Where is Bahrain located?

What countries border Bahrain?

Bahrain Weather

What is the current weather in Bahrain?


Bahrain Facts and Culture

What is Bahrain famous for?

  • Food and Recipes: Everyone eats out of communal dishes. Usually there is an hour or so before dinner when conservation takes place... More
  • Family: Extended family is important in Bahrain. The father is the head of the house. More
  • Fashion: Bahraini dress is influenced by the Islamic and Arab Bedouin roots. Men wear a long robe that reaches the... More
  • Visiting: Islam influences visiting and greetings in Bahrain. "Assalam alikumof" (The peace of Allah be upon you) is how one is... More
  • Recreation: Soccer is the most popular sport followed by Cricket, and basketball. Camping is a favorite family recreation.  Drinking tea... More
  • Cultural Attributes: Extended family is very important. More
  • Dating: Marriage celebrations often last for three days with separate events for men and women. Many marriages are arranged and those... More
  • Diet: Breakfast often consists of unleavened bread, or Kobouz scrambled eggs mixed with noodles. Vegetables, lamb, fish, chicken and beef... More

Bahrain Facts

What is the capital of Bahrain?

Capital Manama
Government Type constitutional monarchy
Currency Bahraini dinars (BHD)
Total Area 293 Square Miles
760 Square Kilometers
Location Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia
Language Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
GDP - real growth rate 2.1%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $50,300.00 (USD)

Bahrain Demographics

What is the population of Bahrain?

Ethnic Groups Bahraini 63%, Asian 19%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8%
Nationality Adjective Bahraini
Nationality Noun Bahraini(s)
Population 1,505,003
Population - note note: immigrants make up approximately 50% of the total population, according to UN data
Population Growth Rate 2.57%
Population in Major Urban Areas MANAMA (capital) 262,000
Predominant Language Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
Urban Population 88.7%

Bahrain Government

What type of government does Bahrain have?

  • Executive Branch: chief of state: King HAMAD bin Isa Al-Khalifa (since 6 March 1999); Crown Prince SALMAN bin Hamad Al-Khalifa (son of... More
  • Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal; note - Bahraini Cabinet in May 2011 endorsed a draft law lowering eligibility to 18... More
  • Citizenship: citizenship by birth: no citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Bahrain dual citizenship recognized: no residency requirement for... More
  • National Holiday: National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 was the date of independence from the UK, 16 December... More
  • Constitution: history: adopted 14 February 2002 amendments: proposed by the king or by at least 15 members of either chamber of the... More
  • Independence: 15 August 1971 (from the UK) More

Bahrain Geography

What environmental issues does Bahrain have?

  • Overview: The State of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 small, low-lying islands in the Persian Gulf, halfway down the east... More
  • Climate: Bahrain, with a desert climate, is one of the world's hottest areas. Its hottest and most humid weather is from... More
  • Environment - Current Issues: desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines,... More
  • Environment - International Agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands signed, but not ratified:... More
  • Terrain: mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment More

Bahrain Economy

How big is the Bahrain economy?

Bahrain News & Current Events

What current events are happening in Bahrain?
Source: Google News

Interesting Bahrain Facts

What unique things can you discover about Bahrain?

