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Bahrain Bay development built on reclaimed land
Bahrain's area is growing. The Bahrain Bay development is built on reclaimed land. The Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain takes center stage, the United Tower (Twisting Tower) to the right.
Image: Urban Planning & Development Authority

Location map of Bahrain. Where in the Middle East is Bahrain?
Location map of Bahrain
Bahrain Flag
Flag of Bahrain

Bahrain in brief

Destination Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, an island country in the Persian Gulf.

The island state is situated east of Saudi Arabia and north of Qatar. The archipelago consists of the main island Al Bahrayn and some smaller islands and islets. The King Fahd Causeway, a series of bridges and causeways, connects Bahrain with the Arabian Peninsula. The kingdom shares maritime borders with Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

The small island nation covers an area of 780 km², making it slightly larger than Singapore (699 km²), or 3.5 times the size of Washington, DC.

Bahrain has a population of 1,58 million people (in 2021), including more than 800,000 non-nationals (53%). Most of the population lives in the northern part of the main island. The capital and largest city is Manama.

The main language is Arabic. Bahrain is a country with a predominantly Muslim population, with about 70% Shia and 30% Sunni Muslims.

What is Bahrain known for?

Skyline of Manama with Bahrain World Trade Center
Skyline of Manama with Bahrain World Trade Center (right).
Image: Zairon
Bahrain is known for being an island with a subtropical climate, a desert vegetation, lots of sand, date palms, and camels.
The House of Khalifa, the ruling family of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Tourist highlights are the over 400 years old Tree of Life (Prosopis cineraria), and the Mountain of Smoke (Jabal al Dukhan), the country's highest point at 134 m (440 ft). Manama and its skyline. The twin towers of the Bahrain World Trade Center and the Royal Camel Farm.

Bahrain has an ethnically diverse population, a Dilmun heritage, a pearl-diving and trading tradition, and it has one of the largest cemeteries of the ancient world (Dilmun Burial Mounds).

The country is in the petroleum and aluminum business and practices Islamic banking.

Local leisure activities include falconry and gazelle and hare hunting, horse and camel racing, and Formula One motor racing championship.

The country boasts to have the largest underwater theme park in the world (Dive Bahrain), and has one of the world's largest single-site aluminum smelter (Alba).

Bahrain is also known for the Bahraini uprising of 2011 and a controversial human rights record.

Kingdom of Bahrain | Al Bahrayn | البحرين

Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center.
The new amir, installed in 1999, has pushed economic and political reforms and has worked to improve relations with the Shi'a community. In February 2001, Bahraini voters approved a referendum on the National Action Charter - the centerpiece of the amir's political liberalization program. In February 2002, Amir HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa proclaimed himself king. In October 2002, Bahrainis elected members of the lower house of Bahrain's reconstituted bicameral legislature, the National Assembly.

The United States established diplomatic relations with Bahrain in 1971 following its independence from the United Kingdom. The U.S. Embassy in Manama was opened on 21 September 1971, and a resident ambassador was sent in 1974. The U.S. designated Bahrain a major Non-NATO Ally in 2002. The U.S. maintains two US Military Bases in Bahrain.

In 2001, the International Court of Justice awarded the Hawar Islands, long disputed with Qatar, to Bahrain.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook and United States Department of State)

other Gulf States: Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

Bahrain is a member of the League of Arab States.


Country Profile

Official Name:
Mamlakat al Bahrayn
short form: Al Bahrayn
int'l long form: Kingdom of Bahrain
int'l short form: Bahrain

ISO Country Code: bh, BHR

Local Time = UTC +3h
Actual Time: Tue-Nov-28  09:11

Country Calling Code: +973

Capital City: Manama (pop. 148 000)

Other Cities: Al Muharraq more

Official Sites of Bahrain

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

The future Sakhir Conference Center
The future Sakhir Conference Center, to be built on the Al Sakhir Palace premises, will primarily house Gulf Cooperation Council meetings.
Image: Gulf House Engineering

Political System of Bahrain

The country is a constitutional hereditary monarchy, ruled by the House of Khalifa since the 18th century. The Sunni Khalifa family rules over a Shia majority population.
The chief of state is the king, and the head of government is the prime minister. Since 1973 Bahrain has an elected legislative assembly; it consists of the Council of Representatives (the lower house) and the royally-appointed members of the Consultative Council (the upper house).
Bahrain is a member of the League of Arab States (Arab League) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Government of Bahrain

Bahrain E-Government page.

