Language: Arabic is the official language of Bahrain. Other
languages spoken are English, Farsi and Urdu.
Currency: Bahrain currency is called Dinar (BHD). Money
can be changed easily at any commercial bank or
at one of the money changers found in the Soukh.
There are no restrictions on the import and export
of currency. The Bahraini Dinar is linked with
the US dollar at US$ 1= BD 0.375 and is divided
into 1000 fils.
is practised by 85 percent of the population.
However, Bahrain being an extremely tolerant society
allows freedom of worship to a number of other
faiths including Hinduism, Parseeism, Judaism,
Budhism, and Christianity. There are a variety
of places of worship available on the island,
including both Anglican and Catholic churches.
Time: GMT + 3.
Electricity: The electricity supply in Bahrain is 230 volts,
50 Hz except in Awali where it is 110 volts, 60
Hz. Bahrain uses 3-pin power outlets.
is an archipelago of 33 islands, with a total
land area in excess of 700sq. kms. Its name is
derived from two Arabic words "thnain Bahr"
meaning "two seas" and refers to the
phenomenon of sweet water springs under the sea
which mingle with the salty water. This phenomenon
is believed to be responsible for the unusual
luster of Bahrain's natural pearls, the country's
major economy before the advent of oil. In addition,
the land was once blessed with a remarkable number
of natural springs, which irrigated the fertile
north and western belts for centuries. The central
area is low lying and barren limestone rock covered
with saline sand, which supports only hardiest
desert vegetation. The highest point of Bahrain
is the Jabel Dukhan, 134 meters above the sea
level. The majority of Bahrain's oil wells are
in this area. The country offers a fascinating
blend of eastern and western cultures as high
rise buildings vie for space with more traditional
dwellings and ancient traditions and historical
sites mix with modern developments and cosmopolitan
living. Bahrain's population of around 600,000
consists of a significant percentage of expatriates
from all over the world. Locals and expatriates
live together and interact in a rare bond of fraternity
and brotherhood. Such charms, along with an excellent
network of hotels, apartments and restaurants,
attract an increasing number of regional and international
climate is hot in summer and mild in winter. From
November to April is very pleasant, with temperatures
from 15 to 24 degrees centigrade. Temperatures
are coolest between December and March when northerly
winds prevail. From July to September temperatures
average 36 degrees centigrade with high humidity.
The annual average rainfall is approximately 77
Geology: There is a variety of animal life living on the
island in the lush vegetation of the date palm
groves and the stark desert landscape. Bahrain
is a flat, sandy archipelago consists of 33 islands
in the Arab Gulf between the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia and Qatar. Bahrain has the same environmental
problems that are characteristic of all the Gulf
countries. The need to industrialize the country
led to the occupation of what few fertile lands
in the northern part of the main island.
Government Structure: H.H. The Amir, Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al
Khalifa, came to power on the 6th of march 1999,
following the path of the late Amir. His Highness
the Amir Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa has continued
in steering the country towards prosperity, glory
and success. Evidence of the achievement are found
in every sector of the economy and is a source
of pride and inspiration.
The country is widely respected
by the international community for its progressive
policies and programmes, thanks to the judicious
leadership of His Highness and his wise government,
led by His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Sulman
Al Khalifa, the Prime Minister and the continuous
support of His Highness Shaikh Sulman Bin Hamad
Al Khalifa the Crown Prince and Commander-in-Chief
of the Bahrain Defence Force. Apart from providing
a stable government, it has been an active policy
to encourage foreign investment and support private
Bahrain became a member of the
United Nations and the Arab League in 1971. In
1981 it joined its five neighbours - Saudi Arabia,
Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar
- to form the strategic alliance called the Gulf
Co-operation Council (GCC).
Bahrain has an independent legal
and judicial system with a framework of commercial
laws and, on this strength and its well developed
infrastructure, has become an international and
GCC arbitration centre.
Head of State: Amir Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (since 6 March 1999);
Heir Apparent Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad (son
of the monarch, born 21 October 1969).
