Bahrain Travel Guides


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Bahrain

 

The State of Bahrain is an archipelago of thirty three islands located in the Arabian Gulf, off the east coast of Saudi Arabia and between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

 

Bahrain is connected to Saudi Arabia via the King Fahad causeway and this is the main route to access the international airport at Muharraq. The islands are fairly flat, sandy and arid. The State gets its name from the largest of the islands in the archipelago, Bahrain . Many of the smaller islands in the archipelago are uninhabited.

Arad Fort
Photo: Shijaz, Wikimedia.org

 

Persians controlled the islands in the fourth century and then Arabs until the mid 15 th century when it was invaded by the Portuguese. Persia took control again in the early 1600s. In 1783 rule was taken over by Ahmad bin al-Khalifah. Bahrain was a British protectorate in the early 1800s and did not obtain independence until 1971. Oil was discovered in Bahrain in the 1930s. Its economy is largely driven by petroleum processing and refining, and it is also known for its banking.

 

Arabic is the official language although English is widely spoken. Islam is the dominant religion. Bahrain is a mixture of eastern and western cultures with its traditional buildings and ways and modern buildings.

 

There are ancient mosques, forts, temples, and relics to visit, as well as fascinating museums, including an oil museum. Horse riding and horse racing in particular, is a popular activity in this part of the world, with many facilities where horses can be rented. There is also an 18-hole golf course. There are parks, gardens, and wildlife parks to visit.

 

The waters around Bahrain are warm year-round and a fantastic venue for divers and snorkellers. There are wrecks and coral reefs to be explored, as well as many fascinating species of sea life. There is a Pearl museum, and pearl diving was the main industry of the area until oil was discovered. The oyster beds make for fun recreational diving opportunities.

 

The capital city of Manama is an important location and starting point for visiting many locations. It also offers very high quality shopping with many modern malls. Most visitors enjoy ambling through the Soukh, a colourful market where you can browse through all kinds of products, including spices, herbs, fruits and vegetables, gold jewellery, or beautiful cloths. Part of the fun of the soukh is haggling over prices.

 


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