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مملكة البحرين

Mamlakat al-Bahrain
Kingdom of Bahrain
Bahrain flag
Bahrain's coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Official language Arabic
Capital Manama (al-Manama)
State and form of government Constitutional monarchy
Head of state King
Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Head of government Prime Minister
Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
surface 750 km²
population 1.6 million ( 148th ) (2019; estimate)
Population density 2017 inhabitants per km²
Population development + 4.5% (estimate for 2019)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nom.)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
  • $ 39 billion ( 97th )
  • $ 77 billion ( 101st )
  • 25,998 USD ( 36. )
  • 51,892 USD ( 22. )
Human Development Index 0.852 ( 42nd ) (2019)
currency Bahraini Dinar (BHD)
independence August 15, 1971
(from the UK )
National anthem Bahrainuna
National holiday December 16 (Independence Day)
Time zone UTC + 3
License Plate BRN
ISO 3166 BH , BHR, 068
Internet TLD .bra
Phone code +973
Bahrain Katar Kuwait Saudi-Arabien Irak Iran Vereinigte Arabische Emirate Oman Jordanien Syrien Afghanistan PakistanBahrain in its region.svg
About this picture
Bahrain map de.png
Astronaut photo from Bahrain
Astronaut photo from Bahrain
Template: Infobox State / Maintenance / TRANSCRIPTION
Template: Infobox State / Maintenance / NAME-GERMAN

The Kingdom of Bahrain [ ˌbaχˈʀaɪ̯n ] (also Bahrain ; Arabic البحرين al-Bahrain , DMG al-Baḥrayn ) is a state consisting of 33 islands in a bay in the Persian Gulf , east of Saudi Arabia and west of Qatar (approx. 35 km as the crow flies). With an area of ​​around 750 km² (after artificial flushing), the archipelago is somewhat smaller than the Hamburg city ​​area. The name al-Bahrain means“the two seas”in Arabic .

Bahrain is a moderately wealthy country. In 2019, it was ranked 36th in the list of countries according to gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. The United Nations Development Program ranks Bahrain among the countries with a very high level of human development. However, since the beginning of the Arab Spring in 2011, the country has been rocked by conflicts between the country's Shiite majority and the Sunni minority who hold political power. Similar to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is a monarchy. The bond between the two royal families is considered close, and Saudi armed forces helped put down the Shiite uprising in 2011 . The political system in Bahrain is considered to be repressive .



Manama, capital of Bahrain

The main island of Bahrain (620 km²) has an elongated shape of 48 × 16 km. It is a 30 to 60 m high limestone plateau and mostly covered by sand dunes. The island has been connected to Saudi Arabia by a 25 km long bridge, the King Fahd Causeway , since 1986 . The Jebel ad-Duchan (135 m) rises in the center . In the south and south-west there are sandy areas and salt marshes . Only the northern coastal area is agriculturally usable due to artesian wells and karst springs . Other large islands are al-Muharraq , Sitra , Amwaj , Hawar and Umm Nasan . They are mostly rocky and barely rise above sea level.

The capital Manama is in the northeast with about 158,000 inhabitants. To the east is the deep-water port of Mina Salman , which is used by both the Bahraini armed forces and cruise ships.

Extensive landfills have begun in many parts of Bahrain since the beginning of the 21st century . The total area of ​​all offshore islands, peninsulas, new bays etc. now amounts to around 30 km², of which only a small part has been built on. The aim is - analogous to the artificial areas in Dubai and Abu Dhabi  - to obtain parcels surrounded by water so that they can be built on. Due to the real estate crisis of 2009, many construction projects have come to a standstill, such as B. the three Twisted Towers near Seef or the eleven Marina-West skyscrapers in Budaiya . The skyscrapers are in the shell. Many investors, including Western investors, lost their money.


