20 Interesting Facts About Bahrain

Bahrain facts

The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small island country located in the Persian Gulf. While it may be small in size, Bahrain has a rich history and culture, modern attractions, and a thriving business sector. Get to know this unique destination with these 20 fun facts about Bahrain!


Bahrain is an archipelago made up of 33 islands, with the largest being Bahrain Island. The country has been inhabited since ancient times, with settlements dating back over 5,000 years. Today, Bahrain is known for its cosmopolitan cities, beaches, financial hub, and tourist attractions that draw visitors from around the world.

This blog post will provide an overview of Bahrain’s history, culture, attractions, and business landscape. Whether you’re considering a visit or are just curious to learn more, read on to discover 20 fascinating facts about this island nation.

History and Culture


1. Crossroads of Ancient Civilizations

Bahrain has been an important trading center connecting Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilizations for over 4,000 years. It was central to ancient trade routes that linked the ancient civilizations of Dilmun, Sumer, Assyria, and Persia. Artifacts from these great empires have been unearthed on the islands.

2. Legacy of the Dilmun Civilization

The Dilmun civilization, which inhabited Bahrain from 3,000 BC to 330 BC, was an important trading empire. Artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and ancient Egypt have been discovered in burial mounds on the island. Dilmun established trade ties with civilizations as far as the Mediterranean and South Asia.

3. Arrival of Islam

Islam reached Bahrain in 629 AD via the Prophet Muhammad’s messengers and shaped the local culture. Today, Bahrainis are predominantly Muslim and Islamic customs and traditions strongly influence daily life. Grand mosques like the Al Fateh Grand Mosque accommodate worshippers for daily prayers.

4. Distinctive Bahraini Cuisine

Bahraini cuisine reflects influences from around the Gulf region and South Asia. Popular dishes include machboos (spiced rice dishes), muhammar (sweet rice dessert), and luxurious fish entrees like hammour cooked in spices. Traditional coffee houses called “maqha” serve Arabic coffee and dates.

5. Vibrant Islamic Festivals

The country comes alive during Islamic celebrations like Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Bahrainis celebrate by wearing traditional clothing, attending prayers at mosques, and feasting with family and friends. Sweets like maamoul cookies are prepared and gifted during Islamic holidays.

Modern Attractions

Bahrain Ritz Carlton Beach
Bahrain Ritz Carlton Beach | photo by Simon Chapman

6. Idyllic Beaches

Bahrain is home to over 161 kilometers of natural coastline, with sandy beaches, shallow bays, and azure waters. Popular beach spots include Al Jazayr Beach, lined with date palm trees, and the gorgeous blue waters of Hawar Islands Beach.

7. Historic Museums

The Bahrain National Museum provides an overview of the nation’s history and houses artifacts dating back to ancient Dilmun. The Beit Al Quran Museum exhibits Islamic art and manuscripts in a traditional Bahraini home. The Bahrain Pearling Museum honors the island’s pearl diving heritage.

8. Lively Nightlife

Bahrain has a buzzing nightlife scene, especially in the lively Adliya district. Here you’ll find crowded shisha lounges filled with apple-scented smoke, stylish bars and clubs like the swanky Bushido, and live folk music at Laialy café.

9. Shopping Galore

Bab al Bahrain alley
Bab al Bahrain alley

Shopaholics flock to modern malls like City Centre Bahrain with its designer boutiques and cineplex. You can also browse through traditional markets like Bab Al Bahrain Souq under the archway entrance to pick up handicrafts, wispy Omani incense, and souvenirs.

10. Formula One Thrills

Formula One racing fans won’t want to miss the annual Bahrain Grand Prix, which takes place at the state-of-the-art Bahrain International Circuit. The circuit has hosted F1 races since 2004, with heart-pumping action and celebrations.

Business and Finance

11. Pioneer of Gulf Oil Production

Bahrain is considered a pioneer of the oil industry in the Gulf region. Oil was first discovered in 1932 near Jebel Al Dukhan. Today, finance and services make up a larger share of the country’s economy. The country still has some active oil fields like Awali field run by Tatweer Petroleum.