Bahrain National Council
The Shura Council building Bahrain
Members entrance of the Shura Council, the upper house of Bahrain's National Assembly.
Image: Shura Council

Bahrain's National Council (assembly) is composed of the Council of Representatives and the Shura Council.

Council of Representatives
The Council of Representatives is the lower house of the Bahrain's National Assembly.

Shura Council
The Shura Council, also known as the Consultative Council, is the upper house of the country's National Assembly.

Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for coordinating and implementing all matters related to the nation's foreign policy.
The ministry's web page also provides a list of Bahrain Embassies abroad, and foreign Diplomatic Missions accredited to Bahrain.

Diplomatic Missions
Bahrain Permanent Mission to the United Nations
Bahrain's Permanent Mission to the UN.
Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the US
Washington D.C. - USA

Bahrain Open Data Portal
Bahrain in figures.

HRH the Crown Prince receives senior officials and members of the Council of Representatives and Shura Council.
HRH the Crown Prince receives senior officials and members of the Council of Representatives and the Shura Council.
Image: Court of the Crown Prince


Maps of Bahrain

Bahrain archipelago map
Map of Bahrain (click map to enlarge)
Image: ©


Map of Bahrain
Political Map of Bahrain.

Google Earth Google Earth Map Bahrain
Searchable map and satellite view of Bahrain.

Google Earth Google Earth Map Manama
Searchable map and satellite view of Bahrain's capital city.

Map of the Arabian Peninsula 
Political Map of the Arabian Peninsula.
Map of the Persian Gulf
Political Map of the Persian Gulf.
Map of Northern Africa and the Middle East
Political Map of North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East.
profile Map of Countries of Western Asia
Political map of countries of Western Asia and the Middle East.
profile Map of Western Asia
Map of Western Asia and the Middle East region.
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.


News of Bahrain

Bahrain Newspapers

Online News from Bahrain

According to RSF, Bahrain is notorious for jailing many journalists, especially photographers and cameramen. Fear that the regime could be overthrown led to an increase in the persecution and censorship of dissidents from 2011 onwards.

Bahrain News Agency
The Bahrain News Agency is a state-run enterprise.

Akhbar Al Khaleej
A Bahraini daily.

Bahrain News (in Arabic)

Al Bilad
Arabic daily newspaper published in Bahrain.

Arabic-language daily broadsheet published in Manama.

Pro-government daily newspaper, published in Manama.

Bahrain Mirror
Independent Bahraini online newspaper (in Arabic and English)

Bahrain Tribune
English-language daily newspaper in Bahrain.

Gulf Digital News
"The Voice of Bahrain" is an English-language local newspaper.

International News sources

Al Jazeera
Bahrain related news.

The Guardian (UK)
Bahrain related news.


Arts & Culture of Bahrain

Riffa Fort (Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Fort), Bahrain
Riffa Fort (Shaikh Salman bin Ahmed Fort) in the Hunanaiya valley in the center of the island was built in 1812.
Image: Alawadhi3000

Arts & Culture

Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities
The authority oversees the culture and tourism sectors in Bahrain.

Bahrain Arts Society
The non-profit cultural organization shows some artworks made by Bahrain artists.

Bahrain International Circuit
Location of the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Bahrain Horse Racing
The Bahrain Horse Racing Affairs Directorate.

Bahrain National Museum
The island's main cultural landmark shows exhibits of Bahrain's 6000 years of history.

Bahrain Historical & Archaeological Society - E Library

Official website of the Bahrain History and Antiquities Association.