Bahrain has a warm and humid subtropical climate with high humidity. Mostly a hot, humid wind blows from the northwest ( Shamal ), sometimes also a dry, hot south wind (Qaus) from the Rub al-Chali (German: Great Arabian Desert ) desert . The monthly mean temperatures are between 17 ° C (January) and 33.5 ° C (July), the precipitation is only 70 mm. Bahrain has a high level of particulate matter pollution.

Bahrain / Manama
Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Bahrain Meteorological Service
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Bahrain / Manama
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 20.0 21.2 24.7 29.2 34.1 36.4 37.9 38.0 36.5 33.1 27.8 22.3 O 30.1
Min. Temperature (° C) 14.1 14.9 17.8 21.5 26.0 28.8 30.4 30.5 28.6 25.5 21.2 16.2 O 23
Precipitation ( mm ) 14.6 16.0 13.9 10.0 1.1 0 0 0 0 0.5 3.8 10.9 Σ 70.8
Rainy days ( d ) 2.0 1.9 1.9 1.4 0.2 0 0 0 0 0.1 0.7 1.7 Σ 9.9
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Flora and fauna

The Shajarat al-Haya ( Arabic شجرة الحياة, DMG šaǧarat al-ḥayāh  'Tree of Life'), a 400 year old mesquite tree of the species Prosopis cineraria (Khejri tree ), which is considered a natural wonder .

On the main island there is desert vegetation except for the agricultural zone. The species-poor fauna consists mainly of real lizards , gerbils and mongooses . Gazelles and hares are almost extinct. The Al-Aree Wildlife Park and Reserve is to protect various animal groups and has a successful reintroduction of endangered antelopes TYPES like goiter Gazelle ( Gazella subgutturosa , English Arabian sand gazelle ) reach. Bahrain's forest area has the largest percentage increase worldwide , namely by 14.9% between 1990 and 2000. The Shajarat al-Haya (Tree of Life) , a centuries-old large tree in the desert, is famous as a natural wonder .

Bahrain signed the Convention for the Conservation of Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1996 , but not the Nagoya Protocol, which regulates the equitable sharing of benefits between rich and poor states in matters of nature conservation (Acces & Benefitsharing).



Of the 1.3 million inhabitants of the island state in 2013, 614,830 were residents and 638,361 immigrated foreigners (2013 census). In March 2012, according to the Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), 371,183 foreign nationals were in employment. In 2017, 48.4% of the population were migrants.

Indians lead with 192,500 people, followed by 71,915 Bangladeshis, 32,443 Pakistanis, 21,661 Filipinos, 16,294 Nepalese, 6,470 Egyptians and 5254 Ceylonese. In addition, bidun , stateless people of Arab origin, can also be found. Bidun status is inherited and results in considerable social discrimination . 351,314 foreigners, 329,165 men and 22,149 women were employed in the private sector. In the first quarter of 2011, 453,661 foreigners were still employed in Bahrain. The foreign employees had 82,000 dependents, 33,801 spouses and 49,026 children.

27.5% of the Bahraini were under 15 years old in 2004. Population growth averaged 2.4% between 1994 and 2004, life expectancy in 2015 was 76.4 years and the proportion of the urban population in the same year was 90%. The largest cities in Bahrain are (as of January 1, 2011): Manama (158,000 inhabitants), Ar-Rifā 'al-Gharbi (117,000 inhabitants), al-Muharraq (109,000 inhabitants), Madīnat Hamad (85,000 inhabitants), A'ali ( 66,000 inhabitants), Sitra (42,000 inhabitants), Madinat Isa (41,000 inhabitants), al-Budayyi ' (38,000 inhabitants), Jidhafs (35,000 inhabitants), al-Malikiyya (16,000 inhabitants) and al-Hidd (15,000 inhabitants).

Population development
year Residents
1950 0116,000
1960 0162,000
1970 0213,000
1980 0360,000
1990 0496,000
2000 0665,000
2010 1,241,000
2019 1,641,000

Source: UN


The official language is Arabic , while English is widely used as an educational and commercial language. Other languages ​​are Persian and Urdu .