  • Arabic script is written from right to left. It is used to write many non-Arabic languages such as Persian and Urdu.
  • Bahrain derives its name from an Arabic word meaning “ two seas,” which refers to the blend of fresh water springs and salt sea water in Bahraini territory.
  • Bahrain has a tiny population of indigenous Christians. In the 3rd century A.D., before the arrival of Islam, some Bahrainis became Christians.
  • Bahrain has one of the only wildlife conservation areas in the Persian Gulf. Al-Areen Park, which covers 10 square kilometers on Bahrain Island, is home to indigenous species, including the Arabian oryx, zebras and gazelles.
  • Bahrain is the world's least taxed country.
  • Bahrain was the first country in the Arabian Gulf in which oil was discovered. It was originally discovered in 1902, although it was not fully exploited until the 1930s.
  • Boys and girls go to separate schools. When there is only one school in a village, boys go to school in the morning and girls go to school in the afternoon.
  • Date cultivation is even more ancient than pearling. Bahraini dates have a special reputation for their succulence and sweetness.
  • Islamic dates are written with the letters A.H. after them, which means Anno Hejiri (“ years after the flight”). This distinguishes Islamic years from Christian years, which are followed by the letters A.D., meaning Anno Domini (“ years after the birth of the Lord”). The year 2000 A.D. corresponds to the year 1420 A.H.
  • Local folklore maintains that henna strengthens the hands and feet and helps to prevent balding. For ceremonies and special occasions, Bahraini women decorate their hands and feet using henna.
  • Most Bahraini women who work in the health profession are nurses. However, under Islamic law a woman may not be examined by a male doctor, so the government has encouraged the training of female doctors.
  • Some Bahrainis participate in the traditional sport of falconry, the breeding and training of birds of prey.
  • The land area of Bahrain has expanded over time because of land reclaimed from the sea. Sand and stone dredged up from the sea bed to deepen the port at Manama has been deposited around the shoreline.
  • The oud, an ancient Middle Eastern stringed instrument that is a predecessor of the lute, is used to accompany traditional songs in Bahrain.
  • Traditionally, Bahraini streets were narrow to provide shade against the heat of the day. The narrow pathways blocked the sun, but deflected cool breezes upwards so devices called badgirs (wind catchers) were created to deflect the air downwards.
  • Traditionally, the marriage transaction centered on the pearl. The groom would decorate a plain wooden chest with carved brass and fill it with pearls specially gathered for his bride. The chest, which was originally the diver's chest for storing his catch, was given in marriage to the bride. The pearl was associated with fertility.
  • The Crown Jewels have had a turbulent history.

    King John is said to have lost the Crown Jewels in quicksand in 1216.

    Edward III pawned the jewels to pay his troops during an overseas campaign. Charles I's wife also managed to pawn the Crown Jewels in Holland at the beginning of the Civil War.

    The most famous attempt at theft was in 1671 by Colonel Thomas Blood. He was caught at the East Gate of the Tower with the crown, one scepter and the orb.

    During the Second World War the jewels were hidden in a secret location which has never been disclosed.

Watch video on Bahrain

What can you learn about Bahrain in this video?

Bahrain City Guide & Travel Information YouTube, Irhal Travel

Bahrain Travel Information

What makes Bahrain a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a hereditary monarchy and is home to both Bahrainis and a sizable expatriate community. In 2002, the country adopted a new constitution that reinstated a parliament consisting of one elected and one appointed chamber. Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the foundation of the country's customs, laws, and practices. Tourist facilities are widely available. The capital is Manama. Bahrain continues to experience political unrest, resulting in frequent protests and sporadic violence in certain areas of the country; however, U.S. citizens have not been the target of protests.

Crime

The crime rate in Bahrain is low and violent crime is rare. However, burglary, petty theft, and robberies do occur. Take the same security precautions in Bahrain that you would practice in the United States. Women should be cautious while traveling alone. If you are followed, do not lead the person back to your home. Find a populated area and locate a police or security officer. Try to seem purposeful when you move about. Even if you are lost, act as if you know where you are going. Try to ask for directions only from individuals in authority. When driving always ensure that your vehicle doors are locked. Hotel room doors should be locked when visitors are in their rooms, and travelers are encouraged to store valuables in hotel room safes when they are available. Women are encouraged to keep their purses firmly under their arms, and men should avoid keeping their wallets in their hip pockets while in the old market area. Embassy Manama recommends that travelers using local taxis insist on the use of a meter to avoid being overcharged. Bahrain has a professional police force; contact the police if you encounter problems.

