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Country information - Bahrain
Country name - conventional long form : Kingdom of Bahrain
Country name - conventional short form : Bahrain
Country name - local long form : Mamlakat al Bahrayn
Country name - local short form : Al Bahrayn
Country name - former : Dilmun
Government type : constitutional monarchy
Capital - name : Manama
Capital - time difference : UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : National Day, 16 December (1971); note - 15 August 1971 was the date of independence from the UK, 16 December 1971 was the date of independence from British protection
Nationality - noun : Bahraini(s)
Nationality - adjective : Bahraini
Languages : Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
Currency (code) : Bahraini dinar (BHD)
Currency code : BHD

Bahrain is located Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia. The climate is arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers. The terrain is mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : In 1783, the al-Khalifa family captured Bahrain from the Persians. In order to secure these holdings, it entered into a series of treaties with the UK during the 19th century that made Bahrain a British protectorate. The archipelago attained its independence in 1971. Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian 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. King HAMAD bin Isa al-Khalifa, after coming to power in 1999, pushed economic and political reforms to improve relations with the Shia community. Shia political societies participated in 2006 parliamentary and municipal elections. Al Wifaq, the largest Shia political society, won the largest number of seats in the elected chamber of the legislature. However, Shi'a discontent has resurfaced in recent years with street demonstrations and occasional low-level violence.

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