Travel Guides: Bahrain
Bahrain is an independent and sovereign kingdom in the Middle East, which comprises an archipelago consisting of 33 islands in the southern Persian Gulf, between Qatar Peninsula on the east coast and in western Saudi Arabia, being one of the Gulf States.
It has a total area of 665 km². The main islands are Bahrain (562 km²), by far the largest island, Al Muharraq, Umm o Na’san, Sitrah, Jiddah and and Hawar group. Manama is Bahrain’s capital and largest city. Bahrain was under British control from 1861 until 1971, when it gained independence. Highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan: 122 m, located in the central part of the largest island. On the north coast, where there are karsts springs, palm trees grow and are cultivated vegetables (tomatoes) and fruit (melons). In the past, the entire area of the country was covered with forests of palm trees. Many were cut with the industrialization of the country; others were dry due to decreased levels of groundwater.
The southern part of the emirate is occupied by salt marshes and deserts. Here blow hot and humid winds from the north-west or breezes warm and dry from the south. Roads: 3459 km. Since 1986, Bahrain joined with Saudi Arabia through the bridge and dam King Fahd, with a length of 25 km, on which is a highway. Climate: tropical arid. Average annual temperatures: 17 degrees C in January to + 34 degrees C in July. But summer temperatures often exceed +40 degrees C. Rainfall is almost missing. Bahrain was a warehouse for trade between India and Arabia in the Second Millennium AC. The Portuguese fortified Bahrain in the sixteenth century, but were expelled by the Persian Abbas I in the early seventeenth century. At the end of the eighteenth century became part of the Ottoman Empire, ruled by a sheik.
In 1820, Bahrain has started negotiations with Britain and became a British protectorate in 1861. In 1971 it became an independent emirate headed by Amir al-Khalifa Isa bin Sulman (came to the throne in 1961) after British forces withdrew from the region. In June 1995 and early 1996 there were protests, which led to the arrest of more than 600 dissidents. After the founder emir died in 1999, his son, Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, issued in February 2001 by the 4000 amnesty of political prisoners, repealed and abolished the State Security Law of the State Security Court. Was held a referendum approved by 98% of the vote, which reintroduced the parliament, establishing an independent judiciary and gave women the right to vote. Since February 2002, Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa declaring himself king.
In February 2011 there were protests resulting in slain and wounded after police fired on peaceful demonstrators. Bahrain’s modern development is linked to oil exploitation and processing, which began in 1932 in the Persian Gulf. Until then, residents were living in the Bahrain State from agriculture, fishing, cultivation and marketing of natural or cultured pearls and trade. Bahrain’s oil reserves are about exhausted, however. Estimates like that emirate’s oil exploitation will continue until the mid-XXI century, making it necessary to develop a new strategy. Therefore, for a few years began restructuring the economy: the emphasis is on developing new industries (aluminum industry), attracting foreign investors because of a network of well developed transport and telecommunications, offshore financial services, tourism, trade regional seawater desalination to improve drinking water supply and modern agriculture.
Oil reserves have been finished in the mid 1970s. Bahrain hosts the Fifth Fleet of the United States. UNESCO World Heritage List included the following objective in Bahrain: 2005, Qal’at al-Bahrain Archaeological Site. Bahrain is a country composed of 33 islands, situated in the Arabian Gulf, off the coast of Saudi Arabia. In the past was called Dilmun, by the ancient Sumerians, those islands were considered a paradise where was no disease, death or suffering, a dwelling of the gods. Although today’s country is not up to the myth of another time, crowds of visitors flood heavenly shores, considering Bahrain Islamic countries to escape the less tolerant. Bahrain is a country where Islamic tradition is still present and is a symbolic bridge that connects the territory of Saudi Arabia. Approximately one third of the population consists of foreign expatriates who seek the right mixture between stability and prosperity. Maybe this influence has made Bahrain today rapidly modernizing and is full of malls and shops.
Most visitors will probably take advantage of the historical heritage of the country. The road embankment constructions were discovered thousands of burial sites dating from the third century BC. Bahrain is now the proud owner of the largest cemeteries in the world. Bahrain is a blend of oriental and western cultures, mosques and skyscrapers. Main attractions: capital Manama is a modern city, a skyline dominated by New York-style settlements. Much of the territory, including the diplomatic area was covered by sea water. Ancient Capital of the year 900, Bilad al-Qadim, is right next to the new city. Souk shopping center is located in the middle of old town, near the archway of Bab al-Bahrain and, although much of the surrounding area is modern, the layout of roads retains the traditional lines dividing occupations – for example, gold shops are located south-east and are impressive, especially in the hours of darkness.
To learn about the country’s past, visit the burial mounds Aali. This is probably the largest prehistoric cemetery in the world, with approximately 170,000 graves dating from between 3000 BC – 600 AC. Visit the home of Beit al-Jasra, the birthplace of Amir, the ruler of the country. It is a wonderful example of traditional Bahraini architecture, with great outward simplicity, built from local materials such as coral stone. Admire the old forts, as in Arad, Bahrain, and Riffa. Visit the National Museum to watch the archaeological development of the country and see the tombs from 2800 BC.11