Quick facts

  • Full name: Kingdom of Bahrain
  • Capital: Manama
  • Largest city: Manama
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Area: 765.3 km2
  • Population: 1,425,171 (2016)
  • Currency: Bahraini Dinar (BHD) 1 (BHD) = 100 fils
  • Foreign tourists: 10.1 million (2016)
  • Travel risks and hazards: Terrorism risk.

Bahrain is worldwide famous for its pearls. This fame dates back to classical times where it was known to Ancient Greeks as Tylos, (center of pearl trading). Before the development of the petroleum industry, the island was solely known for its pearls however modern times proved the island has large oil reserves allowing Bahrain to quickly develop. Now the island brings in 10 times more tourists than its native population is. There are numerous world heritage sites scattered around the island also contributing to the tourist flow.

Skyline view of Bahrain Mosque at night

Traveling info

All tourists traveling to Bahrain must have a valid passport. 116 nationalities are allowed to apply for eVisa which is applicable online. Citizens of countries that are not permitted to apply for a visa online must apply for a visa in a Bahrain consulate or embassy. (List of countries applicable for eVisa in sources). Visitors who wish to drive in Bahrain are allowed to do so using their national driving permit. An international driving permit is not required but some car rental companies might demand such a document. Beware that the IDP does not substitute for the original driving permit and is only a translation of it.

Docks in the distance with the sun setting

Traveling hazards

Bahrain has a well-developed infrastructure and public transport. Locals, however, prefer the luxury of a private car and more people every year choose driving on their own over public transport. This has greatly contributed to traffic congestion and a higher traffic accident rate. Highways and major roads in the northern third of Bahrain are four to six lanes wide and well maintained, roads in villages and older parts of Manama and Muharraq are narrow and twisting.

Close up picture of camels head with 3 camels and palm trees in the background

Environmental hazards

There are no large mammals or any large land creatures that could pose a threat to people. Instead, there are several species of sea snakes in particular which are lethally venomous. The fat tail scorpion is among the most lethal of its species and it inhabits the island of Bahrain. A sting from these lethal scorpions can cause a number of terrible symptoms, including seizures, unconsciousness, and hypertension. Other than that black widow has been recently spotted in Bahrain. These spiders are not aggressive and no one has died in the past 100 years from their bites however every bite is to be treated seriously as not treating it may be fatal. Swimming in Bahrain is generally safe. There has been only a single shark attack ever recorded in the history of the country. Millions of tourists visit each year and given their sheer number and the rarity of any incidents it is almost impossible to be in any danger in the water. Tourists are advised to stick to guarded beaches for safety.
Bahrain mainly suffers from earthquakes. No other natural hazard is responsible for as many damages as earthquakes are. Other than that extreme temperatures are the main cause of life loss.

Boats sitting in a harbor with skyscrapers in the distance

Health hazards

There is no risk of yellow fever in Bahrain. The government of Bahrain requires proof of yellow fever vaccination only if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever. There are other vaccines that are not required but recommended to ensure safety. Routine vaccines aka MMR vaccines, hepatitis A and B, typhoid and rabies vaccines. Government-provided health care is free to Bahraini citizens and subsidized for non-Bahrainis. Healthcare Expenditure accounted for 4.5% of Bahrain’s GDP, according to the World Health Organisation. Private hospitals are also present throughout the country, such as the International Hospital of Bahrain. Both sectors provide excellent service and a lot of them have English speaking staff due to the high influx of tourists and migrants. Be sure to purchase medical insurance. Despite the fact that expats are subsidized on their medical services, the subsidies do not cover the full price. Medical insurance will cover for any possible medical bills.
In case of an emergency dial 999.

4 people yachting with docks in the background


The targeting of non-citizen residents of Bahrain for crime is uncommon. Harassment of women and sexual assault does occur, although not all cases are reported to the police. Other reported crimes include, but are not limited to, various types of immigration and residency fraud, credit card theft, prostitution, white-collar fraud, embezzlement, possession or trafficking of illegal narcotics, and property theft. According to the government of Bahrain, 14,797 people were arrested for crimes between January-September 2017. Violent crime is rare, and firearms are prohibited in Bahrain. Bahrain is a medium threat location for terrorist activity. According to the government of Bahrain, there were 112 attacks on policemen in 2017, resulting in the death of four police officers. In November, militants detonated an IED targeting a bus carrying policemen on Sheik Khalifa highway, a principal route for many residents. A small number of Sunnis have become radicalized in the past several years and either joined local factions or left to fight with ISIS and other militant groups in Syria and Iraq. Although Bahrain is a Muslim country tourists can generally feel relaxed, expat women do not need to wear veils and can wear ordinary swimming gear (bikinis, etc) while at the beach. Drugs are illegal, being caught in possession of any narcotic substances will result in severe sentences.

resort swimming pool with palm trees surrounding it


For those who enjoy small spaces that pack a punch, Bahrain is the place to go. Most of the islands popular spots can be toured within 4 days however there are hundreds of less known spots all over the island. Remember that planning your trip with will give you the quickest information about the nearest emergency services and will also help you purchase indispensable travel insurance for the trip of your lifetime. Please feel free to comment and share the experiences of your travels with