Where is Brunei located?

What countries border Brunei?

Brunei Weather

What is the current weather in Brunei?

Brunei Facts and Culture

What is Brunei famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Brunei's culture mainly derived from the Old Malay World, which encompassed the Malay Archipelago, and from this stemmed what is... More
  • Food and Recipes: Brunei has a strong Muslim population and some of the eating customs follow Muslim culture. The right hand is used... More

Brunei Facts

What is the capital of Brunei?

Capital Bandar Seri Begawan
Government Type absolute monarchy or sultanate
Currency Bruneian dollars (BND)
Total Area 2,226 Square Miles
5,765 Square Kilometers
Location Southeastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and Malaysia
Language Malay (official), English, Chinese
GDP - real growth rate 0.4%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $79,700.00 (USD)

Brunei Demographics

What is the population of Brunei?

Ethnic Groups Malay 67%, Chinese 15%, indigenous 6%, other 12%
Nationality Noun Bruneian(s)
Population 464,478
Population Growth Rate 1.67%
Population in Major Urban Areas BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (capital) 241,000

Note: the boundaries of the capital city were expanded in 2007, greatly increasing the city area; the population of the capital increased tenfold
Urban Population 76.000000

Brunei Government

What type of government does Brunei have?

Executive Branch chief of state: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967); note - the monarch is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah (since 5 October 1967)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed and presided over by the monarch; note - 4 additional advisory councils appointed by the monarch are the Religious Council, Privy Council for constitutional issues, Council of Succession, and Legislative Council; Sultan and Prime Minister Sir HASSANAL Bolkiah is also Minister of Finance, Defense, and Foreign Affairs and Trade

elections/appointments: none; the monarchy is hereditary
Suffrage 18 years of age for village elections; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: the father must be a citizen of Brunei

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 12 years
National Holiday National Day, 23 February (1984); note - 1 January 1984 was the date of independence from the UK, 23 February 1984 was the date of independence from British protection; the Sultan's birthday, 15 June
Constitution history: drafted 1954 to 1959, signed 29 September 1959; note - some constitutional provisions suspended since 1962 under a State of Emergency, others suspended since independence in 1984

amendments: proposed by the monarch; passage requires submission to the Privy Council for Legislative Council review and finalization takes place by proclamation; the monarch can accept or reject changes to the original proposal provided by the Legislative Council; amended several times, last in 2010
Independence 1 January 1984 (from the UK)

Brunei Video

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Brunei Geography

What environmental issues does Brunei have?

Overview Brunei occupies 3,459 square miles on the northern coast of the Island of Borneo and is 350 statute miles north of the Equator at 5º North, 115º East. Brunei is comprised of two separate areas: the capital area and a thinly populated enclave to the east consisting mostly of jungle. Separating the two is a salient of the Malaysian state of Sarawak, which on the landward side surrounds both parts of Brunei. To the north of Brunei lies the South China Sea. The country has four districts: Belait, Tutong, Brunei and Muara, and Temburong.

Brunei’s oil and gas fields are centered in the towns of Seria and Kuala Belait, approximately 67 miles southwest of the capital, as well as offshore. Other large towns include Tutong, midway between Bandar Seri Begawan and Kuala Belait, and Bangar in the Temburong District.
Climate The country's landscape is mainly primary and secondary tropical rainforest with only a narrow coastal strip from Kuala Belait to Bandar Seri Begawan that is cultivated. The rainforest receives as much as 146 inches of rain in the interior, but only 108 inches a year is recorded on the coast. The two defined rainy seasons are from September to January (with December being the wettest month) and May to July. The climate is equatorial with uniform temperatures and high humidity.
Border Countries Malaysia 381 km
Environment - Current Issues Seasonal smoke/haze resulting from forest fires in Indonesia
Environment - International Agreements Party To: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Terrain Flat coastal plain rises to mountains in east; hilly lowland in west

Brunei Economy

How big is the Brunei economy?

Economic Overview Brunei is an energy-rich sultanate on the northern coast of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Brunei boasts a well-educated, largely English-speaking population; excellent infrastructure; and a stable government intent on attracting foreign investment. Crude oil and natural gas production account for approximately 65% of GDP and 95% of exports, with Japan as the primary export market.

Per capita GDP is among the highest in the world, and substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic hydrocarbon production. Bruneian citizens pay no personal income taxes, and the government provides free medical services and free education through the university level.

The Bruneian Government wants to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbon exports to other industries such as information and communications technology and halal manufacturing, permissible under Islamic law. Brunei’s trade increased in 2016 and 2017, following its regional economic integration in the ASEAN Economic Community, and the expected ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
Industries Petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction, agriculture, transportation
Currency Name and Code Bruneian dollars (BND)
Export Partners Japan 35.9%, South Korea 14.8%, Thailand 10.8%, India 9.8%, New Zealand 5.6%, Australia 5%
Import Partners Singapore 27.9%, China 25.3%, Malaysia 12.4%, United Kingdom 10.6%, South Korea 4.9%

Brunei News and Current Events

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

Brunei Travel Information

What makes Brunei a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Brunei Darussalam is a small Islamic Sultanate on the northwest coast of the Island of Borneo. It is divided into four districts: Brunei/Muara, Tutong, Belait, and Temburong. The capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, is its major city. Brunei’s official language is Malay, but English is widely understood and used in business. Tourist facilities and services are generally available throughout the country.