The Islam , the 70.2% of the total population (including foreign nationals, as of 2011 census) belong is the state religion . Most of the Bahraini nationals are - unlike in the neighboring Arab states, but just like in the neighboring Saudi eastern province of Ash-Sharqiyya - Shiite . The ruling house itself is Sunni.

The 2001 census showed a proportion of 9% Christians in the total population and 9.8% followers of other faiths, especially Hinduism . In the 2011 census, only the proportion of non-Muslims was recorded, without distinguishing between individual non-Islamic religions and atheists. A small community of around 30 Jews still lives in Bahrain and it is the only Arab country on the Persian Gulf with a synagogue for the Jewish community .


Bahrain was settled in prehistoric times. Under the name Dilmun existed in the 3rd millennium BC A flourishing culture known from Sumerian texts and assumed to be in the area of ​​today's Bahrain. It was then that the city of Qal'at al-Bahrain came into being . Around 2000 BC The trade routes of the Sumerians and Babylonians to India ran here . At times the island was under Kassite rule, a Kassite governor is known from letters. Around 650 BC The Assyrians conquered the country and in the 4th century it incorporated the Sassanid Empire under Shapur II into the Persian Empire . Associated with this was strong Persian immigration.

In 324 BC When Alexander the Great returned from the Indus with his army , his admiral Androsthenes landed on Bahrain. In his bypassing the Indian Sea (Gr. Ὁ τῆς Ἰνδικῆς παραπλοῦς ) he describes the island of Tylos and its inhabitants. The island may have become part of the Seleucid Empire and was from about 130 BC. Part of the Charakene , a province of the Parthian Empire . With the fall of the Parthian Empire, Tylos became part of the Sassanid Empire .

In 630 AD the island was conquered by the Arabs . The Islam was the predominant religion . From the 8th century onwards, Baghdad and Damascus , from the 13th century onwards the Persians exercised control over the country until it became Portuguese in 1515 .

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Bahrain came under Persian suzerainty again, but became independent in 1783 under the Arab dynasty Al Chalifa . In 1820 it became dependent again through a protection treaty with the British East India Company ; however, the British gave the country internal autonomy and protection from Persian and Ottoman attacks. Bahrain had been a British protectorate since 1867 .

In 1932, BAPCO ( Bahrain Petroleum Company ) began oil production and brought immense prosperity to the rulers of the country. Bahrain also became one of the UK's most important military bases in the Middle East .

Sheikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa declared independence on August 14, 1971. A day later he signed a friendship treaty with Great Britain and declared himself an emir . A US air and naval base has been located on Bahrain since 1971 . Iran had made claims on Bahrain well into the 20th century, invoking the former Persian rule. It was not until January 1970 that the country ruled by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi recognized the country's sovereignty . In February 1979 this agreement was reversed; since then, Iran has again been raising claims on the country, the majority of which is Shiite . In 1973 Bahrain received a constitution and parliamentary elections were held. In 1975 the constitution was suspended, parliament dissolved and the absolute monarchy of the Khalifa clan proclaimed. It was not until 1993 that a council meeting ( Majlis asch-Shura) was set up again. In December 1998, American B-1 bomber planes flew air strikes against Iraq from the Sheikh Isa Air Force Base . In March 1999, Emir Sheikh Isa died, after which his son Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa took over the business of government.

On 14./15. In February 2001 there was a referendum on the so-called National Action Charter . A year later, on February 14, 2002, the emir proclaimed a new constitution which, among other things, provided for conversion into a kingdom, but above all for the reinstatement of the parliament, which had not been convened since 1975, albeit in a modified form.

Since the unrest in the Arab world that began in Tunisia , massive civil protests against the government have also occurred in Bahrain since February 2011. There were several deaths. However, the background and the situation in the country differ significantly from those in the affected countries in North Africa.

