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Bahrains Introduction to the Persian Gulf

Aug 18, 2007
Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a borderless island country in the Persian Gulf and is the smallest Arab nation. Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway and Qatar is to the south across the Gulf of Bahrain. The Qatara Bahrain Friendship Bridge currently being planned will link Bahrain to Qatar as the longest fixed link in the world.

Bahrain is a generally flat and arid archipelago, comprising of a low desert plain rising gently to a low central escarpment, in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia. The highest point is the 122 m Jabal ad Dukhan.

In a region currently experiencing an unprecedented oil boom, Bahrain has the fastest growing economy. Unemployment, especially among the young and the depletion of both oil and underground water resources are major long term economic problems.

Arabic is the official language.

The official religion is Islam, which the majority of the population practices.

Sometimes described as the Middle East lite a country that mixes thoroughly modern infrastructure with a definite Persian Gulf identity, but unlike other countries in the region its prosperity is not solely a reflection of the size of its oil wealth, but also related to the creation of an indigenous middle class. This unique socio economic development in the Persian Gulf has meant that it is generally more liberal than its neighbours. While Islam is the main religion, Bahrainis have been known for their tolerance, and alongside mosques can be found churches, a Hindu temple, a Sikh Gurdwara and a Jewish synagogue. The country is home to several communities that have faced persecution elsewhere.

Bahrain is the home of Formula One racing in the Middle East. It started hosting the Gulf Air Grand Prix on 4 April 2004, the first for an Arab country. The race was won by Michael Schumacher of Scuderia Ferrari. This was followed by the Bahrain Grand Prix in 2005. Bahrain has successfully hosted the opening Grand Prix of the 2006 season on 12 March.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East with over two million tourists a year. Most of the visitors are from the Arab, Persian Gulf states but there is an increasing number of tourists from outside the region thanks to a growing awareness of the Kingdoms rich heritage and its higher profile with regards to the Bahrain Formula One Race Track.

The Lonely Planet describes Bahrain as an excellent introduction to the Persian Gulf because of its authentic Arab heritage and reputation as relatively liberal and modern.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Bahrain Rental Site
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