What To Do In Bahrain

View a Map of Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a Middle Eastern archipelago in the Persian Gulf, tucked into a pocket of the sea flanked by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It's an oasis of liberalism – or at least Western-friendly moderation – among the Muslim countries of the region. It's popular with travelers for its authentic "Arabness" but without the strict application of Islamic law upon its non-Muslim minority. Case in point: alcohol is legal here. Although it has a heavily petroleum-based economy, its more relaxed culture has also made it a social and shopping mecca (so to speak), which has helped it develop a fairly cosmopolitan middle class not found in neighboring countries with just a rich elite and subsistence-level masses.

Bahrain is the smallest of the independent Persian Gulf states, and has often had to walk a diplomatic tightrope in relation to its larger neighbours. The country has few oil reserves, however it has established itself as a hub for refining as well as international banking, while also achieving a liberal (by Gulf standards at least) political system. Its economy depends to a small extent on Saudis interested in a little entertainment, not available in the strictly Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Despite being much closer to Qatar, the Hawar Islands are part of Bahrain after a long, drawn out much sovereignty dispute between the two nations.

The best time to visit Bahrain is November-March, with October & April being just bearable. Be sure to take along a sweater during December-March as evenings can be cool. Bahrain's summer, which is from May-September, is very hot and humid, though occasional cool northerly winds blow to provide some relief. More frequent are the qaws, the hot, dry summer winds that can bring sandstorms.


What To Do In Bahrain

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Vital Stats

Region Info Middle East
Population 283.2 million
Highest Altitude 5,610 m
Mount Damavand, Iran 18,406 ft
Lowest Altitude -418 m
Dead Sea, Israel -1,371 ft
Lowest Temperature -46.4 °C
Van, Turkey (1990) -51.5 °F
Highest Temperature 70.1 °C
Dasht-e Lut, Iran (2007) 158.2 °F

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