In the March 2011 protests, the Shiite opposition demonstrated against the Sunni government. This asked Saudi Arabia for help, which sent around 1,000 soldiers and 500 police officers. The Iran strongly protested against it.

A peace treaty was signed between Israel and Bahrain in September 2020 .


Sheikh Muhammad bin Abdullah Al Khalifa , Minister of Defense, greets Robert Gates at Manama Airport (2008)

According to the constitution, last amended in 2012, Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy . The Islam is the state religion . The king appoints and dismisses the government and also has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives and call new elections. All Bahraines aged 18 and over are eligible to vote. Bahrain has had a two-chamber parliamentary system since 2002, consisting of the Shura Council (consultative assembly, upper house), whose forty members are appointed directly by the king, and the elected parliament (lower house), which also has 40 members.

In 1999 women were given the right to stand for election at the local level. In 2001, women also voted in the referendum on the new constitution. This confirmed the rights of women and came into force in 2002. On October 23, 2002, women in Bahrain went to the parliamentary elections for the first time.

In the 2010 general election, Al Wefaq, the largest Shiite political association, was able to assert itself as the strongest political force (and opposition) with 18 out of 40 seats in the House of Representatives, but resigned its mandate after the unrest in spring 2011. The parliamentary elections at the end of November 2014 were also boycotted by the opposition association Al Wefaq. She was opposed to a dialogue with the elected parliament. On July 17, 2016, Al Wefaq was dissolved by order of the High Civil Court and the party's assets were confiscated. The dissolution was justified, among other things, with the support of terrorist groups, the use of religion for political purposes and the call for foreign interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain.


The parliament is divided into a house of representatives (Majlis an-Nuwwab) , whose 40 members are elected every four years, and a council (Majlis asch-Shura) , whose 40 members are also appointed by the king. ( Two-chamber system )

According to the constitution, Sharia is one of the main sources of legislation. The judiciary is independent. Hindus and Christians are subject to modified British law.

In the elections to the House of Representatives on October 24 and 31, 2002, the list of Islamic communities won 19 seats , independent candidates 18 and liberals three. In the parliamentary elections on November 25, 2006, Latifa al-Qaʿud was the first woman to be elected as a member of parliament. There were parliamentary elections on October 23, 2010.

Political indices

Political indices issued by non-governmental organizations
Name of the index Index value Worldwide rank Interpretation aid year
Fragile States Index 63.9 out of 120 110 of 178 Stability of the country: Warning
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
Democracy index 2.49 out of 10 150 of 167 Authoritarian regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
Freedom in the World Index 11 of 100 - Freedom status: unfree
0 = unfree / 100 = free
Freedom of the press ranking 61.1 out of 100 168 of 180 Very serious situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) 42 out of 100 78 of 180 0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean 2020

Human rights

Bahrain has signed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights . Nevertheless, according to human rights organizations, there are systematic violations of the rights of children and women in particular (see also women's rights in Islam ). In 2011 and 2012 there were reports of government human rights violations and protests against it.

Rule of law

Children are ill-treated and tortured in prisons in Bahrain, the human rights organization Amnesty International said at a press conference in late 2013. Groups of children were arrested and detained on suspicion of participating in protests critical of the government. Some children were only 13 years old when they were arrested. They were blindfolded and beaten. Amnesty has verifiably documented these conditions for the period from 2011 onwards. There were rapes in order to obtain “confessions”.

Women's rights

In 2009, a progressive family law (Law No. 19/2009) was passed for resolution in parliament, which aims to strengthen the rights and independence of women. However, violent protests by the now banned Wefaq party resulted in this law only being applied to women of Sunni faith. Shiite women are still subject to Shiite, Jafarite jurisdiction.

Freedom of the press

The press in Bahrain is one of the most unfree in the world. Censorship and repressive legislation prevent free journalism. Six bloggers and citizen journalists are in custody in Bahrain .