Head of Government: Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa (since
Heritage and Traditions
of Bahrain: Male traditional dress
consists of a or full length coat, made of dark
wool in the winter and white cotton during the
summer. Beneath this is worn the serwaal, which
are rather like pair of cotton pyjama trousers.A
light woolen cloak, or bisht, of beige or black
and usually edged with gold embroidery, is worn
on more formal occasions. The headdress comprises
a crocheted cap, or ghafeyah, on top of which
is worn a ghutrah, or scarf, held in place with
an agaal,a black wool headband.
The drinking of coffee is a traditional part
of Bahrain welcome, and begins with the preparation
of the coffee itself. Three cupfuls of vaster
and a rounded teaspoon of coffee (gahwa) are poured
into a saucepan and then boiled for about two
minutes. Next comes the "relaxation"
process, which is very important, as it allows
time for the traditional exchange of greetings
and welcome. After adding cardamom and saffron
in rosewater, the liquid is poured gently from
the saucepan into the coffeepot, or dalla, taking
care that the sediment remains in the pan. The
coffee is then left to brew for five or ten minutes
before being served in a small cup, or finjan.
It is polite to accept a second cup if offered,
but for third and subsequent helpings, the shaking
of the cup from side to side indicates refusal.
Coffeepots can be found in many shops on the island,
as well as in the soukhs. They make an ideal reminder
for the hospitality and welcome extended to visitors
by the people of Bahrain.
Telephone: Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco)
is in charge of all the telecommunication services
within the country. The telephone system in Bahrain
has been recently fully digitalised The region's
first Earth Satellite Station was established
in Bahrain. Credit card calls and reverse charge
calls can be made to a number of countries. Public
telephones now take new 100 coins and telephone
cards. Telephone cards are available in most cold
stores. Mobile phones may be rented from Batelco
on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. For further
information contact Batelco: 885555. (website:www.batelco.com).
BateIco operates a number of telephone information
lines providing regularly updated information
on a range of topics like: News line 268912, Recipe
line 268300, Sports line268222, Video line 268888,
Weather line 268700 Health line 268914, Tourist
line 268444, Speaking clock 140 AT&T offers
USA Direct Service from Bahrain on 800-001.
Fax: FaxPlus is provided by Batelco.It
is a package for fax customers which ensures that
customers get the very best usage from their fax
line and fax machine.
Internet: Internet cafes provide public access to Internet
and e-mail services.
Post: The Central Post Office is situated in Manama
opposite Bab AI Bahrain, open Saturday - Thursday,
07:00 - 19:30 (contact number: 225782). There
are several branches of the post office spread
throughout the island. Most of Bahrain's mail
is delivered to private boxes which are available
at the main post offices. Home deliveries are
also made directly to the location address of
your office or residence as long as the building
number, road number, and block number are clearly
displayed on the envelope.
has four daily newspapers - two in Arabic (Akhbar
Al Khaleej and Al Ayam) and two in English (Gulf
Daily News and Bahrain Tribune.) A number of Arabic
and English language business magazines are published
locally. The two main UAE English papers also
are circulated in Bahrain. International newspapers,
magazines and publications are widely available.
Stations: Radio Bahrain is on
the air 24 hours on several FM and MW frequencies.
GENERAL PROGRAMME (Round the Clock) (MW 801 KHz,
1458 KHz AND SW 9746 KHz AND FM 90.9 MHz), Second
Programme (MW 612 KHz, 1521 KHz AND FM 93.3 MHz),
Holy Quran Programme (MW 612 KHz.), The Sports
Service (FM 93.3 MHz), RADIO BAHRAIN (Round the
Clock) (FM 96.5 MHz AND 101 MHz STEREO, MHz 1584
KHz, SW 6010 KHz.).
has four terrestrial television channels, two
broadcast in English and two in Arabic.
Bahrain 57: 24 hours BBC World Service
Bahrain 4: 24 hours Arabic programmes
Bahrain 44: 24 hours Arabic Programmes
Broadcasts from other GCC countries can be received,
atmospheric conditions permitting.
Bahrain offers a satellite cable network facility
featuring the Star TV channels as well as CNN
on an annual subscription basis Radio Bahrain
broadcasts in English 24 hours day on 96.5 and
101 FM serving a diet of mostly contemporary music
interspersed with features and occasionally comedy
programmes from England. Bahrain Broadcasting
Service transmits in Arabic on 612 and 801 KHz
VHF from 0600 - 2400.