Bahrain, the pearls island
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Bahrain is a small island nation located in the Persian
Gulf, close to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The country offers a fascinating
blend of east and west, a mix of tranquil traditions with modern development
and cosmopolitan living. Bahrain is a desert island but at the same
time it's vibrant and modern.
The name "Bahrain":
In Arabic, it means 'the two seas' . It is believed to be derived from
the fact that sweet water spring from the aslty sea floor. Patches of
lighter water color inside the sea indicates where sweet water spring.
The pearl divers have benefited from these springs by drinking the sweet
water during the long periods they spent away from shores.
Bahrain is an archipelago of more than 33 islands, situated on the western
shores of the Arabian Gulf. It covers a total land area of 692 sq kms
(267sq miles) which makes it a little smaller than Singapore.
Bahrain lies 22 kms (14 miles) off the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia,
to which it is connected by a causeway, and 28 kms (17 miles) from the
coast of Qatar.
Bahrain island (main island) is the largest of the islands; at about
48 kms long and 16 kms wide it covers 586 sq kms.
By contrast, Muharraq, the second largest island where the airport is
located, is 21 kms square.
Much of Bahrain is low-lying; the highest point, Jebel Al Dukhan (means:
Mountain of Smoke) is just 137 meters above sea level!
Bahrain has lots of artificial land that was constructed using sand,
now this new land has lots big malls and beautiful hotels.
(Recently Bahrain has become a kingdom, with a parlement and elections).
The State of Bahrain is governed by the Al Khalifa family. The present
Head of State is HH the Amir Shaikh Hamad bin Isa bin Sulman Al Khalifa
(picture) (opens a
new window) took office after his father the late Shaikh Isa bin Salman
Al Khalifa (picture) (opens a new
window) (1933 - March 1999). The Al Khalifas have ruled Bahrain since
Manama, the capital, is where much of the business is concentrated.
It is easily accessible from every part of the country. Highways that
extend by the sea shore connect most of the major towns.
The country offers fascinating blend of east and west, and a mix of
old traditions with modern development and cosmopolitan living.
Bahrain's total population is just over half a million (518,243, according
to the 1991 census), with a significant percentage of expatriates of
various nationalities.This makes Bahrain a highly cosmopolitan society.
Bahrainis themselves are a very friendly people, and visitors
can expect to be graciously treated.
Arabic is the national language.
English however is widely understood and spoken, and commonly used in
Other mostly asian languages are used such as hindi and urdu.
The state religion in Bahrain is Islam and is followed by the majority
of the population. Other religions also have their places of worship
and are permitted to practice freely. Bahrain has a wide range of religions
being practiced. Churches of various denominations such as Evangelical
and Catholic hold regular services too.
Bahrain's currency is the Dinar, with each dinar divided into 1,000
$1 = BD0.377 (377 fils).
Most shops will accept Saudi riyals at the rate of 1:10, the dinar being
the stronger currency, while some also accept US dollars.
There are no restrictions on currency movement in or out of the country,
and you will find most currencies can be easily changed.
The country has a modern industrial and business infrastructure, including
advanced telecommunications facilities that is actively promoting foreign
Oil production and refining are an important economic sectors in Bahrain.
During the first quarter of the year, temperatures average 17-20°C and
can go up to 31 °C by the end of the quarter.
Evenings in January and February may be chilly and unexpected showers
can be experienced throughout the quarter.
At the height of summer, July to September, Bahrain gets high humidity.
The air temperatures reaches over 40°C.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Bahrain was first inhabited some
50,000 years ago and possibly up to 100,000 years ago. Some of the flint
tools found suggest that agriculture may have been practiced on the
island as long ago as 8,000 BC.
The Islands that make up Bahrain: have been giving many
different names and nicknames over the ages -some of them are still used-
here are some ancient and current names:
land of imortality.
land of the million palm tree.
land of pearls.
The Gulf Pearl
The Gulf Bride.
Bahrain (in Arabic it means: the 2 seas) <the State of Bahrain>
Click here 2 see Pictures from Bahrain
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