Foreign policy

The peace treaty between Israel, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates was signed in front of the White House in Washington on September 15, 2020.
In front of the White House in Washington with the treaty: Trump, Netanyahu, Nahjan and Al Sajani.

Bahrain is a member of the United Nations (since September 21, 1971), the Arab League , the OAPEC and the Gulf Cooperation Council .

Relations with Saudi Arabia and the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council as well as the USA ( Strategic Alliance ) have been the two basic determinants of Bahraini foreign policy for decades. The regional headquarters of the 5th US fleet is located in Bahrain. The free trade agreement with the USA, which came into force in 2006, is also an expression of this close relationship. Bahrain has been on the list of major non-NATO ally since 2002 , making it one of the USA's closest diplomatic and strategic partners outside of NATO .

Bahrain endeavors to distinguish itself as a flexible and serious interlocutor, while largely dispensing with exposed substantive determinations, especially on regional issues (Middle East peace process, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Egypt). Bahrain joined the US-led alliance against the terrorist organization Islamic State in September 2014 . At the beginning of November 2014, the Bahraini government hosted an international conference on combating the financing of terrorism. In December 2016, for the 12th time, Bahrain hosted the Golf Safety Dialog, which is firmly established as the Manama Dialog and which is designed and organized by the London International Institute for Strategic Studies .

Bahrain is closely monitoring the situation in Arab states with Shiite populations, particularly Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. Relations with Iran are characterized by mistrust in relation to its regional power struggles and reached a new low as a result of the break in diplomatic relations in January 2016, after Saudi Arabia and Sudan had already taken this step shortly before. In the past, Iranian politicians had questioned the independence of Bahrain on several occasions. Bahrain also accuses Iran of interfering in internal affairs and of exerting influence on the Shiite opposition and especially the radicalized youth in Bahrain since the unrest in Bahrain in February / March 2011.

A peace treaty between Israel and Bahrain with the Kingdom of Bahrain by the Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Raschid al-Sajani and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took place at the same time as the peace treaty between Israel and the United Arab Emirates by the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates , Abdullah bin Said al-Nahjan , also known as the Abraham Agreement , on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 1:37 p.m. in front of the White House in Washington in the presence of US President Donald Trump .


The armed forces of Bahrain form the national defense. The military , which has around 10,000 soldiers (as of 2020) , consists of the army , air forces , navy , air defense associations and the Royal Guard. Bahrain spent almost 3.7 percent of its economic output or 1.4 billion US dollars on its armed forces in 2019. Foreigners also work in the army.

Administrative structure

Gouvernement Muharraq Hauptstadtgouvernement Nördliches Gouvernement Südliches Gouvernement Südliches Gouvernement Saudi-Arabien Saudi-Arabien Katar
Governorates in Bahrain

Bahrain has been divided into four governorates since September 2014 . Before that, Bahrain was divided into five governorates and, before July 3, 2002, into 12 parish districts.

  1. Capital government
  2. Muharraq Governorate
  3. Northern Governorate
  4. Southern Governorate


The commercial economy is dominated by industries exporting oil and aluminum. At the moment two thirds of the gross national product is generated in the service sector, while oil and gas account for 12% of the GDP, but generate 77% of the total government income and thus the budget. Bahrain is trying to reduce its heavy dependence on oil through further economic restructuring and industrial diversification . The gross domestic product (GDP) for 2017 is estimated at 34.9 billion US dollars. In purchasing power parity , GDP is $ 70.4 billion or $ 48,500 per inhabitant. Real growth in the same year was 3.2%. Bahrain ranks 23rd in the world for GDP per capita based on real purchasing power. Agriculture accounted for 0.3% of GDP, industry 33.8% and services 65.9%. In 2004, 1% of the workforce was employed in agriculture, 32% in industry and 67% in the service sector. The inflation was in 2016 at an average of 2.8%, external debt at 21 billion US dollars. As a result of the falling oil price, Bahrain’s public finances have run into serious difficulties. The budget deficit was around 14% of economic output in 2016, making it one of the highest in the world. The national debt is now around 90% of GDP. In the course of 2016, the creditworthiness of Bahrain was downgraded to “junk level” by several major rating agencies.