Most crimes that occur in Brunei are non-violent and crimes of opportunity, including residential burglaries and vehicle break-ins. While traveling or residing in Brunei, you can easily avoid being a victim of a crime of opportunity by simply practicing good security awareness. For example, securing valuables (remove from plain view), avoiding secluded locations, properly securing your residence and vehicle, and not traveling alone late at night.

Crime in Brunei peaks in July and December, due to the holidays and schools being out of session. Overall, many crimes carry severe penalties, and punishments such as jail, fines, caning, or deportation (for foreigners).

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Brunei, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than 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 are still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods, which are prevalent in Brunei. 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 Brunei, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

If you violate Brunei laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use of, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Brunei are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences, heavy fines, and, possibly, death. Brunei has a mandatory death penalty for many narcotics offenses. Under the current law, possession of heroin, ecstasy, and morphine derivatives of more than 15 grams, Cocaine of more than 30 grams, Cannabis of more than 500 grams, Syabu (Methamphetamine) of more than 50 grams, or Opium of more than 1.2 kg., carries the death penalty. Possession of lesser amounts can result in a minimum twenty-year jail term and caning. Importation of firearms is prohibited; the illegal possession of firearms or explosives and drug use/possession carry severe penalties, including the possibility of the death penalty. Any attempts to circumvent alcohol controls can result in arrest and criminal prosecution. Gambling in Brunei is illegal.

Prostitution is illegal and harsh penalties can result from engaging in the solicitation of prostitution. In addition, due to the conservative Muslim culture, any extramarital relations between a Muslim and non-Muslim, from simple acts such as holding hands or public displays of affection to sexual activity may be considered a crime in Brunei.

If you are arrested in Brunei, authorities of Brunei are required to alert the U.S. Embassy of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police to notify the closest U.S. Embassy of your arrest.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

There is adequate care for basic medical conditions in Brunei; however, for certain elective surgery or complicated care, the best medical care in the region is obtained in Singapore. Brunei has a number of public hospitals and clinics. The biggest ones are RIPAS Hospital in Bandar Seri Begawan and Tutong Hospital in the district of the same name. The largest private hospital is Jerudong Park Medical Center about 20 minutes by car outside of Bandar Seri Begawan, which is a facility comparable to those in the U.S. Brunei also hosts a number of private clinics, many of which are staffed by expatriates. More information can be found at the U.S. Embassy Website at Medication and prescriptions are readily available, but may not be the same brands as those found in the U.S. There are no major health concerns in Brunei.

Safety and Security

Noting several past anti-Western terrorist bombings in Indonesia, the Department of State continues to be concerned that terrorist groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) have the capability to carry out terrorist attacks throughout the region. U.S. citizens in Brunei should be vigilant with regard to their personal security, maintain a low profile, vary times and routes during their daily routines, and report any suspicious activity to the local police or to the U.S. Embassy.

Brunei adheres to conservative Islamic social values, and U.S. citizens are advised to learn and respect local customs and traditions. Typically non-Muslims are not expected to follow the same customs enforced on practicing Muslims. Persons violating Brunei’s laws, even unknowingly, may be deported, arrested, or imprisoned. Any public criticism of His Majesty the Sultan or other members of the Royal Family is strongly discouraged. Alcohol cannot be purchased legally in Brunei; however, two liters of spirits/wine and 12 cans of beer may be imported per border entry by non-Muslim adults for personal consumption in privacy. Importing more than the allowed amount of alcohol per border entry will result in arrest. The Royal Brunei Police Force is generally professional and courteous. Most officers speak English but some, especially from the reserve units, have limited to no English speaking capability. Travelers are strongly urged to carry a copy of their passport as police will almost always ask for identification for all parties involved in any type of incident. In the event of police detention, U.S. citizens should request to contact the U.S. Embassy. The Embassy's local guard force operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and all guards speak English. The 24-hour number of the Embassy is 673-238-4616 and the Duty Officer is 673-873-0691. The emergency number for the police is 993.

Natural disasters, earthquakes, and typhoons are not major concerns in Brunei. Brunei has not been affected by industrial accidents and kidnappings are not common.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in a foreign country, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.

Brunei has an extensive network of roads comparable to most western countries and they are well maintained. Traffic moves on the left side of the road. Holders of a foreign driver’s license are permitted to drive in Brunei Darussalam for 90 days only. For longer stays, a foreign driver’s license must be endorsed to a Brunei driver’s license, available at any Land Transport Department office. Drivers must obey traffic rules at all times and should take extra caution when approaching traffic signals. In urban areas, several deadly accidents have occurred in recent years when local drivers drove through red lights.

The Royal Brunei Police Force routinely sets up checkpoints and traffic stops, particularly at night. These checkpoints are normally set up for one of two reasons: 1) for routine license and registration checks and 2) for DWI/search for contraband (drugs and alcohol). In case you are stopped, be prepared to show your identification card and vehicle registration. In addition to registration, you should always have your insurance policy in the car. In case of an accident, you will need all three.

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