About the Kingdom of Bahrain
Bahrain's small size and central location among Arabian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors.
Facing declining oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking center. In February 2001, Bahraini voters approved a referendum on the National Action Charter - the centerpiece of the amir's political liberalization program. In February 2002, Amir HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa proclaimed himself king. In October 2002, Bahrainis elected members of the lower house of Bahrain's reconstituted bicameral legislature, the National Assembly.
- Location: Middle East, archipelago in the Arabian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia
- Area: total: 665 sq km, land: 665 sq km, water: 0 sq km
- Climate: arid - mild, pleasant winters - very hot, humid summers
- Natural resources: oil, associated and non-associated natural gas, fish, pearls
- Al Fateh Mosque (Grand Mosque): Bahrains Grande Mosque is set against a back drop of palm trees and the sea. Its exquisite architecture, crowned by the worlds most largest fiberglass dome. Non Muslims are welcome to visit the mosque, it is important to dress appropriately.
- The Tree of Life: The Tree of Life is approx 400yrs old, and comes from the Acacia family, which usually have a life expectancy of less then 100yrs. It is a mystery how the tree has survived in the middle of the desert without any know water source.
- Bahrain International Circuit: Accommodates up to 70.000 spectators, its main grandstand holds 15.000 spectators, plus a multi-purpose second pit building with lounges & a grandstand for 6,000 spectators. It has a media Centre with seating for 500 journalists.
- Arad Fort: The Fort is square with a circular tower on each corner. Built in the 17th century Arad Fort, It has undergone extensive restoration, and is now illuminated at night, presenting a magnificent sight.
- Bahrain Aquatique: Pearl Diving has been Bahrain's heritage for millennia. There are up to 30 species of coral and in excess of 200 species of fish can be found. In addition to reef diving there are a wrecks around the island, including ships, planes, tugs & barges.