In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Bahrain ranks 44th out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018). In the 2019 Economic Freedom Index, Bahrain ranks 54th out of 169 countries.

Key figures

All GDP values ​​are given in US dollars ( purchasing power parity ).

year 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
(purchasing power parity)
7.49 billion 9.66 billion 12.39 billion 17.33 billion 23.68 billion 34.20 billion 37.53 billion 41.73 billion 45.20 billion 46.70 billion 49.32 billion 51.34 billion 54.24 billion 58.10 billion 61.71 billion 64.17 billion 67.08 billion 70.43 billion
GDP per capita
(purchasing power parity)
17,583 22,987 25,398 31,011 37,133 38,482 39,081 40.151 40,852 39,633 39,953 42,963 44,862 46,359 46,946 46,827 47,115 48.504
GDP growth
7.5% −0.9% 3.5% 1.9% 7.0% 6.8% 6.5% 8.3% 6.2% 2.5% 4.3% 2.0% 3.7% 5.4% 4.4% 2.9% 3.2% 3.2%
(in percent)
3.8% −2.4% 1.3% 3.1% −0.7% 2.6% 2.0% 3.3% 3.5% 2.8% 2.0% −0.4% 2.8% 3.3% 2.7% 1.8% 2.8% 1.4%
Public debt
(as a percentage of GDP)
... ... 8th % 14% 26% 24% 20% 16% 13% 21% 30% 33% 36% 44% 44% 66% 81% 90%


On the few areas used for agriculture , dates and vegetables are grown. In the livestock are cattle , goats and sheep kept. Due to overfishing in the Persian Gulf, the fishing industry , which is operated with traditional dhows , is becoming less important.

Natural resources and industry

In addition to intensively used oil and natural gas deposits , new oil has been sought since 2008. In 2018, the largest oil deposit in the country's history was discovered. Bahrain has had aluminum factories with 3% world market share since 1971 . In addition, shipbuilding is developing into an important industry. The third most important branch of industry in the country is the textile industry. The production is mainly exported to the USA. The aluminum recycling industry is gaining in importance.


Due to the limited oil reserves, the country has created a second mainstay through an offshore banking sector . Bahrain is now one of the most important financial service centers in the Middle East .


Inner-Arab tourism, with 12.7 million visitors in 2017, will also be an immensely more important factor - mainly because of the relaxed customs in Bahrain and the liberal serving of alcohol combined with the proximity to Saudi Arabia. Every weekend is high season in Bahrain. Fewer individual tourists come from western countries. Bahrain has hardly any natural beaches, which are also poorly maintained and very remote or privately owned. Some hotels have created artificial beaches. In the first half of 2018, 49,864 mostly German cruisers visited the islands. Bahrain is often offered as part of a cruise in the Persian Gulf. Mein Schiff (TUI) and AIDA are likely to be the leading providers. The ships usually come during the week.

On the remote southeastern tip of the island, the private urbanization project Durrat al-Bahrain has been under development since 2004 with 13 artificial islands - in the same shapes "fish" inside and outside "horseshoes" - and a marina for large boats and yachts. There are private beach sections, villas, apartment houses, leisure and, on a very small scale, shopping facilities for a total planned investment of 7.3 billion US dollars. The investments primarily serve wealthy Arab second home owners.


The King Fahd Causeway connects Bahrain (right) with Saudi Arabia (left).

