Bahrain before sunset © Harold Heindell Tejada
Sophisticated, modern, and cosmopolitan, Bahrain is a kingdom of 33 islands in the Arabian Gulf. It welcomes an increasing number of international tourists who come to experience the country's fascinating blend of eastern and western cultures.
On the main island, Manama boasts excellent hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, an intriguing souk (bazaar), and all the other facilities visitors need for a great holiday. In addition, there are decent beaches, perennially hot and sunny weather, English is spoken and understood everywhere, and the kingdom has the remnants of more than 5,000 years of civilisation to be explored.
Bahrain is attached to the Arabian Peninsula via a 16-mile (25km) long causeway. During its construction, the islands' archaeological significance came to light with the discovery of thousands of burial mounds dating from the third millennium BC, part of the well-ordered ancient city of Dilmun that existed where a forest of skyscrapers now reaches for the sky.
Throughout its history, Bahrain has been prosperous, first on the strength of its good position for trade and fishing, and the abundance and quality of the pearls found in its waters, and more latterly because of its oil resources.
Though the government is less stable than in years past, Bahrain is still growing as a popular tourist destination in the Middle East. A visit to Bahrain, whether on business or pleasure, is an interesting, relaxing, and rewarding experience.