Home of Arab Culture
ICC is a national cultural centre affiliated with the Royal Court in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It was established by the Royal Decree No. (18) /2008 and was inaugurated under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, King of Bahrain on the 18th December, 2008.
The idea of establishing Isa Cultural Centre (ICC) stems from the people's need, as the project began with a letter submitted by a group of Bahrainis to His Highness Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the late Amir of Bahrain in 1998. The letter included a request to establish a culture and arts edifice bearing his name and title. The late Amir requested His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalid Al Khalifa, he then Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs, (currently the Chairman of the Board of Trustees) to study and oversee the project.
The establishment of the centre is a vivid example of cohesion in the Kingdom of Bahrain, between the leadership and the people, on official and private levels. The centre was built jointly by community donations, and generous contributions by notable public and private institutions, which helped the construction of this prestigious edifice; to house diverse activities of culture and the arts.
- Provide and conserve books and publications in various fields of knowledge and culture.
- Organize cultural activities and scientific events.
- Preserve Arab and Islamic culture, and promote historical heritage and culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
- Establish a dialogue between cultures and civilizations.
- Encourage and support intellectual and cultural creativity at a national level.
"We like to see Isa Cultural Centre a replica of Bahrain in the dawn of its civilization as a Centre for knowledge to the civilized world, absorbing all new and useful human inputs to remain a symbol of Bahrain’s progress and prosperity over time..."
(Quoted from a speech by His Majesty the King, at the centre's opening ceremony on the 18th December 2008).
"In memory of the Late Amir, His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the founder of modern Bahrain, and as a reflection of the reforms project of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa King of Bahrain, the mission of Isa Cultural Centre is to disseminate the Bahraini culture at the local and global levels, to provide distinct and effective cultural services to all segments of the society and to open up to world cultures."
Departments of Isa Cultural Centre
The Historical Documentation Centre
The Historical Documentation Centre was founded in 1978 during the reign of the late Amir, His Highness Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Al-Khalifa, by a directive of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, when he was Crown Prince. He ordered the centre to be included within his Court because of his keenness and interest in history, heritage and the civilization of ancient Bahrain. Due to the wisdom and insight of his majesty, Article III of the Royal Decree No. (18)/2008, the centre was certified as an essential component and a department of Isa Cultural Centre. It seeks to be a catalyst and a reference for the profession and culture of documentation and recording history, and therefore a hub for historians and researchers both local and global, hence being an active contributor in consolidating and strengthening Arab-Islamic identity of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Since 1982, the centre regularly publishes “Al-Wathiqa” (“The Document” a semi-annual, refereed scientific journal. This journal captured the interest of publishers, researchers, historians and heritage experts, at the local and regional levels, as it contributes to the development of documented scientific research.
The National Archives
The National Archives at Isa Cultural Centre is another department embodying a promising stage in the strategic development and promotion of the present structure of the Centre as a whole. Hence the Royal Decree No. (31) /2015 edicts the establishment of the National Archives to acquire, organize and conserve public and private archives through digitization, and facilitate means of retrieval and display in order to implement proper decision making. Such service will be guided by previous civil service management and active national organizations which contribute to the economies of the Bahraini society. Nevertheless, contributing to the procedures of scientific research development and reinforce patriotism, national dedication and community service.
The National Library
The National Library at Isa Cultural Centre is an active part of the intellectual and educational system in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and adds a significant contribution to the cultural advancement trend. The library includes a variety of sources exceeding 107,000 volumes in various fields of knowledge, as well as advanced services to meet the needs of students and researchers. The National Library seeks to accomplish many tasks in line with achieving the vision and strategic objectives of the Isa Cultural Centre, especially to encourage reading, research and learning, and to provide advanced library services and access to various sources of knowledge in all its forms (printed, audio and visual) to all segments of society. It is also seeking to collect and preserve the national intellectual output in printed and non-printed forms. Moreover, it aims to raise the efficiency of individuals involved in the library and information sector in the Kingdom of Bahrain and to develop their skills through organizing specialized activities and events.
The Children Library
The Children Library is one of Isa Cultural Centre’s departments that provides excellent services to the children based on their age and different levels of education from 4 to 12 years old. Its services include: borrowing books, storytelling, screening, general knowledge competitions, painting, crafts and educational games. The children library strives to be an environment for learning and entertainment at the same time, helping to expand the perceptions of children and develop their intellectual skills and creative talents, in order to achieve its objectives by providing sources of information creatively through current media to meet the children's needs, desires and preferences, as well as providing means of recreation that encourages the optimal use of spare time.
The Royal Decree states that an electronic library be established as one Isa Cultural Centre’s departments. A state of the art library that sustains with the changes and requirements of modern age. It is based on data and cognitive materials in soft copy formats, which can be displayed by audio-visual media or in digital formats, that can be utilized through computers or the internet. The digital sources are considered an easy and fast means that can be accessed via available databases offering books, periodicals, films, sound recordings and images. The centre is planning to enhance the electronic links with various electronic libraries and global databases, to provide the maximum benefit from the services provided to meet the needs of readers and researchers.
The Convention Centre
The Convention Centre at Isa Cultural Centre is one of the prestigious centres on a global level. It was designed to provide a comprehensive range of integrated services for hosting events served by an experienced team, in addition to the stunning architectural design. The conference centre consists of a group of halls equipped with the latest technology. The main conference hall is the largest, equipped with simultaneous interpretation facilities, with a capacity of more than 1,200 seats. Plus, the Multi-purpose hall with 300 seats, in addition to other halls that can be used for meetings, workshops and press conferences, as well as the Art Gallery and other luxury lounges and exhibition halls. The Convention Centre at Isa Cultural Centre is a unique addition to the field of exhibition and conference industry in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It organizes at least two conferences per year as well as seminars, lectures and exhibitions each month. It also hosts many of the activities and events held by public and private institutions throughout the year, becoming one of the most attractive choices for many local and international events.
The Cultural, Scientific and Artistic Affairs
It is concerned with activities and projects of cultural, scientific and/or artistic nature, and implements them through programmes, activities and events at local, regional and international levels. The department seeks to introduce and promote the national culture of Bahrain and its humanism to support and encourage scientific and innovative talents and furthermore to stimulate their productivity, to develop a dialogue between civilizations, to exchange experiences between cultures, and to cooperate among civil society’s organizations , cultural and scientific bodies sharing common issues.
Isa Cultural Centre
Tel. (+973) 17366666
Fax. (+973) 17366966