Till recently, not many people all over the world had heard about Bahrain. Even among those who did, very few people thought of Bahrain as a tourist spot. It was known more as a business center and oil producing small nation. In fact, Bahrain is the main financial center of the entire Middle East. However, the sustained efforts of Dr. Kadhim Rajab, Assistant Under-Secretary for Tourism Affairs, Bahrain and others like him in the Bahrain Tourism ministry had yielded positive results. They presented the country with friendly people and absolutely no street crimes. They introduced Bahrain as place that had an open, attractive environment.
Bahrain has rich and varied cultural heritage with excavated ruins of ancient temples and grave mounds. Bahrain also possesses several forts that had been constructed during the medieval times, like the Arad Fort, Bahrain Fort, etc. Bahrain and Manama also boast of several old houses that are charming and intriguing.
Apart from the cultural heritage spots, Bahrain also promoted adventure sports like scuba diving, pearl diving, variety of water sports, fishing expeditions, etc., to attract the new generation crowd. Further, the country also started conducting several business conferences and trade exhibitions to lure business travelers.
Bahrain is actually not a single place. The Bahrain State consists of 33 islands. The total area of the nation is 707 square kilometers. The largest of the 33 islands, Bahrain Island, has an area of 586.5 square kilometers. Manama is the capital of Bahrain. Several islands are totally uninhabited, except birds, which migrate to them in spring and autumn. Bahrain is situated in the Arabian Gulf. The religion is Islam and the official language is Arabic. However, English is widely spoken.
The summers are very hot but the winters are comparatively mild. November to April is the ideal period for visiting Bahrain. Bahrain is extensively linked by road, air, and sea. Banking and telecommunication facilities are excellent. Local currency is Dinar, which is pegged to the American dollar and is freely convertible.
Current ruler of Bahrain, His Majesty the King, Shaikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa ascended the throne on March 6, 1999, after King Amir passed away. Shaikh Khalifa had continued the progressive policies started by the late Amir in making the country a prosperous and glorious one. The liberal policies and programs of Bahrain are in stark contrast to the archaic policies of several other Arabic nations.
The name Bahrain is derived from ‘thnain Bahr’ , 2 Arabic words that mean ‘2 seas’. The reason for this is the presence of sweet water springs in the sea. The sweet water from the springs mingles with the salty seawater, making it an ideal place for breeding of natural pearls. The business of natural pearls has not only improved its economy but has also improved its tourism plans. Pearl diving is a major sport in Bahrain. Still, oil is the major source of income for Bahrain.
All in all, Bahrain is an intriguing place as a tourist spot, with the old and the new blending harmoniously. The modern outlook of the natives and the strong infrastructure makes the visit to Bahrain a pleasurable and joyous experience.