Tree of Life, Bahrain
The Tree of Life (or Shajarat Al-Hayat in Arabic) is an approximately 400 year-old, 9.75m high Prosopis cineraria tree standing on top of a 7.6m high sandy hill that was formed around a 500-year-old fortress. It is situated in the dessert some 25 km from Awali in the south of Bahrain and just 2 km from Jebel Al-Dukhan.
The tree has an iconic status in Bahrain and is a local tourist attraction visited by approximately 50,000 tourists every year, as it is the only major tree growing in the area. It is believed to be the site for cults practicing ancient rites.
Since October 2010, archaeologists have unearthed pottery and other artifacts in the vicinity of the tree, some of which may date back to the Dilmun civilization.
The Tree of Life visitor's center is conceived as a protective circular fence that protects the tree from cars and vandalism while offering a shelter from which people can contemplate the tree from a distance. The visitor's center also includes archaeological artifacts, which were uncovered on site, as well as a small stage for outdoor performances and events.