50,000

Soccer is undoubtedly the most popular sport in Bahrain. People of all ages enjoy the thrill and excitement of the beautiful game, both as players and avid supporters.

The Bahraini Premier League, the top soccer league in the country, sees clubs from across the nation fiercely competing for the championship title. Salman Isa, a talented Bahraini footballer, has made a significant mark on the sport with his impressive performances.

Memorable international achievements, such as Bahrain’s national team reaching the AFC Asian Cup, have further solidified soccer’s position as the island’s favorite pastime and source of national pride.

#2 Athletics

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bahrain: 1960s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Athlete from Bahrain: Maryam Yusuf Jamal (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Athletics Enthusiasts in Bahrain: 15,000

Athletics holds a special place in Bahrain, with numerous athletes excelling both nationally and internationally. The country has invested in developing its athletic talents, focusing on disciplines such as long-distance running and sprinting.

Maryam Yusuf Jamal, a Bahraini middle-distance runner, gained considerable fame with her World Championship wins and Olympic appearances. Her success has inspired a new generation of Bahraini athletes.

Bahrain hosts annual events like the Bahrain Marathon Relay and the Bahrain Night Half Marathon, attracting participants and fans from all over the world, showcasing the island’s dedication to athletics.

#3 Basketball

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bahrain: 1980s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bahrain: Mohammed Qurban (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bahrain: 10,000

Basketball has experienced growing popularity in Bahrain over the years. With a fast-paced gameplay, the sport attracts a loyal fanbase that enjoys both playing and watching the games.

The Bahraini Basketball League serves as the top-tier competition in the country, with clubs striving for superiority. Mohammed Qurban, a notable Bahraini basketball player, has made a significant impact in raising the sport’s profile.

In addition to the domestic league, many Bahrainis follow and passionately support international basketball events and teams, fueling the love for basketball in the country.

#4 Volleyball

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bahrain: 1980s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Player from Bahrain: Fatema Youssef (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Players in Bahrain: 8,000

Volleyball has steadily gained popularity in Bahrain as both a competitive and recreational sport. It is enjoyed by many for its team spirit and dynamic gameplay.

The Bahrain Volleyball Association organizes national tournaments, featuring clubs that fiercely compete for the top spot. Moreover, Bahraini volleyball player Fatema Youssef has become a prominent figure, contributing to the sport’s development in the country.

Volleyball’s impact in Bahrain transcends borders, with local players and teams relishing both domestic and international competitions, further cementing the sport’s place in the island’s sports scene.

#5 Camel Racing

Camel Racing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Bahrain: 1970s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Camel Racer from Bahrain: Ali Al Tajer (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Camel Racing Enthusiasts in Bahrain: 5,000

Camel racing has long been a traditional sport in Bahrain and across the Arabian Peninsula. This unique and exciting sport showcases the region’s cultural heritage and strong connection to camels as loyal companions in the desert.

Bahrain hosts regular camel racing events at the Royal Camel Farm, drawing spectators from around the kingdom. The celebrated Bahraini camel racer Ali Al Tajer has helped raise the profile of the sport and inspired a new generation of competitors.

Camel racing’s popularity in Bahrain is ever-growing, as it retains its cultural significance while providing thrilling entertainment for the local population.

#6 Horse Racing

Horse racing
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bahrain: Early 1900s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Jockey from Bahrain: Ali Akbar Al Nasser (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Horse Racing Enthusiasts in Bahrain: 15,000

Bahrain has a deep-rooted love for horse racing, a sport that fuses tradition, skill, and competitiveness. The fast-paced action and the majestic beauty of the horses make it a fascinating experience for spectators.

The Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club is the center of horse racing in Bahrain, hosting prestigious events such as the Bahrain International Trophy for thoroughbreds. Renowned Bahraini jockey Ali Akbar Al Nasser has displayed remarkable skill and talent, enhancing the nation’s reputation in the sport.

Horse racing remains a beloved sport in Bahrain and continues to play an integral role in the kingdom’s equestrian culture.

#7 Rugby

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bahrain: 1970s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Rugby Player from Bahrain: N/A
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Rugby Enthusiasts in Bahrain: 3,000

Rugby, though not indigenous to Bahrain, has found a dedicated following among both locals and expatriates. The contact sport is admired for its camaraderie, technical skill, and physical demands, and has grown in popularity over the years.

The Bahrain Rugby Football Club is the hub of rugby action in the kingdom, featuring a variety of age groups and competitions. The club continually participates in regional leagues and tournaments, building a rapport with its supporters and promoting the sport further.

The increasing interest in rugby has solidified its place within Bahrain’s sports landscape, as it continues to develop and attract new enthusiasts.

#8 Swimming

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Popularity Surge in Bahrain: 2000s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Swimmer from Bahrain: Farhan Saleh (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Swimming Enthusiasts in Bahrain: 10,000

Swimming is an essential sport in Bahrain due to the island nation’s rich aquatic environment. Its accessibility, health benefits, and competitive nature make swimming an attractive option for sports enthusiasts of all ages.

The Bahrain Swimming Association governs and promotes swimming across the kingdom, organizing various events and competitions. Farhan Saleh, a talented Bahraini swimmer, has represented the nation in prestigious events such as the Olympic Games.

Swimming is more than just a sport in Bahrain – it is a vital part of the culture and lifestyle, with a steady growth in enthusiasts and competitors alike.

#9 Tennis

  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bahrain: 1980s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Tennis Player from Bahrain: Yusuf Qaed (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Tennis Enthusiasts in Bahrain: 4,000

Tennis is a sport that has captured the hearts of many Bahrainis. Its elegant and skillful gameplay combines with a test of athleticism, making it an appealing sport to both watch and play.

The Bahrain Tennis Club and the Bahrain Tennis Federation are the home of tennis in the nation, hosting numerous local and regional championships. Yusuf Qaed, the Bahraini tennis icon, has represented the country in numerous international competitions.

With continued support and investment, tennis in Bahrain is growing in popularity and is a welcome addition to the island’s diverse sports landscape.

#10 Table Tennis

Table Tennis
  • πŸ“… (Estimated) Year of Introduction in Bahrain: 1980s
  • 🌟 Most Famous Table Tennis Player from Bahrain: Anwar Makki (Bahraini)
  • 🌍 Estimated Number of Table Tennis Enthusiasts in Bahrain: 3,000

Table Tennis has carved a place for itself in Bahrain’s sporting scene. This fast-paced, skillful sport is enjoyed by young and old, offering both recreational fun and an opportunity for competitiveness.

The Bahrain Table Tennis Association is responsible for organizing table tennis championships and fostering talent within the country. Anwar Makki, a prominent Bahraini table tennis player, has won numerous accolades and shone on the international stage.

With a growing number of players and fans, table tennis continues to thrive in Bahrain, solidifying itself as a beloved sport in the country.


What is the most popular sport in Bahrain?

Soccer, also known as football, is the most popular sport in Bahrain, enjoying widespread enthusiasm and support from the local population, with significant involvement in the Bahraini Premier League.

What is the national sport of Bahrain?

The national sport of Bahrain is soccer (football), with a strong connection to the nation’s cultural and sporting heritage and capturing the hearts of many Bahraini people.

What are the most watched sports in Bahrain?

The most watched sports in Bahrain include soccer (football), athletics, basketball, volleyball, camel racing, horse racing, and rugby, all attracting a passionate audience and cultivating a vibrant sporting culture in the country.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning β€˜real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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