Until 1986, Bahrain could only be reached by ship and plane . Since then, the King Fahd Causeway has existed as a road link across the sea to Saudi Arabia and is used by up to 3 million vehicles annually. Another connection to Qatar , the Friendship Bridge , is planned; this structure would then be the longest pier in the world. The only commercial airport in the small state is Bahrain International Airport on the island of al-Muharraq . It is the seat of the state airline Gulf Air .

The previous port capacity south of the town of al-Hidd was mainly used for the loading of crude oil. Since this branch of income is gradually running out in Bahrain, too, work has been done at full speed on creating new port capacities since 2005. To the southeast of the existing facility, the new Hidd Port was built on a heaped peninsula and put into operation in March 2009. With a capacity of 1.1 million TEU, it is primarily used for container handling and thus follows similar expansions as in Dubai , Abu Dhabi and Qatar .

The entire road network covered around 4,122 km in 2010, of which 3,392 km are paved.

Foreign trade

In 2003, Bahrain mainly imported crude oil , machinery and transportation equipment from Saudi Arabia , the USA , France , Germany and the UK .

It mainly exported petroleum and petroleum products to Saudi Arabia, the USA, Taiwan , India , Japan and South Korea .

State budget

The state budget included expenditures in 2017 of the equivalent of 9.4 billion US dollars , which were income equivalent to 5.85 billion US dollar against. In 2018, the country adopted a reform program that was flanked by a USD 10 billion loan from the neighboring states of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. Bahrain's budget deficit fell to 4.7% of GDP in 2019 after 6.8% in 2018. Before the reform measures, the national debt had risen to almost 93% of GDP.

Due to its economic situation, the state does not levy any income tax with the exception of oil companies , making the country one of the so-called tax havens . However, consumption taxes of up to 20% are levied in upscale restaurants and hotels. A sales tax of 5% was introduced in 2019.

Tourist Attractions

Door of an old traditional house in al-Muharraq

Bahrain is the island of the largest prehistoric burial sites in the world. Thousands of burial mounds extend over 30 km² along the roads between the individual districts. The number is estimated at 170,000.

The crypts found in al-A'ali are known as the royal tombs. Their size is impressive, some 40 m in diameter and 24 m high.

The old town houses of Muharraq are among the oldest in the country: The pearl trader's house, Bait as-Siyadi, the former ruling house, Bait Isa bin Ali.

The Al-Jazeera house shows a very authentic picture of the rooms and how a simple home used to look.

The Arad Fort was the end of the 15th century built and in the. Dhow - shipyard can watch the boat builders over the shoulder.

Qal'at al-Bahrain (Archaeological Site of the Fort of Bahrain) has been the most important archaeological site since the 1950s. Temples were uncovered here, which presumably date from the Dilmun period, the 2nd millennium BC. Come from BC. The Barbarian Temple , the Diraz Temple and the Sar Temple are at the northern end of the island.

There are several fresh water springs in northern Bahrain.

Since 1976, efforts have been made in the al-ʿAreen reserve to preserve almost extinct animals and plants. There is also a small zoo to visit. There are also bus tours to various enclosures.

The tree of life Shajarat al-Haya in the south of the country is a huge mesquite tree, from which nobody knows where it gets its water from.

In Janabiyya there is a huge camel farm that only western tourists are allowed to visit.

The Formula 1 track in Sakhir, the Bahrain International Circuit , can be visited on a few days of the week.

Families from neighboring countries and also the locals like to visit the shopping centers in Seef, the visiting men prefer the entertainment districts in Hoora and Juffair, where they can get alcohol, drugs and all kinds of sex for a fee. The activities are slightly obscured and there are seldom raids and punishments.


In the south near the Formula 1 track there is a small zoo, the Al-Areen Wildlife Park. In the vicinity of the wildlife park there is a large water park, the 'Lost Paradise of Dilmun'. Everywhere in Bahrain there are smaller parks, in Budaya there is a small botanical garden.

Sightseeing in Manama

Largest Sunni mosque al-Fatih in Manama

While Manama is a financial center with glass towers and skyscrapers in the Diplomatic Area and in Seef , there are also traditional, oriental quarters with wind towers .

