HISTORY OF BAHRAIN MOTOR FEDERATION:

MBF History

At the first committee meeting, it was proposed that His Royal Highness Sh. Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa be approached about becoming the Club's Patron and President. It was also proposed that Sir Charles Belgrave KBE, Political Adviser, be approached about becoming the Club's Vice President, which he accepted. Both Sir Charles and his son James played an active role in the Club's affairs, even after their return to the United Kingdom in the 1960's.

At the first committee meeting, it was proposed that His Royal Highness Sh. Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa be approached about becoming the Club's Patron and President. It was also proposed that Sir Charles Belgrave KBE, Political Adviser, be approached about becoming the Club's Vice President, which he accepted. Both Sir Charles and his son James played an active role in the Club's affairs, even after their return to the United Kingdom in the 1960's.

The Club's first event was staged on 12th December 1952 and was an open invitation to all automobile motorists and motor cyclists in Bahrain. It was closely followed by a second event on 9th January, 1953 which took the form of a treasure hunt and last two hours.

In March 1953 the Club's aims and objectives were outlined and published in the `Al-Khamila' and `Al-Quafilah' newspapers as follows, "To provide open membership for all motor enthusiasts and all interested parties, to encourage good fellowship and to set a good standard of driving. All of which will be beneficial to everyone in Bahrain and to the country's future'.

Throughout the 1950's, the Club staged a variety of events on a regular basis and continued to strengthen its membership. By March 1954 there were over 100 full time members. This figure rose to 306 by March 1958, triple what it had been only four years earlier. Many distinguished persons and leading families were represented in the Club's membership including: Sh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Sh Isa Bin Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Sh Rashid Bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and Sh Isa Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa. Prominent families included: Ashraf, Algosaibi, Alwazzan, Almoayyed, Fakhro, Jashanmal and Kooheji.

Numbered Club badges were produced in 1953, of which the number 1 badge is believed to have been presented to his Royal Highness Sh Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, by Sir Charles Belgrave.

In March 1954, it was proposed that HRH Sh Isa Bin Salman Al Khalifa, ten heir apparent be approached with becoming the Club's President and Sh Khalifa Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, then Director of Police and Public Security be approached with becoming the Club's Vice President.

The Club's phenomenal growth by August 1953 brought about it acceptance and official association with the Automobile Association (AA) in the United Kingdom. Through this, an agreement was reach allowing visitors from either country to make use of each other's facilities. The Club began to diversify its activities in other areas, successfully negotiating discounts for its members with several insurance agencies.

In April 1957 the Club became affiliated with the Alliance Internationale de Tourisme (AIT) and was responsible for issuing `Carnets de Passages' to people either temporarily importing vehicles into Bahrain or for those returning overland to the United Kingdom or Europe. This consumed much of the Club's attention until the beginning of the 1960's, which it seemed that there was a marked decline in vehicular traffic both into and out of Bahrain. And so, `Carnets de Passages' were no longer issued by 1962. During the 1960's it became apparent that interest in the Club was waning. At this point, the Club relinquished its lease of a plot of land south of the BAPCO Beach in Zallaq due to insufficient funds for building a Clubhouse. Ironically, it was also during this period, in 1962 that the Belgrave Cup was inaugurated with the presentation of a Rs100 cheque by Sir Charles Belgrave to the Club.

In October 1972, the Club applied for official registration with the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs as it had only been registered with Her Majesty's Political Agency previously. By June 1973 the Club's constitution was approved and went into effect.

The 1970's also saw the resumption of a close working relationship between the Bahraini Government and the Club. In 1973 the Club was invited by Sh Ebrahim Mohammed Al Khalifa to be represented on the Road Safety Committee and was requested to organize a rally on behalf of the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF). In 1974, Sh Ebrahim, then Director of the Bahrain State Police, invited the Club to assist in organizing the International Traffic Week.

In the Eighties, the Club maintained an active calendar of events and enjoyed significant support and participation in Bahrain. Regular events included hill climbs, auto-crosses, driving tests and stage and navigation rallies. Bahrain also participated in the Middle East International Rallies until 1984.

The 1990's have seen the Bahrain Motor Federation go forward in leaps and bounds. The Federation was affiliated to the Federation Internationale De L'Automobile (FIA) in 1997 and held its first Bahrain International Rally in 2000 after an absence on the regional rally of Sixteen years. The event attracts entrants locally, regionally and internationally and is now a permanent fixture on the FIA International Sporting calendar.

In September 2002, the Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain announced that Bahrain would be hosting the Bahrain Grand Prix 2004 and has commenced the construction of US$75 million circuit...

Today, the Bahrain Motor Federation Committee and members are extremely proud of their distinguished heritage as one of the oldest and most locally involved Club's in Bahrain. As such, they look forward to a future full of community involvement, safe driving and most of all, a great motoring environment for Bahrain.

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