Al Budaiya (Arabic: البديع) is a coastal town located in the northwestern region of Bahrain Island, in the Northern Governorate of the Kingdom of Bahrain. It neighbors the villages of Diraz and Bani Jamra.
Budaiya is the most fertile area in the country, irrigated from a large concentration of freshwater springs and aquifers. It is the location of most farms, stables, and traditional gulf family farms/retreats nakhal. The town serves as one end-point of the Budaiya Road, which runs to Manama. The regions on either side of road are colloquially referred to as Budaiya.
The biggest problem the Budaiya Road region is facing is deforestation due to a waves of construction, and the seeping of sea water into natural underground aquifers as a result of the pre-construction building process of the Mina Salman seaport in the 1950s. Budaiya Road is still remembered as one of the only "naturally shaded" parts of Bahrain where thousands of wild palm trees acted as filters from the hot, glaring desert sun. Most of the trees were cut down to expand the route and 'modernize' the area.
The town was founded by the Dawasir tribe, but most of the tribe left en masse to mainland Saudi Arabia in 1923, after a conflict with the British colonial authorities. Many Dawasir tribe members later returned to Budaiya, and they continue to play a leading role in the village today. Prior to the discovery of oil in Bahrain, most Budaiya residents were involved in the pearl diving and fishing industry.
Today the Budaiya Road region houses European and American expatriates living in the kingdom and has few a places that serve as a niche to the youth Bahraini subcultures (Goth, skater/punk, etc.) This is mainly due to the central location of the Skate Shack park. While it is a relatively small area, Budaiya has been the centre of Bahraini fashion for the past 15 years, with numerous young designers and styles oft being seen on the streets of Budaiya.
Whilst not easily attainable, most of the top quality hash in Bahrain can be found in Budaiya, however it is not cheap and tough to get due to the strict law enforcement in the area.
Budaiya was badly hit during the time of the Protests in February 2011, with many shops having to close or being destroyed. Checkpoints and police flooded Budaiya to ensure no large scale violence broke out, mainly due to the large Budaiya highway that served as a route to protests for many Bahrainis. Strict guidelines were set, and the majority of people were forced to stay in their homes for the worst times of the protests, which lasted a few weeks.
- Fuad Ishaq Khuri (1980). Tribe and state in Bahrain: The transformation of social and political authority in an Arab state. ISBN 0-226-43473-7