The Arabian Gulf is considered as a hub for global oil industry. Thus the Arabian Gulf marine environment is under permanent threat from oil spills due to oil exploitation, production, and transportation. Oil pollution poses adverse effects on marine environment, society, and economy. Oil spill incidents that occurred in Bahrain caused damage to marine environment and threatened the vital coastal facilities along the coastline of Bahrain. This study determined the exposure levels of coastal facilities in Bahrain to oil spills. The General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment (GNOME) model was validated and applied to hypothetical oil spill scenarios. The modeling results showed that the coastal facilities on the north-eastern coastline are more probable to be hit by oil spills, while those on the northern coastline are susceptible to receive more quantity of oil. The time required for oil to reach the western coastline is shorter compared to the other coastlines. The modeling outcomes can be utilized in contingency planning, setting the protection priorities and allocation and mobilization of response resources in both governmental and private sectors. The implications of the present study could be applied on a regional scale to ensure an integrated response to combat and or minimize oil pollution in the Arabian Gulf. © 2019, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.