About Bahrain Listen to this page using ReadSpeaker

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National Day

December 16th

Independence Day

August 15, 1971
(from the United Kingdom)


Constitutional monarchy


The National Council is composed of the Council of Representatives and the Shura Council.


Total: 1,501,611
Bahraini: 677,506 (45%)
Non-Bahraini: 823,610 (55%)

Location/ Area Size

Arabian Gulf, 779.95 Square Kilometers




Bahrain is divided into four governorates - the Capital , Muharraq, Northern and Southern .


Arabic is the official language, while the English is the also one of the common languages used in the business sector.


Islam is the official religion of the Kingdom and is embraced by the vast majority, and places of worship for followers of other religions are also available within the Kingdom.


Bahraini Dinar BHD (Officially linked to the Dollar)

State Budget

Bahrain fiscal budget is planned for two years.

Fixed Exchange Rate

1 Bahraini Dinar = 2.65 US Dollars

Business Hours

Work schedules in most Government Entities
07:00 - 14:15 (Sunday to Thursday)

Banking and financial institutions & Private sector
Regular working hours for retail baking are from 07:30 AM - 01:00 PM  (Sunday to Thursday).
Working hours in the evening vary depending on the bank or entity.

Post Offices
Post offices are available within different regions of the Kingdom, and their working hours start from 07:00 - 02:00 (Saturday to Thursday)
To view the working times for all post offices and public mailboxes, please visit Bahrain Post Services.

Shopping Centers
Shopping Centers operating times vary, but the Malls working hours are often between 10:00 am - 10:00 pm throughout the week.
Some retail shops and shopping centers are closed on Fridays, and reopen after Friday prayers.

Official holidays

Weekly holidays: Friday and Saturday

New year: 1 January

Labour day: 1 May

Eid Alfitr *: 1, 2, 3 Shawwal (2, 3, 4 May 2022)

Arafat day*: 9 Dhu al-Hijjah (9 July 2022)

Eid Aladha *: 10, 11, 12   Dhu al-Hijjah (10, 11, 12 July 2022)

Hijri new year*: 1 Muharram (30 July 2022)

Ashoora *: 9, 10 Muharram (7, 8 August 2022)

Prophet’s birthday*: 12 Rabi Al-Awwal (8 October 2022)

National Day: 16 & 17 December


*Islamic holidays are subject to confirmation at the time


Ministry of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Waqf

Time zone

3 hours ahead of GMT (GMT+3)

Country Dialing Code


Internet Code

example: www.domainName.bh


Buses  are available as a means of public transportation. To view the Public Bus Schedule and Route Information, please visit the following link.

Taxis are also widely available within the Kingdom.



July-September, very hot and humid (Avg. 36°C). 
December to February;cool or mild with occasional rain (10°C - 20°C). 
Remaining Months:
March to May and October to November; warm with occasional pleasant breezes (20°C - 30°C). 

Meteorogical Directorate 

Facts & Figures


The total area of the Kingdom of Bahrain is 779.95 Km2.   


The total number of population is 1,483,756. Citizens are 701,827 while residents are 781,929 according to 2019 statistics. 

 State Budget

Bahrain fiscal budget is planned for two years. The latest budget is for 2021 - 2022.  Details

 Financial Sector

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (current) US dollars 31.1 billion (2015)
Growth - 6.8% (2015)
GDP (Constant) US dollars 30.8 billion (2015)
Growth - 2.9% (2015)

 Production and Prices

Estimated GDP at constant prices is BD 11,262.08 million, according to 2015 statistics.   Details (PDF, 222KB, 1 page)

 Money and Banking

The number of banks and financial institutions is 404.   Details (PDF, 193KB, 1 page)

 Foreign Trade

The estimated value of exports is BD 4,932.65 while the estimated value of imports is BD 6,182.55 according to 2015 statistics.   Details (PDF, 101KB, 1 page)

local_gas_station Oil and Gas

“Bahrain” oilfield production of crude oil is 18,462 barrels, while “Abu Sa’afa” field product  55,077 bbl. Gas production is 751,615 million feet3, according to 2015 statistics.   Details

people Labour Force

The registered number of workers in public and private sector is 748,047 . The unemployment rate was 4.7%, according to 2019 statistics. 

ev_station Electricity and Water

The consumed electrical energy in the agricultural sector is 51.54 GWh, in the industrial sector is 2,017.29 GWh, while in the commercial sector is 4,854.56 GWh, and in the domestic sector is 6,426.25 GWh.

