Places in Bahrain
Financial Centre, Bahrain
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Financial Centre, Bahrain

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Bahrain Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

710.9 sq km (274.5 sq miles).

Population

1.3 million (2013).

Population density

1828 per sq km.

Capital

Manama.

Government

Constitutional monarchy. Gained full independence from the UK in 1971 (had been a British Protectorate from 1861).

Head of state

King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa since 1999.

Head of government

Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa since 1971.

Electricity

220-240 volts AC, 50Hz (Awali, 110 volts AC, 60Hz). British-style three-pin plugs are used.

With a name meaning 'Two Seas' it is little wonder that Bahrain, an archipelago of 33 islands in the Gulf, defines itself in relation to the water that surrounds its shallow shores.

Those shallows once harboured a precious trade in pearls; now the same shallows are being reclaimed for ambitious, high profile developments, such as the twin 50-storey towers of Bahrain's World Trade Centre and the 2,787,000 sq m (30,000,000 sq ft) horseshoe of man-made islands at the southern tip of the country.

In the middle of Bahrain, not far from where the Formula 1 racetrack now draws the crowds, is the point where in 1932 the Arab world first struck gold - black gold, that is - and oil has been the mainstay of the country ever since. As visitors travel the modest length of Bahrain, visiting the ancient burial mounds, forts, craft markets and potteries, they will run into many reminders of this momentous discovery, not least in the relaxed affluence of Bahrain's multicultural residents.

Travel Advice

Last updated: 15 April 2014

The travel advice summary below is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. 'We' refers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. For their full travel advice, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Demonstrations and protests are a regular occurrence in Bahrain. Some can be violent. You should avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

There was a fatal bomb explosion on the Budaiya Highway near Al Daih on 3 March 2014. You should be especially vigilant at this time.

The Government of Bahrain has imposed a curfew on the waterways around Bahrain between 6pm and 4am. You should respect this curfew.

There is a general threat from terrorism. Terrorists continue to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region.

You must have legal status in Bahrain when you depart.

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

Edited by Jane Duru
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