Travel Notes: Middle East - Bahrain Travel Notes - Updated 24 May, 2023.
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An archipelago with a total area of about 780 square kilometres, Bahrain is a small island country in the Gulf with one of the largest mosques in the world - Al-Fateh Grand Mosque.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is made up of 33 small islands in the Arabian Gulf, between Saudi Arabia and Qatar; the largest of which, is Bahrain itself.
Portuguese explorers who captured the island, in 1521, were eventually overwhelmed by the Persians in 1602.
Bahrain Maps and Travel Guides
Bahrain Travel Guides - Bahrain Maps.
Weather in the Middle East:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around the Middle East.
Bahrain is a small island country located in the Persian Gulf.
It is an archipelago comprising of 33 islands, with the largest being Bahrain Island.
Bahrain has a rich history dating back to ancient times and has been inhabited by various civilizations, including the Dilmun, Babylonians, and Persians.
To escape tribal wars in Central Arabia, the al-Khalifa family moved to the Gulf Coast in the 17th century and found a more prosperous life on the coast of Qatar.
The al-Khalifa family gained control of Bahrain in 1783, until British influence in the region forced them to accept a series of treaties.
From 1861, Great Britain started to control Bahrain's external affairs.
Bahrain joined the Trucial States but, when the British withdrew, they elected to remain outside the United Arab Emirates.
Bahrain became an independent constitutional monarchy on 6th December, 1973. Since dissolving the constitutional national assembly in August 1975, the royal family have taken over as unchallenged absolute rulers.
Bashrain is known for its modern infrastructure and thriving economy, which is largely based on oil and natural gas production, as well as financial services and tourism.
Other principal islands in Bahrain are: Al Muharraq, Umm an Na'san, Sitrah, Jiddah, and the Hawar group.
Primarily a Muslim nation, Bahrain is considered to be one of the more liberal Arab lands.
Although Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken, and the country is known for its tolerance towards different religions and cultures.
Bahrain's cuisine is a blend of Arabic, Persian, and Indian influences, with popular dishes including machboos, kebab, and shawarma.
Women are permitted greater leeway with dress, entertainment, and social access than in some nearby nations.
In 1999, Sheikh Isa took over as head of state after the death of his father, Sheikh Salman, becoming the ninth in a line of Bahrain's rulers from the al-Khalifa family.
Bahrain became a Kingdom on 14th February, 2002.
In the 1980's, the Iranians tried to encourage revolution in the island and renew their claims to the emirate; but their attempts were thwarted.
Shiite supporters of a cleric have tried to call for a return to the national assembly but their demonstrations in Manama were quickly put down, in December 1994 and early 1995.
Bahrain is a vibrant and modern country with a rich history and culture, making it a popular destination for tourists and expatriates
Bahrain is also known for its cultural landmarks, including the Qal'at al-Bahrain, an UNESCO World Heritage site and the Bahrain National Museum.
The country is also home to various cultural events and festivals, such as the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Spring of Culture festival, and the Bahrain International Music Festival.
Bahrain is a beautiful island nation in the Middle East, known for its rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture.
If you are interested in a visit to Bahrain, here are some things to consider.
Bahrain has a hot desert climate, with temperatures reaching up to 40°C in the summer months.
The best time to visit is between November and March when the weather is cooler.
Bahrain is a Muslim country, so it's important to be respectful of local customs and traditions.
Dress modestly, especially when visiting mosques and other religious sites.
Avoid drinking alcohol in public, and be mindful of the local laws and regulations.
Bahrain has a rich culinary culture, with a mix of Arabic, Indian, and Persian influences.
Some must-try dishes include machboos (spiced rice with meat or fish), kebabs, and shawarma.
Bahrain has a lot of interesting places to visit, including the Bahrain National Museum, Al Fateh Grand Mosque, Bahrain Fort, and the Tree of Life.
You can also visit the many souks (markets) around the island, such as the Bab Al Bahrain Souk and the Manama Souk.
Bahrain has a good public transportation system, including buses and taxis.
You can also rent a car if you prefer.
If you're staying in a hotel, they may offer a shuttle service to and from the airport.
Depending on your country of origin, you may need to apply for a visa before visiting Bahrain.
No visa is required for citizens of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait, provided they bring all other travel documents.
Any European national visiting Bahrain may receive an 'on-arrival visa' which permits them to stay for a maximum period of one week.
Check the requirements and apply for a visa on the Bahrain government's eVisa website.
Bahrain Embassy to the United States:
3502 International Drive N.W., Washington, DC.
Bahrain Embassy (UK):
30 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8QB.
Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority:
Bahrain's first purpose-built, 8,000 square metre, pillar-free exhibition facility was inaugurated on 2nd November, 1991 - with a trade fair called, Rebuild Kuwait.
Bahrain Visas Online:
This is the only official website to apply for an eVisa to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
British Embassy in Bahrain:
21 Government Avenue, Manama.
L'Ambassade du Royaume de
Bahrein a Paris:
3 bis, Place des Etats-Unis, 75116 Paris.
Tourist brochures are available from the various Bahrain provincial tourism offices.
The main office is located on Adliya Avenue.
Bahrain Tourist Attractions
Bahrain is ruled by the Al-Khalifa family, and some of their palaces are worth a visit: Bahrain's Guest Palace being one of the more famous.
Behind the modernism of Manama is the old town with its decorative houses, rambling Arab souks, old mosques and the occasional date palm grove.
The Bahrain National Museum is situated on the intersection of the Muharraq Causeway and King Faisal Highway.
The Bahrain International Circuit is located in Sakhir, behind the University of Bahrain.
Airlines and Airports - Flights.
Bahrain International Airport:
Bahrain International Airport is at the centre of commercial aviation in the Gulf region.
The national airline of Bahrain offers integrated flight services throughout the Middle East, Asia, Europe and USA.
The 25 kilometre King Fahad causeway, between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, was opened in November 1986; and with it came an increase in local tourism.
Capital City of Bahrain
Declared a free port in 1958, Manama became the capital of independent Bahrain.
Popular attractions in Manama are the Al-Fateh Mosque; Bahrain National Museum; Corniche al-Fateh; Museum of Pearl Diving; Pearl Monument; and the Tree of Life - 30km south of Manama.
No visit to Bahrain would be complete without a trip to the souk, with its profusion of colours, sounds, and aromas.
Bahrain Travel Tips
Travel safely with prior travel planning.
Prepare yourself with our essential travel tips and visitor guides from locals, other travellers, travel guide writers and bloggers.
Gulf Daily News:
Bahrain's finest English-language daily newspaper.
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