12. Banking and Finance Hub

The country is home to over 370 financial institutions and over 91 banks (2020). It’s emerged as a banking and financial services hub for the Middle East and North Africa region. Key players include the Bank of Bahrain & Kuwait and Shamil Bank of Bahrain.

13. Major Infrastructure Projects

Bahrain has invested significantly in infrastructure and transport networks, including highways, a modern airport, and the ambitious Khalifa bin Salman Port expansion project. The port aims to double capacity to handle larger ships and boost trade flows.

14. Business-Friendly Policies

In recent years, the government has actively encouraged foreign investment to drive economic growth and diversification. Several economic free zones have been established, like Bahrain International Investment Park. The country also has low taxes and good regulations to support business.

15. Modern Stock Exchange

Bahrain’s currency is the Bahraini Dinar (BHD). The Bahrain Bourse is the country’s stock exchange operating since 1989. Over 40 companies are listed on the exchange across sectors like banking, insurance, hotels, and logistics.

Unique Features

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix.
2012 Bahrain Grand Prix. | Author Ryan Bayona

16. Pearl Diving Heritage

For centuries, Bahrain was famous for natural pearl diving. Many men would dive for months at a time to harvest valuable natural pearls from oyster beds around the islands. Pearl diving declined after the 1930s but is still celebrated in cultural festivals.

17. The Mystery of the Tree of Life

Tree of Life, Bahrain
Tree of Life, Bahrain | image wikimedia.org | Author Zairon

The Tree of Life in Bahrain is a mesmerizing natural wonder and national symbol. Located in the desert, this lone tree has miraculously sustained itself for centuries without access to groundwater. Its survival remains an ecological mystery that continues to confound scientists.

18. First Country to Discover Oil in Gulf

Bahrain is the first country in the Gulf region to discover oil reserves. Today, the country produces only 46,000 barrels per day but has substantial proven offshore reserves in excess of 120 million barrels as of 2018.

19. Formula One Pioneer

Formula One fans won’t want to miss the Bahrain Grand Prix, the first Formula One race to be held in the Middle East. It takes place at the 5.4-kilometer Bahrain International Circuit, which is lit up by floodlights for night races.

20. Iconic Twin Towers

Bahrain WTC
image from wikimedia.org

An iconic landmark is the Bahrain World Trade Centre, which has two sail-shaped towers connected by a bridgeway. Uniquely, the towers are fitted with three large wind turbines that generate up to 15% of the towers’ power needs.


Bahrain may be small, but it packs in loads of culture, entertainment, natural scenery, and business opportunities. From ancient civilizations and Islamic influences to modern attractions and financial institutions, Bahrain provides fascinating insight into the Middle East region. Whether planning a luxurious vacation or expanding your business, Bahrain has something for everyone. With these 20 fun facts, you’re now an expert on this dynamic island nation! Let me know if you have any other questions.


What is Bahrain?

Bahrain is a country in the Middle East, located in the Persian Gulf.

What are some interesting facts about Bahrain?

Bahrain is the smallest Arab country and one of the oldest countries in the world. It is also known for its rich history, diverse culture, and beautiful landscapes.

What is the capital city of Bahrain?

The capital city of Bahrain is Manama.

Is Bahrain an Arab country?

Yes, Bahrain is an Arab country.

Q: What are some famous landmarks in Bahrain?

A: Bahrain is home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Bahrain Pearling Trail, Qal’at al-Bahrain (Bahrain Fort), and the Ancient Qal’at Bu Mahir (Bu Mahir Fort).

Q: What is the King Fahd Causeway?

A: The King Fahd Causeway is a bridge connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, providing a direct road link between the two countries.

Q: Are there any underwater attractions in Bahrain?

A: Yes, Bahrain is home to an underwater theme park called Dive Bahrain, which is one of the largest in the world.

Q: What is the significance of the Pillars of Islam in Bahrain?

A: The Pillars of Islam, which include five foundational acts of worship, are important to the religious and cultural practices in Bahrain.

Q: How is the economy of Bahrain?

A: The economy of Bahrain is heavily reliant on the oil industry, with the Bahrain Petroleum Company being a major player. However, the country has also diversified its economy to include sectors such as finance, tourism, and manufacturing.

Q: How is the government system in Bahrain?

A: Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy, with the King as the head of state and the Prime Minister as the head of government.

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