Currency: Bahraini dinar
National Anthem : Our Bahrain
Colleges and Universities: University of Bahrain
Country Name :
- Conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain
- Conventional short form: Bahrain
- Local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn
- Local short form: Al Bahrayn
- Former: Dilmun
- Bahrain was known as Dilmun in the past.
- It was an important trade center in the 3rd century BC.
- The Bahrain islands came under the Persian rule until the 4th century AD.
- The Arabs ruled the region till the Portuguese invasion in 1541.
- The Persians once again took over Bahrain in 1602.
- Ahmad ibn al-Khalifah became the ruler in 1783 and his descendants enjoy royal status even today.
- Bahrain became a British protectorate in 1820.
- It became a completely independent nation only on Aug. 14, 1971.
- Oil was discovered in Bahrain in the 1930s.
- Sheik Isa ibn Sulman al-Khalifah, who became emir in 1961, worked towards establishing Bahrain as a major financial center.
- Conflicts and riots between the Shia and Sunni Muslim communities are common.
- Bahrain served as a Western air base during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 and the Iraq war in 2003.
- It continues to serve as the base of the United States' Fifth Fleet.
- Sheik Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifah, the present emir, is working towards democratization of the country.
- Bahrain had its first parliamentary election in Oct. 2002.
- The U.S. and Bahrain signed a free-trade agreement in 2006.
- Majority of the population in Bahrain is Islamic.
- Shias and Sunnis exist in almost equal proportions.
- Bahrain is also home to a large number of migrants form India, Sri Lanka and Phillipines.
- The society is mostly cosmopolitan with a blend of diverse cultures.
- 2/3 of Bahrain's population consists of Arabs.
- The native communities include the Sunni Arab bedouin tribes, Baharna , Howala, Ajam , Najdis , Banyan , Afro-Arabs and Bahraini Jews .
Government and Politics:
- Bahrain is run by a constitutional monarchy.
- Administrative divisions consist of 5 governorates namely: Asamah, Janubiyah, Muharraq, Shamaliyah and Wasat.
- Each governorate is administered by an appointed governor.
- National Day is observed as a national holiday on 16 December (1971).
- The Constitution formally adopted on 14 February 2002.
- The legal system is based on Islamic law and English common law.
- Bahrain has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction.
- King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa is the chief of state since 6 March 1999.
- The Prime Minister is the head of government.
- The Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers are appointed by the monarch.
- The legislative branch is represented by a bicameral legislature consisting of the Consultative Council and the Council of Representatives or Chamber of Deputies.
- The Consultative Council comprises of 40 seats and members are appointed by the king.
- The Council of Representatives comprises of 40 seats and members are directly elected to serve four year terms.
- The judicial branch is represented by the High Civil Appeals Court.
- Bahrain is often referred to as the "Middle East lite"
- Bahrain has succeeded in maintaining its Gulf heritage alongside modern development.
- The society is extremely liberal and tolerant to all religions.
- Social taboos are now being addressed and openly discussed to raise awareness among the people.
- Bahrain is also one of the most prolific book publishers in the world.
- Arabic is the official language of Bahrain but English is also widely spoken.
- Other languages in use are Persian, Hindi, Bengali , Urdu and Tagalog .
- Bahrain owes its strong economy to the modernized infrastructure and multi-national firms.
- Oil and aluminum exports also contribute largely to the economical development.
- Bahrain is also making progress in the international banking and privatization sector.
- Unemployment and the depletion of oil and underground water resources are long-term economic problems.
- The GDP (purchasing power parity) as calculated in 2007 is $24.5 billion.
- 15% of the population is unemployed.
- Agricultural products include fruit, vegetables; poultry, dairy products; shrimp and fish.
- The main industries are petroleum processing and refining, aluminum smelting, iron pellets, fertilizers, Islamic and offshore banking, insurance, ship repairing and tourism.
- Export commodities include petroleum and petroleum products, aluminum and textiles.
