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Riffa Fort
Riffa Fort
Riffa is located in Bahrain
Location in Bahrain
Coordinates: 26°7′48″N 50°33′18″E / 26.13000°N 50.55500°E / 26.13000; 50.55500
Country Bahrain
GovernorateSouthern Governorate
Settled18th century
 • Total121,566[1]
Time zoneUTC + 3

Riffa (Arabic: الرفاع‎, Ar-Rifāʿ),[2] is the largest city in the Kingdom of Bahrain by area size.[3] Riffa is divided into two parts: East Riffa and West Riffa. The city is completely located in the Southern Governorate after the abolition of the Central Governorate.

The city is growing fast: during the 2001 census, the population was recorded as 79,550 but by 2008 it was estimated as 111,000.[4]


Ruffin was formerly the principal settlement on Bahrain Island, before being supplanted by the port of Manama over the course of the 19th century.[2]

East Riffa

East Riffa has many attractions, one such attraction is Riffa Fort, which is also known as Sheikh Salman Bin Ahmad Al Fateh Fort. The city has several shopping malls and two main shopping streets; Riffa Bazaar (سوق الرفاع, Souk ar-Rifa) and Bukuwara Street Market. The former is larger, while the latter is more organised and modernised. Playing golf in the Royal Golf Club is considered as one of the top activities to do in the area.[5] A new development, created by Arcapita, called Riffa Views, is a large residential and commercial center.[6] The project includes artificial lakes, an international school,[7] commercial districts, supermarkets, and will have access to the recently opened Royal Women's University. Enma Mall and Lulu Hypermarket Mall are new additions to the rapidly increasing commercial centers in East Riffa.

West Riffa

West Riffa is predominantly a residential area. Most of the ruling family, ministers and business investors live in West Riffa. King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain lives there, as well as the Prime Minister, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. Riffa's famous clock tower is located in the centre of West Riffa.

East Riffa is home to Bahrain National Stadium, where most football matches and important sports events in Bahrain take place. West Riffa and East Riffa, each has its own football club and stadium.


Shia Muslims, who constitute majority of the Bahraini citizens, as well as Iranian Sunnis, are barred from living within the city limits. Riffa is designed to be exclusively Sunni Arab city, and a refugee point for the ruling Sunni regime.[8]



  1. ^ "Bahrain cities population". Archived from the original on 2013-02-09.
  2. ^ a b EB (1878).
  3. ^ National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
  4. ^ World gazetteer Archived 2008-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ The Royal Golf Club
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Sectarian discrimination in the kingdom of Bahrain: The Unwritten Law, A paper Presented to: WANGO ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2003 (Toward an Ethical and Caring Global Community) September 25–28, 2003 Bangkok, Thailand". Bahrain Centre for Human Rights.


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