 Transport & Communications

The number of registered vehicles is 759,733. The number of accidents is 890, according to 2019 statistics. 

 Culture, Information & Tourism

In 2014, the number of visitors to the Kingdom of Bahrain reached 263,922 visitors with an accommodation rate of 2.5 nights per person.   Details (PDF, 134KB, 1 page)


The number of students enrolled in the public and private schools is 208,487 students divided into 211 public schools and 71 private schools, according to 2018 statistics. 

 Health Services

According to 2017 statistics. The number of hospitals and health units is 59, including 6 governmental hospitals staffed by 2027 doctors (Physicians  & Dentists ).  30 governmental health centers and 22 private hospitals staffed by 1918 doctors (Physicians  & Dentists ), And one governmental maternity hospital.


The number of fixed telephone lines is 225,756  while the number of mobile phone lines is 2,070,710 line. The number of subscribers to Internet services is 2,160,152 subscribers, according to 2019 statistics.


The total value of fish is 12,215 metric tons, with an estimated consuming rate of fish reached 0.01 grams per day, for each person, according to 2015 statistics.   Details (PDF, 187KB, 1 page)


Bahrain has been one of the Gulf’s most important commercial crossroads for over 4,000 years. The word Bahrain means ‘two seas’ in Arabic, indicating Pearlhow the country’s geographic position is a collection of islands and has been important throughout its history.

As the land of the ancient Dilmun civilization, Bahrain has long been a trading centre linking the East and the West. The country has benefited from its position at the centre of the Gulf’s trade routes and rich pearl diving industry. Visitors of the Kingdom of Bahrain may learn about the antiquates of this civilization by visiting the Bahrain National Museum .

  By the Mid-19th Century, the country was the Gulf’s pre-eminent trade hub, emerging as a modern state. Merchants from countries across the Gulf and beyond established themselves on the islands. Bahrain was the first Gulf state to discover oil, in 1932, and in the past 40 years has led the regional transition to a modern economy. Subsequently, as the first Gulf state to move away from dependence on oil, the Kingdom has become the region’s most diversified economy. In particular, the country has become the region’s leading financial centre since the 1980s. Since then; manufacturing, logistics, communications, professional services and real estates have also become vital sectors. Throughout this period, great care have been given to build-up the skills and talents of the Bahraini people.  In 2002, Bahrain became a constitutional monarchy, and a democratically elected Parliament was established. This marked the beginning of a period of on-going reformation. Moreover, the Kingdom has an established legal framework and a respected regulatory system.

Bahrain Economic Development Board 

Bahrain's Democracy

Bahrain’s Path to Democracy

Bahrain’s political system is a constitutional monarchy based on a Shura system, which is considered the ideal form of governance in Islam. The political system allows the public to exercise power in decision-making, which is the foundation upon which modern political thought is built. The executive authority selects experienced citizens to form a Shura Council  , which consists of forty members appointed by royal decree, and the Council of Representatives  , which is chosen by aware, free and honest people through an election. Each of these form wings of the legislative authority houses aimed at achieving the public’s wishes through the National Assembly.

The Kingdom of Bahrain has witnessed significant political, social and economic achievements following the launch of the National Action Charter and the beginning of the democratic process on 16th February, 2001 when His Majesty the King approved the result of a referendum on the National Action Charter proposed by His Majesty and was approved by 98.4% of the public, ushering Bahrain into a new democratic era.
Culminating the reform process whose rules were laid down by His Majesty the King, and to guarantee freedom of expression, opinion and choice, the people elected 40 Members of Parliament (MPs) to the Council of Representatives on 24th October, 2002, a milestone step for the legislative system in Bahrain. This was done through a direct secret general election in accordance with provisions set out in the law and stipulated in the constitution .

Parliamentary and municipal elections are held in the Kingdom of Bahrain under the full supervision and management of the judiciary, which assures free and fair elections. The Legislation and Legal Opinion Commission   (LLOC) organizes the elections, taking care of administrative and logistical preparations, and in turn enhancing the impartiality, integrity and independence of the electoral process.

