The History of Municipality

Before the inception of the municipality in 1919 there was nothing in Bahrain called municipality or anything of that kind. Bahrain set up the municipality to help and serve the citizen and to organize their daily life, In the month of Do-Aloqdah in the year 1337 Hijri corresponding to July 1919, the government of Bahrain set up the municipality of Bahrain which is located in Manama to be the first in the Arabian world.

The municipality is the first official department in Bahrain it was establishment accordance to the law issued in 20 January 1920 to set up a municipality in Manama which was and still in the capital of Bahrain. Eight members of the municipal administration, which were designed to assist Bahraini citizens, were appointed after being appointed by the government.


Since the establishment of the municipality, the latter has begun to provide services to houses and commercial stores, and has begun to remove the piles of garbage accumulated in Manama, which was called "Samada".
In the beginning, the municipality's work was limited to synagogues and garbage collection. Over time, the municipality endeavored to carry out other tasks such as widening the roads in 1929. It also began to open new markets, monitor the massacres, standardize weights and standards, Over time, the municipality became responsible for everything, and was commissioned to manage the water liquefaction project at the beginning of 1958.
The first budget was set for the municipality when it was established in 1920 (604) dinars for revenue, while the expenditure was estimated at 604 dinars, as the amount of revenue was going to expenses to the modest budget at that time.
The municipality council was setup in 1339 Hijri corresponding to 1920 as the first administrative body for the municipality. The budget then was modest.
The municipality council was set up as the first administrative body developed in Bahrain to run the affairs of the country.

The municipality was the first experiment born in the country to keep in pace with the growth and the burgeoning growth of economy, social and education and the municipality body members lived up to that responsibility.
The late Shaikh Abdullah Bin Isa Alkhalifa was the first to preside the council of the municipality and by the end of 1920 the late Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Alkhalifa presided the municipality’s council and his highness continued to preside the council till 1929 and he was succeeded by the late Shaikh Mohammed Bin Isa Alkhalifa and at that time members of the municipality council were increased from eight to twenty members. The income of the municipality council boosted the economy of the country which urged the government to hold an election for the council half of them elected while the other half appointed by the government, meanwhile the Bahraini women also took part in the election, in the year 1951-1952.


The election was conducted annually with as well the appointment of council members till the numbers jumped to 24 in (1949) half of them elected while the other half appointed by the government.
In the beginning of 1938, Sheikh Abdullah bin Isa Al Khalifa, the successor to his brother Sheikh Mohammed, was the second time Sheikh Abdullah bin Isa to head the municipal council after he was head of the education department at that time. Sheikh Abdullah remained president of the municipal council until 1956, where he was appointed to the presidency of the administrative council. He was succeeded by the late Sheikh Issa bin Salman Al Khalifa when he was the heir to His Highness Sheikh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa in late 1961, and His Highness Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa took over the throne after being succeeded by the Prince. Shaikh Salman, the late Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, exerted efforts to resolve the situation, economy and build Bahraini citizens. He also focused on the development of Bahrain in all fields and appointed his brother Sheikh Khalifa. Bin Salman Al Khalifa to help him achieve this.


His Excellency Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Alkhalifa continued in preside the municipal council till 1967, till the council shifted to administrative body headed by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Khalid Alkhalifa succeeding His Excellency the current prime minister Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Alkhalifa, and during his tenure of he municipal council the resolutions and decisions then taken were decisive and fraught with accomplishments. And Shaikh Abdullah added numerous department to the municipal council which pushed ahead the wheels of progress and development.
The councils continued till late 60’s when the nominees obtained a few vote and the municipality then transferred to the government during 1970, independence day, in regard to the first location the municipality was hired in Yousif Bin Ahmad Kanoo building “Altijar Road” the west side of the building Batelco as a temporary location due to the modest financial circumstances.
And the municipality function continued to be numerous fraught with ramified tasks and due to the small building the officials stressed the need to increase administrative growth due to the increasing population, and shifted to another larger building with many offices to cope with the situation.
Then the building was shifted to the late Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Alkhalifa building opposite “Bab Al Bahrain” following one year of organizing and law legislations.
Then the location was shifted near “Souq Alaham” in Manama in 1341 Hijri 1923 Three year since the inception of the municipality and the building was demolished replaced now by (municipality’s arena) interaction of Shaikh Abdullah and the municipality roads in Manama.


And designed with modern engineering to be more spacious and His Highness the late Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Alkhalifa the ruler of Bahrain then in 1957 issued and approved an order to own maritime plot of land on government road to build new building for the municipality.


In the year 1959 the land reclamation where the municipality building would be on began which is the current building for municipality affairs at the ministry of housing.


His Highness the Amir of Bahrain the late Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Alkhalifa opened municipality building on the first anniversary of the national day celebration on 16th December 1962.
The ministry of agriculture and municipalities continued to perform its duties and tasks till the first decree on 19th January 1970 from London allowing His Highness the late Shaikh Isa bin Salman Alkhalifa to set up a council for the state wrapped up by executive authority decree no. 2 1970 later on state ministries among them agriculture and municipality directorates consisting of the following:

1- Municipality Directorate
2- Agriculture Directorate
3- Villages affairs Directorate

On the outset of Bahrain independence on the 14th of August 1971 His Highness the late Amir of Bahrain Shaikh Isa Bin Salman Alkhalifa issued a Decree to name the State council as the council of ministers and directorates at the ministries and became the directorate of municipality and agriculture ( The Ministry of Municipality and Agriculture) the Decree no. 16 was issued in the year 1973 on 22th August 1973 to set up a central municipality commission to perform all the tasks and services of the disbanded municipality council for a transitional period of two years, the commission and was made of 28 members appointed by an edict by the Prime Minister 14 members of which citizens from municipality and 14 members representing the state ministries in connection with the public services. The minister of municipality and agriculture chaired the central municipal commission.

While Shaikh Abdullah Bin Khalid Alkhalifa was at the helm of the ministry of municipality and agriculture, it performed various services such as public cleaning and hygiene, environment protection, planting tree and palm trees and greenery in road sides and in villages, public gardens, towns and cities planning and at that time the ministry joined the outside world such as the Arab cities organization and in 1970 the municipality hosted the second Arab cities organization conference which adopted many positive resolutions, that benefited the organization members states.

Establishment of the Central Municipal Authority

The late Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa was appointed Chairman of the Central Municipal Authority, following the issuance of Amiri Decree No. (19) of 1975, on September1975.

The late Minister exercised his powers stipulated in the Legislative Decree No. (16) of 1973 establishing the Central Municipal Provisional Authority and Decree Law No. (14) of 1975.

On September 12, 1976, Amiri Decree No. (16) of 1976 was issued appointing Sheikh Abdullah Bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa as the Chairman of the Municipal Council with the rank of Minister.

The late Sheikh Abdullah has served as Chairman of the Municipal Authority, demonstrating his ability to manage and provide the requirements of Bahrain society

During his tenure, municipal observers were appointed in various regions, in addition to the opening of more municipalities to cope with the urban development. At the time, the number of municipalities was twelve.

The municipal authority at the time had a significant impact on the establishment of parks and parks in the cities and villages of Bahrain, in addition to landscaping the streets, and taking care of the cleanliness system by providing it with experts and the latest technology in the field of hygiene and environmental protection.