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Bahrain

  • Capital Manama (26°13´N, 50°35´E)
  • International airport(s) Bahrain International Airport (BAH)
  • Official language(s) Arabic
  • Currency Bahraini dinar
  • Time UTC +3
  • Region Atlantic and Indian Ocean
GeographyClimateEconomyCulture
Bahrain, in Arabic "two seas", is situated in the southwestern coast of the Persian Gulf about 24 km off the east coast of Saudi Arabia and 28 km from Qatar. It is an archipelago consisting of 33 natural islands and numerous islets, shoals, and artificial islands. The islands' total land area is about 780 km2, which is slightly larger than Singapore and the Maldives, making it the third-smallest country in Asia. Bahrain is low-lying, with the highest point, Jebel Dukhan in the centre of Bahrain island, at 137 meters above sea level. Bahrain island is the largest island and accounts for about 85 per cent of the area. It is connected to adjacent islands and the mainland of Saudi Arabia by bridges and causeways. Located in one of the world's richest petroleum regions, the country itself is the smallest Gulf oil producer. In 2018, Bahrain announced the discovery of an offshore oil field off Bahrain's west coast, estimated to contain 80 billion barrels of shale oil.
Bahrain’s climate is arid and is characterized by extremely hot summers and relatively mild winters. Average monthly temperatures range from 14 to 41 °C and are fairly uniform throughout the archipelago. There are two distinct seasons: a winter season from November to April, and a summer season from May to October -—
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. The annual average rainfall is small (about 80 mm) and irregular, falling almost entirely in the winter months-—
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. There are no rivers or permanent streams on the islands. Groundwater is the only natural source available for freshwater supply. Sandstorms are frequent, affecting all aspects of human activity and aggravating desertification. Despite the dry climate, about two hundred species of desert plants grow in the country. The only major tree growing in Bahrain is the Tree of Life (Shajarat-al-Hayat), 400 years old and 9.75 m high Prosopis cineraria tree, located 2 km from Jebel Dukhan.
The oil and gas industry dominates Bahraini economy. In 2019, it accounted for 17.8 per cent of the country’s GDP. The country's largest non-oil sectors are the financial corporations sector contributing 16.5 per cent to GDP, and manufacturing sector contributing 14.5 per cent to GDP -—
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. Bahrain hosts the world’s largest aluminium shelter outside China, Alba, which is the dominant force in the country’s manufacturing sector. The largest export partners are Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the United States of America. -—
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Service sector employed roughly 64 per cent of total employed in the country in 2019, and these jobs were predominantly occupied by women (91 per cent of women were employed by the sector) -—
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. Tourist arrivals averaged 11 million per year for the period 2015-2019, reaching a peak of 12 million in 2018. Tourism expenditure contributed 10 per cent of GDP in 2019 -—
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. Bahrain is classified as a high income economy -—
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and reached US$23 504 per capita in 2019 -—
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According to the  -—
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, only 2 per cent of the territory is classified as arable land. Limited arable area, high temperatures, scarcity of water resources and loss of agricultural lands due to salinization result in a low development of agriculture. The main crops are alfalfa for animal fodder, but dates, figs, mangos, pomegranates, melons, papayas are also grown. Agriculture accounts for only 1 per cent of total employment -—
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In ancient times, Bahrain was part of Dilmun, a mercantile civilization, which dominated trade routes along the Persian Gulf from the fourth millennium Before Christ through to the ninth century BC. The country declared itself a constitutional monarchy in 2002.

Bahrain was one of the first areas to convert to Islam, in 628, four years before the death of the prophet Muhammad. Bahrainis are predominantly Muslims, both Sunni and Shia Muslims, the latter being the majority. -—
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. Music is an important part of the island culture. Fidjeri songs once sung by pearl divers are still very popular. Cloth weaving, pottery, and basket weaving are traditional handicrafts

Local sports, such as horse and camel racing, are well-liked throughout the country. Wealthier Bahrainis practice falconry and gazelle and hare hunting. The most popular modern sport is soccer. In 1984, the country competed in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time. Bahrain hosted the First Formula One Grand Prix to be held in the Middle East, in 2004.

Bahrain’s traditional food includes fish, shrimp, meat, rice, and dates. Among popular traditional dishes are Machbous, fish or meat served with rice, and muḥammar, sweet brown rice with sugar or dates. Arab Coffee, or Qahwah, often flavored with cardamom and saffron, is the national drink.
Land areakm2
Arable land%
Forest area%
Coastline
lengthkm
Exclusive economic zonekm2
Nearest
neighbourkm
Economic trendsMaritime transportPopulationInternational tradeEnvironmentInformation and communications technology
Gross domestic product
US dollars at constant prices (2015) in millions
GDP per capita

2019

US$

Productive Capacity Index

2018

Economic and environmental vulnerability index

2019

Consumer Price Index growth

2019

%

Unemployment
rate

Total %
Female %, Male %
Main economic sectors, 2019
Percentage of GDP
Tourist arrivals
Thousands of tourists, percentage of GDP
External financial resources
Percentage of GDP
Public debt as % of GDP

2018

%

Fleet size
Number of ships
Ship type20112019
Total fleet1 4071 407
Oil tankers264266
Bulk carriers311333
General cargo16177
Container ships5249
Other types of ships619682
Port performance
Ranked by 2019 data within SIDS group
Indicators2019SIDS Ranking
Number of port calls1 74811
Median time in port (days)24
Average age of vessels1521
Average size (GT) of vessels38 5876
Container port throuput

2019

TEU

Bilateral connectivity index, 2019
Top 5 partners
Liner shipping connectivity index
Maximum China Q1 2006=100
Total population
Thousands of people, share of urban population
Population development indicators
IndicatorsPeriodValue
Poverty headcount (% of population)....
Human development index20180.8
Human assets index202095
Adult literacy rate (15+ years, both sexes %)....
Gender inequality index20190.2
Life expectancy at birth

years

Population density

2019

persons per km2
Dependency
ratio

2019

Child:
Old-age:
Age structure by gender, 2019
Percentage of total population
Merchandise and services trade
US dollars in millions
Indicators20052010201520192019 (% of GDP)
Merchandise exports10 24214 97116 54018 12047
Merchandise imports9 39312 26012 40813 25634.4
Services exports3 1554 2339 11311 57830
Services imports1 4161 9056 5928 08321
Trade openness
Goods and services

% of GDP

Export concentration index

2019

Food import
dependency
Average 2015-2019

Top 5 partners in merchandise trade, 2019
Exports in millions US dollars
Merchandise exports by product group, 2019
Services exports by category, 2019
CO2 emissions per capita
Kg per capita
CO2 emissions per GDP
Kg per 2010 US$ of GDP
Renewable energy share in total energy consumption, 2017
Percentage of total energy consumption
Material
footprint
per capita

2016

kg

Terrestrial
protected
area

2018

%

Marine
protected
area

2018

%

Disasters indicators
Data not available
Trade in ICT goods

Exports: %
Imports: %
Trade in ICT services

Exports: %
Imports: %
Share of
internet users

%

Fixed broadband vs Mobile broadband subscriptions
Number of subscriptions per 100 people
Sources
Source of data: -—
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except indicators listed below.
References
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