- Import commodities include crude oil, machinery and chemicals.
- The telecommunication system in Bahrain is highly modernized and well established.
- Mobile cellular services are rapidly growing in popularity.
- Bahrain has five radio broadcast stations and four television broadcast stations.
- Internet facilities are widespread and readily available.
- Bahrain has airports – all with paved runways.
- Roadways span over a distance of 3,498 km.
- The merchant marines are equipped with 7 ships.
- Major ports and terminals are located at Mina' Salman and Sitrah.
- In the past, Quranic schools were the only form of education in the country.
- A modern system of education was introduced only after World War I.
- Al-Hidaya Al-Khalifia School for boys was the first modern public school in Bahrain which opened in 1919.
- The first public school for girls was opened in 1928.
- In 2004, information communication technology (ICT) was introduced to support K–12 education in Bahrain.
- This project is named “King Hamad Schools of Future” and aims to connect and link all schools within the kingdom with the internet.
- The Bahrain School (BS) is a United States Department of Defense school that provides a K-12 curriculum.
- St Christopher's School Bahrain became the first school in Bahrain to offer a choice of IB or A-Levels for students.
- DePaul University, Bentley College, and NYIT are amongst the best internationally known institutions.
- School education is funded by the government but is not compulsory.
- The quality of higher education in Bahrain is at par with international standards.
Bahrain is connected by:
- Saudi Arabia (west)
- Qatar (south)
Geographical Settings :
- Bahrain is located in the Middle East and is part of an archipelago in the Persian Gulf.
- Its geographical co-ordinates are 26 00 N, 50 33 E.
- The country covers a total area of 665 sq km.
- The coastline is 161 km long.
- The climate is mostly arid with mild, pleasant winters and hot, humid summers.
- The terrain comprises of a low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment.
- The highest point is Jabal ad Dukhan standing at 122 m.
- Natural resources include oil, associated and non associated natural gas, fish and pearls.
- 2.82% of the land is arable.
- Periodic droughts and dust storms are common natural hazards.
- Soil and coastal degradation are the main environmental concerns.
- Bahrain gained full independence from the British on Aug. 14, 1971.
Notable People in the Country :
- King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa — King of Bahrain
- Hassan Al-Arrayed -Founder of Ibn Al-Nafees Hospital
- Atma Jashanmal — Founder, The Jashanmal Group
- Hussain Al Najadi — Founder and Chairman, Arab Malaysian Bank
- Ebrahim Eshaq- Business Tycoon
- Abdulhakeem Al Khayyat —Chairman of Durrat al Bahrain and Mena Telecom.
- Mohamed Ghuloom (Dj Outlaw) — Founder of the first Hip-hop organization in Bahrain
- Dhafer kamal- surgeon
- Ali Bahar - singer
- Ali Al Shargawi - poet
- Ebrahim Al-Arrayedh- poet
- Ali Al Jallawi- poet
- Tarafa- poet
- Bahrain is a popular tourist destination due to the kingdom’s heritage and the Bahrain Formula One Race Track.
- Bahrain combines Arab and gulf culture along with the archaeological legacy of five thousand years of civilization.
- Qalat Al Bahrain has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site
- The Bahrain National Museum has artifacts that are over 9000 years old.
- Manama’s nightlife and culture make it a favorite destination among international celebrities like Michael Jackson and Shakira.
- According to a 2008 census, the total population was estimated to be 718,306.
- The annual population growth rate is 1.337% (2008 est.)
- Birth rate: 17.26 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
- Death rate: 4.29 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Bahrain Related Topics:
Bahrain Tourist Attractions:
- Arad Fort
- Qal'at al-Bahrain
- Barbar Temple
- Bab Al Bahrain
- King Fahd Causeway
- Amwaj Islands
- Al Fateh Grand Mosque
- Khamis Mosque
- Museum of Pearl Diving
- Bahrain National Museum
- Riffa Fort
- Beit Al Quran
- Adhari Park