Horse racing Bahrain
Horses have always been part of the Bahraini culture, and horse racing is a popular leisure activity in the kingdom. All races are broadcast live on Bahrain TV..
Image: albasmelter




Business & Economy of Bahrain

Alba, one of the largest aluminium smelters in the world, is located in Bahrain
Alba is one of the largest aluminum smelters in the world; it spread across an area that's roughly 3.5 km².
Image: albasmelter

Economy of Bahrain
Bahrain has a mixed economy, with government control of many basic industries. Petroleum and natural gas are the only significant natural resources. Bahrain was one of the first states in the Gulf to discover oil and to build a refinery.
Since the end of the 20th century, Bahrain has invested heavily in the banking and (medical) tourism sectors, but the country remains heavily dependent on oil and gas. Oil still comprises 85% of Bahraini budget revenues.
The top exports of Bahrain are refined and crude petroleum, raw aluminum, and iron ore.

Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Official website of the chamber.

Major Companies in Bahrain

Banking and Financial Services
Eight of the top 10 companies in Bahrain are in Banking and Financial Services.

Central Bank of Bahrain
The CBB, formerly known as the Bahrain Monetary Agency, is responsible for maintaining monetary and financial stability in the kingdom.

Bahrain Stock Exchange
The Bahrain Bourse is the stock exchange of Bahrain.

Ahli United Bank
Ahli United Bank is the largest bank in Bahrain.
Al Salam Bank Bahrain
Al Salam Bank is an Islamic bank headquartered in Manama.
Arab Banking Corporation
Bank ABC provides commercial and investment banking services.
Arcapita Bank, based in Manama, offers investment banking and asset management.
The Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait provides financial and investment services.
GFH Financial Group
GFH, previously known as Gulf Finance House, is a Bahrain based Islamic investment bank.
Investcorp is an international provider of alternative investment products.
National Bank of Bahrain
NBB was the first local bank in Bahrain.
United Gulf Holding Company B.S.C.
UGH offers investment and commercial banking products and services.

Bahrain Telecommunications Company
Batelco is the primary telecommunications company in Bahrain.

Aluminium Bahrain B.S.C. (Alba)
ALBA is one of the world's largest aluminum smelter.
Bahrain Petroleum Company
BAPCO is the national oil company of Bahrain.

Gulf Air
The national airline of the kingdom.

Bahrain International Airport
The country's international airport is located on the island of Muharraq, which borders the capital Manama.

Bahrain Public Transport Company
Bahrain bus network.




Tourism in Bahrain

Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama, Bahrain
Al-Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama, an Islamic center and the largest mosque in Bahrain.
Image: Zairon

Destination Bahrain - Travel and Tour Guides


Discover Bahrain:
Arabic Coffee & Hospitality, the Souks, Siyadi House, Al-Khamis Mosque, Bahrain Fort, Barbar Temple, Bahrain Heritage Center, Bait Al Qur'an, Arad Fort, Shaikh Isa's House, Tree of Life, Riffa Fort, Oil Museum.

Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority
All things Bahrain tourism.

Dive Bahrain
Explore a submerged 747 aircraft used as an artificial reef.

Wikivoyage Logo Wikivoyage Bahrain
Travel guide page from Wikivoyage about Bahrain.




UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tumuli of the Madinat Hamad Necropolis, Bahrain
Tumuli of the Madinat Hamad Necropolis.
Image: Think Heritage Author: Melanie Münzner

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bahrain
There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bahrain, and six sites are on the Tentative List (see the List)

World Heritage Site Dilmun Burial Mounds
The tombs of the Dilmun culture are a group of burial mounds built on the island of Bahrain during the Bronze Age.

World Heritage Site Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy
Three oyster beds in Bahrain's northern waters are now known as the Bahrain Pearling Trail or Bahrain Pearling Pathway, a serial cultural heritage site. The site is the last remaining complete example of the cultural tradition of pearling.

