Located in the Middle East, the Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of almost thirty islands and is situated towards the east of Saudi Arabia. The capital city of Bahrain is Manama.
Being a small nation, Bahrain has a very small population of around 634,886 as per 2004 census, among which a majority are foreigners. Life in Bahrain is highly urbanized with about four-fifths of population in cities; majority of it is seen in Manama the capital city. Most of the rural villages are provided with electricity and running water. The impact of urbanization is seen even in villages that most of the traditional houses made of palm branches are replaced by modern houses.
Religiously, life in Bahrain is almost centered between two predominant Muslim communities, namely Shia and Sunni that comprise a major community. In fact, religious identity is absolutely essential for personal identification in this country as Islam is its official religion. However, Bahrainis do practice a great deal of tolerance towards other religions. The country is under the control of constitutional monarchy government ruled by the members of Al-Khalifa Dynasty since the year 1783. While, Arabic is the official language in Bahrain, a majority of Bahrainis are fluent in English. In addition, languages like Farsi and Urdu are spoken by Indian, Persian and Arab residents.
Climatically, life in Bahrain is always harsh due to dry landscape, very hot, humid summer and scanty rainfall less than 3 inches per year. However, the winters are pleasant. Due to scanty rainfall life in Bahrain is dependent on occupations other than agriculture. In addition, petroleum production and processing, contributes about 60 percent of the economy. Industrial and commerce sectors offer most of the jobs. Great extents of jobs are handled by foreigners. Owing to its strategic location, endless oil reserves and well-developed transportation system, Bahrain has become an economical powerhouse in the Middle East and Persian Gulf region with several national and multinational firms having their head quarters here.
When it comes to food habits, life in Bahrain depends primarily on imported food materials. Machbous, a local delicacy made of fish or meat and served with rice, is the most relished dish in Bahrain. Apart from this, one can even enjoy several interesting delicacies that are specially prepared during the auspicious month of Ramadan.
Being a wealthy nation, medical services are provided to people free. Art, culture and music form an integral part of people’s life in Bahrain. In addition, a great deal of importance is given to customary traditions, particularly the way men and women must lead their life in Bahrain. In this part of the world, women are considered as weaker section of the community.
Another major aspect that has a tremendous influence over people’s life in Bahrain is tourism. The best time to visit this beautiful country in between November and March. Manama is the most important city to visit in Bahrain that contains many important monuments including the Al-Fateh Mosque, Museum of Pearl Diving, Bahrain National Museum and Tree of Life. Night life in Bahrain, particularly in the Manama City is absolutely pulsating with music all around. There are quite a number of night clubs, cafes, pubs and bars located around Manama. Restaurants in Manama offer several national and international cuisines serving all kinds of visitors.
Even for shoppers, life in Bahrain offers a truly memorable experience with some outstanding shopping malls offering internationally branded products at an economical price. In fact, the Souq Gold market in Manama is a place which no tourist visiting Bahrain can ever miss. In addition, Bahrain is one of those few locations in the world where annual Grand Prix F1 car races are held every year. Even for adventure lovers, Bahrain offers a variety of options that include Scuba diving, Snorkeling and Sailing. Apart from these, there is also an 18-hole international Golf course on the island.
As can be seen, the life in Bahrain is a blend with both modern and traditional flavors, offering visitors a unique yet an unforgettable experience.