Achieving Social Justice and Leaving No One Behind

The Kingdom of Bahrain strives to achieve social justice and ensure happiness, prosperity and a brighter future for all. The government greatly values human rights and the fundamental and personal freedoms of all citizens. This era witnessed the birth of new institutions related to human rights such as the Public Prosecution, the National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR), the Ombudsman, the Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission, and a special unit to investigate the Public Prosecution along with the human rights committees in the Shura and Representatives Councils.
Bahrain also ensures women a prominent place in society based on principles of equality and social justice. Women have full rights under the Constitution, the Charter and laws, and enjoy extensive participation and representation in various institutions and authorities. They have an extended presence in the diplomatic and judicial corps, where the Bahraini leadership has paid great attention to creating a gender balance between men and women, with some committees devoted to women, children, and human rights.

Women won 6 seats in Parliament in 2018, the highest level of female participation in the political process in the Kingdom of Bahrain’s history. This culminated in the election of a woman as Speaker of the House of Representatives for the first time in Bahrain and the Gulf region.
The number of seats for elected women in the municipal councils increased from one in 2010 to 3 in 2014, and 4 in 2018.




Bahrain has grown successfully over the past 10 years, due its liberal economic policies, and the clear roadmap that aim to achieve prosperity for the society. The country’s annual real GDP growth ranged between 2.1% and 8.3% over the period.
The international credit rating agency Standard & Poors (S&P) affirmed a credit rating of BBB/A-2 for Bahrain with a stable outlook, supported by the positive developments that have been achieved over the past two years. The pace of economic activities which were reflected on public finances and increased government expenditures to contribute positively in achieving strong growth rates in all main sectors such as infrastructure, housing, health and education, recording 3.7% in 2012. 
Oil, gas, manufacturing industries and the financial sector had recorded a good growth during this period, which helped the continued growth.


Bahrain is an attractive destination for expat families as it possesses a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-denominational society. It also holds a lowPicture cost of living, high-quality healthcare, and excellent education facilities that offer a diversity of international curriculums.

An archipelago of 33 islands, the Kingdom is a cosmopolitan capital city, an attractive liberal lifestyle with a rich history and culture - from historical monuments such as AlKhamis Mosque that dates back to 692 A.D. to one of the most modern Formula One race-tracks in the World at the Bahrain International Circuit. 

By sea; the variety is immense with the sailing, dolphin watch, fish, scuba diving or kite surfing. On land; gyms, horse riding stables and sport clubs including rugby, tennis, soccer, cricket and basketball courts. Furthermore, the Royal Golf Club - designed by international champion Colin Montgomerie - is a particular attraction. Sport facilities are world-class in Bahrain as it is the home of Formula One in the Gulf, when it became the first Middle Eastern country to host a Grand Prix in 2004, and when hosting the season’s opening race in 2010.

Cultural Questions: 

Do I need to speak Arabic?
No, although learning a few Arabic words would be helpful. English is the main business language and is commonly spoken in the streets of Bahrain, all retail stores as well as service spots. 

Is there much crime?
No, the crime rate is low and violent crimes are rare. 

Must women follow a dress code?
No, women can dress as they wish; however, it is respectful to dress modestly in public. 

Is Bahrain a conservative place?
Bahrain is known in the Gulf for being open and tolerant. Bahraini men and women socialize and congregate at local cafes as well as restaurants. Expatriates mix with Bahraini nationals across all social settings; leading people from all over the Gulf to visit the Kingdom for the purpose of relaxation and enjoyment. 

Should I be aware of any food and beverage restrictions?
Although Muslim Bahrainis generally do not eat pork or drink alcohol; supermarkets sell pork and consumers can buy alcohol from licensed stores, hotels and restaurants. 

Just how hot does it get?
The average temperature during summer is 37°C - 40°C — however, most outdoor locations have shades and buildings which are climate controlled. Temperatures are milder between October and May. 

Can I play sport?
Sport is a major cultural pastime in Bahrain, with facilities including diving, golf, horse riding, rugby, tennis, sailing, soccer, cricket and basketball. Private resorts and clubs have beaches and pools for men and women to swim. 


Bahrain Economic Development Board


Page Last Updated: 09 Feb, 2022