The souq, accessible through the Bahrain Gate ( Bab al-Bahrain ), with its Gold Road crossing it, was previously located directly on the coast, but the extraction of land meant that houses and squares were increasingly moving away from the water. There is also a large Hindu temple in the souq. There are also some merchants' houses in the area, the decorations of which show the former wealth of its owners.

Manama was the cultural capital of the Arab world in 2012.


One of the largest museums in the Gulf region is the National Museum in northern Manama, which conveys culture and history.

The Heritage Center has been a museum of tradition since 1948, a building from 1937 that once housed the State Court of Justice.

The House of the Koran, Bait al-Qur'an, is a Koran museum. Unusual copies of the work, such as the smallest, the oldest or the first Koran printed in Germany, are also presented there.

A few streets away is the coin museum with 250 gold, silver and bronze coins.


The Sunni Al-Fatih Mosque is located in the Juffair district, the largest mosque in the country with space for 7,000 worshipers.

The Al-Khamis Mosque from the 8th century is an example of earlier architecture.

Shopping centers

There are many shopping malls in Bahrain. The most popular and largest are Bahrain City Center , Al 'Ali Mall and Seef Mall - all on one street in Seef . Like all malls, these malls are shaped by Western brands, but also have Arabic items such as B. Abaya or Jalabiya. The Moda Mall in the Bahrain World Trade Center is more for exclusive brands. In the last few years the number of malls has increased and countless new malls have been added. The only thing worth mentioning seems to be THE AVENUES, a mall across from the Four Seasons Hotel right by the sea. You can sit outside and go for a walk. The offer is very similar in all malls.


The annual Formula 1 race " Bahrain Grand Prix " took place for the first time in 2004. In 2011 it was canceled due to political unrest . The race planned for March 2020 was initially postponed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then scheduled for November.

The Bahraini national soccer team is a very successful soccer team considering the size of the country. At the 2004 Asian Cup in China , she finished fourth after losing 4-2 to Iran in the game for third place. In qualifying for the 2006 World Cup in Germany , the team achieved their best placement in this competition so far. After they were in the final group stage of the Asian qualification, the team reached the play-offs for qualifying for the World Cup. There she then lost against the selection of Trinidad and Tobago with an overall result of 1: 2 and thus missed the qualification for the tournament. Also in the qualification for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the team was in the last play-off round and lost to New Zealand after a 0-0 home and a 0-1 away.

The first Olympic medal for Bahrain was won by Maryam Yusuf Jamal , a naturalized Ethiopian, with the bronze medal in the 1500m run during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

At the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008, the Bahraini middle-distance runner Rashid Ramzi , a naturalized Moroccan, ran the fastest time over 1500 m. However, the Olympic gold medal was withdrawn from him by the IOC in November 2009 for doping.

In the 2008/09 snooker season , the Bahrain Championship, a snooker world ranking tournament, took place in Bahrain .

In the 2011 World Men's Handball Championship in Sweden for the first time the Bahraini national team participated.

In May 2015 the Sheikh formed the Bahrain Elite Endurance Triathlon Team . In July he won the Ironman European Championship , in August the Ironman 70.3 World Championship and in October he won the Ironman Hawaii .

For the 2016 Olympic Games , the country naturalized several athletes, including the (originally) Kenyan marathon runners Rose Chelimo and Eunice Kirwa . Cholima won gold in the women's marathon at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London. In 2019 she won the silver medal at the World Cup in Qatar.

The 30,000-seat national stadium in Riffa, south of the capital Manama, is mainly used as a football stadium.


Web links

Wiktionary: Bahrain  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Bahrain  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikimedia Atlas: Bahrain  - geographical and historical maps
Wikivoyage: Bahrain  Travel Guide

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Coordinates: 26 ° 4 ′  N , 50 ° 33 ′  E