World Heritage Site Qal’at al-Bahrain – Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun
Qal’at al-Bahrain is an artificial mound created by many successive layers of human occupation since 2300 BC. Dilmun was one of the oldest civilizations in the Middle East; its urban center was an important trading port in the Gulf region for centuries.


Education in Bahrain

Entrance to the American University of Bahrain
American University of Bahrain.
Image: AUBH

American University of Bahrain
The first American-style co-educational university in the kingdom. AUBH is situated in Riffa.

Arabian Gulf University
The University for the Arabian Gulf region in Manama. Entry into the university is restricted to GCC nationals.

Bahrain Polytechnic
Bahrain Polytechnic is a government-owned tertiary education institute located in Isa Town.

Gulf University
Official website of the Gulf University, a private university located in Sanad, Bahrain.

University of Bahrain
The University of Bahrain is the largest public university in the country; it operates campuses in Isa Town, Manama, and Sakhir.



Environment & Nature

Manama skyline as viewed from Juffair
Skyline of Manama, the country's capital, as seen from Juffair, a suburban neighborhood of the city.
Image: Wadiia

Environmental Management
Industrialization combined with the population increase has brought major pressures on the land area of Bahrain. There has been a considerable reclamation of land from the sea which caused blocking of natural drainage channels killing date palm trees, effecting mangrove swamps and stopping the flow of natural springs. The rapid industrialization has brought stress on the environment and other natural resources. While the primary aim of the new economic policy is to accelerate industrial development, improve operational efficiency and competitiveness, enhance exports, and induce greater foreign investments, inevitably will have both positive and negative environmental consequences. [1]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs about Bahrain's environment.

Supreme Council for Environment
The Supreme Council for Environment (SCE) in Bahrain is a government agency in charge of the development of Bahrain's future strategy for the environment and sustainable development.

Alreem Environmental Site
Bahrain's first national environmental consultancy office provides different services in the field of environment.



Bahrain History

Panoramic view of the Bahrain Fort.
Panoramic view of Qalʿat al-Bahrain, also known as the Bahrain Fort. The lowest layers of the complex date from around 2200 BC and belong to an urban complex of the Dilmun culture. The archaeological excavation site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005.
Image: Jacobs

History of Bahrain (1783–1971) - Wikipedia
The History of Bahrain (1783–1971) covers the history of Bahrain since the invasion of Al Khalifa until the independence from the British Empire. Bahrain was a dependency of the Persian Empire, when in 1783, the Bani Utbah tribe, led by Al Khalifa, invaded it from their base in Al Zubarah (Qatar).

Wikipedia W History of Bahrain
Wikipedia entry for the history of Bahrain.

Encyclopædia Britannica Bahrain
Encyclopædia Britannica article about Bahrain, including history.

Bahrain Historical and Archaeological Society
Official website of the Bahrain Historical and Archaeological Society.


Additional Information


Amnesty International: Bahrain
Amnesty International is a non-governmental organization focused on human rights.

BBC News Country Profile: Bahrain
Country profiles by the British public service broadcaster.

BTI Transformation Index
Bahrain Country Report by Bertelsmann Stiftung.

FreedomHouse Bahrain
The U.S. government-funded non-profit organization whose goal is to promote liberal democracies worldwide.

GlobalEDGE: Bahrain
Bahrain ranking by the Global business knowledge portal.

The Heritage Foundation: Bahrain
The Heritage Foundation index of Economic Freedom.

Human Rights Watch: Bahrain
HRW conducts research and advocacy on human rights.

OEC: Bahrain
The Observatory of Economic Complexity provides the latest international trade data.

Reporters Without Borders: Bahrain
RSF (Reporters sans frontières) is an international NGO that defends and promotes media freedom.

UNDP - Human Development Indicators: Bahrain
United Nations Development Programme page for Bahrain.

Wikipedia: Bahrain
Wikipedia Bahrain page in many languages.

Worldbank Data: Bahrain
World Development Indicators database.

The World Factbook -- Bahrain
CIA World Factbook Bahrain Page.




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