Bahrain

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About

Bahrain Camel

  • Bahrain is a Middle Eastern archipelago in the Persian Gulf
  • It is located near Saudi Arabia and Qatar
  • Bahrain is the smallest of the independent Persian Gulf states and has often had to walk a political tightrope in relation to its larger neighbours
  • Arabic is the official language, although English and Persian (Farsi) are widely spoken. Urdu, Hindi and Malayalam are also understood and spoken by Indians and Pakistanis on the island
  • The country has few oil reserves, but it has established itself as a hub for refining as well as international banking
  • Despite being much closer to Qatar, the Hawar Islands are part of Bahrain after a long, drawn out sovereignty dispute between the two nations
  • Bahrain was captured by the Al Khalifa family in the year 1782
  • It was King Hamad bin Isa Alkhalifa who introduced many economic and political reforms, after he came to power


FACTS

    Bahrain World Trade Center at Night

    • Bahrain was the first Arab country to grant unemployment benefits in 2007
    • The whole economy of Bahrain is based on oil and oil reserves
    • In 2002, a new constitution provided for an elected parliament and gave women the right to vote and to stand as candidates
    • The total amount of arable land in Bahrain constitutes to just about 2.82% of the total available area. Desert constitutes about 92% of the total land.
    • Since Bahrain’s independence, there have been continuous conflicts between the ruling Sunni tribe and the Shiite majority.
    • Bahrain has been proposed as a site for the Biblical Garden of Eden.
    • Bahrain is one of the fastest growing economies in the whole of Arab world.
    • The term ‘Bahrain’ is an Arabic word which means two sources of water, sweet water springs and salty water in the seas that surrounds the island country.
    • The relationship within a family runs very high in Bahrain. Bahraini people love dance and music and hence their culture is rich in various kinds of art forms.

Avg. Costs

Arad Fort, Manama

  • Average Lunch – 8 US
  • Big Mac – 3 US
  • Gas – 13/week 53/month
  • Movie Ticket – 3 BHD
  • Bahrain National Museum – 500 fils, Children are free
  • Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve, Zallaq Entrance Fee : BHD 1 : Child 500fils
  • Arad Fort – 200 BHD
  • Bahrain Fort – Free

 

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Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Mosque

  • The crime rate in Bahrain is low and violent crime is rare. However, burglary, petty theft, and robberies do occur.
  • Avoid areas where crowds of people appear to be assembling.
  • Be a little more cautious with locking your hotel room at night. Though the hotels have proper security systems including cameras installed, there are instances of tourists having their rooms burglarized.
  • Drink plenty of water. April through August can be very hot and humid. Use an umbrella to protect yourself from the harsh sun. It is important to stay hydrated, especially if you are outdoors during the day. Bottled water is sold practically everywhere in the city from “Cold Stores” and small restaurants at very reasonable prices. In the souk, walking vendors offer small chilled bottles but you may end up paying more than the bottle is really worth. If you are living in Bahrain for an extended period of time, you can set up an arrangement for a neighborhood Cold Store to deliver bottled water to your flat, or sign up for water delivery through several companies on the island.

 

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Climate

Rocky Desert

  • The best time to visit Bahrain is November-March
  • Be sure to take along a sweater during December-March as evenings can be cool
  • Bahrain’s summer, May-September, is very hot and humid, though occasional cool northerly winds blow to provide some relief. More frequent are the hot, dry summer winds that can bring sandstorms.

Places to See

Tree Of Life

The Qala’at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort)

  • Located off the northern shore and a 5 to 10 minute drive away from Manama city.
  • It is restored and in good condition although it lacks furniture, signage, or exhibits.
  • Admission is free.
  • Next to the fort is a museum, completed in February 2008, which contains many artifacts ranging from the ancient Dilmun periods through the Islamic era
  • The museum is a large rectangular and white building with absolutely no signs to indicate that it is a museum. The hours are 8am-2pm daily; admission is free.

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Tree of Life

  • This tree is special because of its location in the middle of the desert amidst the oil wells and other infrastructure of the petroleum industry.
  • You need a car to reach the tree, as it is far from the main roads and not on any public transportation route.
  • The tree is covered in graffiti, although this is not visible until you get up close.
  • Try to make your arrival near sunset for a picturesque view of the tree and the surrounding desert.

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The Bahrain World Trade Center

  • It is a 240 m (787 ft) high twin tower complex located in Manama, Bahrain.
  • The towers were built in 2008 by the multi-national architectural firm Atkins.
  • It is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines into its design.

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Bab Al Bahrain

  • Means Gateway of Bahrain.
  • It is located in the Customs Square in Manama’s former central business district and marks the main entrance to the Manama souq.
  • Designed by Sir Charles Belgrave, adviser to the Emir and completed in 1945, Bab Al Bahrain once stood close to the water’s edge.
  • Due to extensive land reclamation in the later years, one needs to walk more than 10 minutes to get to the sea.

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The Bahrain National Museum

  • The largest and one of the oldest museums in Bahrain.
  • It is constructed near the King Faisal Highway in Manama.
  • The museum possesses a rich collection of Bahrain’s ancient archaeological artifacts acquired since 1988, and covers 6000 years of Bahrain’s history.

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Etiquette

Country Customary Information: Bahraini women are more publicly active than in most other Arabian countries. Many of the women are not completely veiled. The international calling code for Bahrain is +973, and Bahrain is +3 hours GMT.

Communication Etiquette: Bahrainis are very friendly people. When greeting men shake hands and kiss each other on the cheek. Smiling and direct eye contact is crucial. The official language of Bahrain is Arabic, but English is also spoken widely. Bahrainis are indirect communicators, who say many things that they believe you want to hear. They are also very non-confrontational.

Business Etiquette: Appointments are necessary, and morning meetings are preferred. They often spend a lot of time, getting to know you, in order to build a good relationship. Throughout this it is essential to be patient because impatience is considered bad manners. There is a fairly small Bahrain business community; your behavior could quickly become public knowledge. Bahrainis prefer to do business with the people they know and trust, a letter of introduction by someone they know will allow them to trust you. Business cards are given to everyone you meet, but have one side translated into Arabic. Present your card so that the Arabic is facing the recipient. In negotiation avoid using high-pressure sales tactics. Decisions are often reached slowly. Rushing the negotiation may show signs of offense and may risk the business relationship.

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