Do not buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may be breaking local law.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Bahrain, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. In some places you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. In some places driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Bahrain, your U.S. passport will not help you avoid arrest or prosecution. Persons violating Bahrain’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Bahrain are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. The use of vulgar language or hand gestures can result in heavy fines or criminal charges. Although alcohol is available, public drunkenness and disorderly behavior can result in arrest and one drink may be sufficient grounds for a drunken driving arrest.

While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in a foreign country, that might not always be the case. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in several hospitals and health centers in Bahrain. Two government hospitals, several private hospitals, and numerous private clinics located throughout the country offer a wide range of medical services. Cardiac care, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, orthopedics, and dentistry services are readily available, as are x-rays, CT-scan, and MRI testing. The government hospitals house both trauma and ICU units. Pharmacies are common throughout Bahrain and carry a wide range of medications. Prescriptions are normally required. Payment at all medical facilities is due at the time of service. Some hospitals have limited direct billing capability for certain insurance carriers. Billing and insurance practices vary among the medical facilities.

Safety and Security

Spontaneous and at times violent anti-government demonstrations occur in some neighborhoods, particularly at night and on weekends. These demonstrations have included blockades of major highways with burning debris and the establishment of unofficial checkpoints. Participants have thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails and used various other homemade weapons, to include improvised explosive devices and shotgun-like projectile launchers. The Ministry of Interior maintains official checkpoints in some areas and routinely uses tear gas and stun grenades, along with birdshot and other crowd control measures, against demonstrators. Violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators can make travel in and around Bahrain dangerous without advance warning.

There have been no direct attacks on U.S. citizens; however, Westerners and U.S. citizens have been caught in the middle of clashes. Anti-U.S. sentiment has been expressed on the streets and in some local press, and U.S. flags have occasionally been burned during demonstrations. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal safety by knowing the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals, and the U.S. Embassy. The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly, and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse. If you are in immediate danger, call the police at 999.

The U.S. Embassy restricts its employees from traveling to specific areas and advises all U.S. citizens to do the same. Please check the Updated Travel Alert Map on the Embassy’s website for the latest travel restrictions. We continue to urge U.S. citizens to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Please check our Demonstration Notices for information on demonstrations, security guidance, and a map outlining areas that are off-limits to Embassy U.S. citizen employees and their family members. The Department of State remains concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests throughout the world. U.S. citizens should maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with caution. In addition, U.S. citizens are urged to avoid contact with any suspicious objects or people and to report their presence to local authorities.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Bahrain is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Travel by road in Bahrain is generally safe although unsafe driving practices are common. Highways and major roads in the northern third of Bahrain are four to six lanes wide and well maintained; roads in villages and older parts of Manama and Muharraq are narrow and twisting. As in the United States, traffic in Bahrain moves on the right. Roundabouts (traffic circles) follow the British system, with those automobiles within the traffic circle having right of way over those attempting to enter. Although the Bahraini penal code calls for fines of up to 100 Bahraini dinars ($270.00) or imprisonment of up to six months for driving above posted speed limits, drivers frequently drive well over the posted speed limits of 50-100 km per hour. The law allows the police to detain drivers for traffic violations until they can appear before a magistrate. It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving and drivers are required to wear seat belts.

Under Bahraini law, any sign of having consumed alcohol may be taken as prima facie evidence of driving under the influence, which can lead to imprisonment and/or fines of up to 1,000 Bahraini dinars (about $2,700). Except for minor accidents, drivers may not move their vehicles after an accident until areport has been filed with the traffic police. This is true even in cases of single-car accidents. Insurance companies may not provide coverage if the cars are moved. However, drivers involved in minor, non-injury accidents no longer need to wait at the scene for the police. Individuals should get their vehicles off the road to avoid further accidents. Drivers should call the accident hotline at 199 (if there are no injuries) or 999 (when someone is injured) where they will be directed to one of five centers to file the accident report. This report must be filed within 24 hours of the accident. Both drivers may be prohibited from leaving the country until the matter is resolved if an accident results in legal proceedings. The main switchboard at the traffic department is 1787-2222.

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