Dilmun the ancient name for the territory now called Bahrain has a long tradition of hospitality, culture and as a center of trade and business crisscrossing the east and the west. While pearling and fishing were the dominant sectors accounting for its economy centuries ago, Bahrain entered the modern era with the discovery of oil in 1932. Bahrain witnessed the first strike of oil in the Middle East, which later spurred exploration activities in the entire middle-east region.
While oil accounts for a major sector of the economy, tourism and banking have gradually gained prominence over the years owing to the efforts of the government to diversify its economic base and accord preference to the service sector. Never the less, the manufacturing sector has not been neglected, as aluminum and downstream petrochemical sectors too account for significant economic activity.
Amongst the most attractive features of Bahrain are its refreshing locales spread over 33 islands, the clean beaches and the open environment & society prevailing for decades. In fact the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal have consistently ranked Bahrain as being one of the most open economies in the world, in their index of economic freedom.
Visiting delegates to Bahrain would be enthused by the warm hospitality and be pleasantly surprised by the easy inter-mingling of various nationalities and cultures. Truly, Bahrain represents a confluence of diverse backgrounds working and living together in the common pursuit of prosperity and happiness.
Bahrain is also renowned for its shopping paradises both in traditional “souqs” as well as in ultra-modern hypermarkets. No visit to Bahrain is complete without a mandatory visit to the “tree of life” a 400-year-old tree in the middle of the desert and the King Fahad Causeway. This causeway is a 25-kilometer link connecting Saudi Arabia and Bahrain by sea, which is breathtaking in its view. Bahrain also have 18-hole green golf course, which was inaugurated in 1999.
Bahrain is proud of the many associations operating in the country, which represents various nationalities like British, American, Turkish, Indian, thereby providing a rich mosaic of cultural interaction and media interest.
Currency: Bahraini Dinar, which is pegged to the US Dollar at BD 1 = US$ 2.65.
Bahrain hotels: offers a wide range, from well-known five star chains to budget. The choice is yours. The diversity of cultures, lifestyle, entertainment and the accommodation attracts almost 4 million visitors annually. All major hotel chains are represented, meeting the highest international standards. A number of multi- million dollar tourist developments are currently underway, which will assure Bahrain more than 15,000 hotel rooms within the next years.
Entertainment and nightlife: facilities offer an extensive variety of choice. First class restaurants of international cuisine and fine wine, in addition to traditional Arabic food are available. Excellent nightclubs and discos are plentiful, both western and Arabic style and liquor is available in most entertainment spots. Last but not least the different shopping possibilities like, great Souq – a traditional Arab market offering gold, carpets and electrical goods and sophisticated modern exclusive shopping malls.
Things to see: and things to do are a lot in Bahrain. Beside an 18 hole Par 72 PGA championship golf course, the national museum taking you from 3000BC to modern day Bahrain, the restored Bahrain Fort, the typically Arab style Arad Fort and traditional houses, Bahrain is also among the most accessible Arab nations for visitors, especially those who want to find out more about the Islamic religion. A visit to Beit Al Qur'an (House of the Qur'an) and the Grand Mosque are wonderfully informative and uplifting experiences.
Arabic is the national language of Bahrain, although English is widely spoken and is commonly used in business. The official religion is Islam, but in this tolerant, friendly country, other religions practice freely in their own places of worship. The time difference is GMT +3 hours and the