+973 is the dialing code for Bahrain.
The Kingdom of Bahrain, located on a number of islands in the Persian Gulf, like its neighbors, bases its economy on oil and gas extraction. The power rests with the Khalifa Sunni Muslim family, despite the fact that a majority of the residents are Shiites. Many of them feel discriminated against, and the regime has periodically resorted to harsh methods to keep the Shiite-dominated opposition in check. In the spring of 2011, the royal family managed to quell regime-critical protests only after troops from neighboring countries within the cooperative organization GCC came to the rescue.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Bahrain, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Bahrain (“two seas” in Arabic) consists of about thirty islands in the Persian Gulf, between the coast of Saudi Arabia and the peninsula of Qatar. Only six of the islands are inhabited.
The main island of Bahrain, which occupies more than four fifths of the country’s surface, is 5 km long and at its widest 2.5 km. It consists mostly of barren desert with salt marsh at the far south. Along the northern coast there is cultivable land. There is a great lack of surface water and the fresh water that is below the ground is often mixed with salt water.
Bahrain is flat – the highest point reaches just 135 meters above sea level. A bridge connects Bahrain with Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain’s climate is hot and humidity is high. In summer, it is often 40 degrees or more in the shade.
|Cultivated land||11.3 %|
|Land area||760 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||2.41 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||88.8 %|
|Death rate||2.69 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||80.98 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||76.53 years|
|Birth rate||13.66 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||9.35 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||13260 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per inhabitant||9449.8 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||12700 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||96.5 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||177 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||537 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||4.1% of the workforce|
|GDP||50100 per resident|
|Primary occupations||1 %|
|Secondary profession||79 %|
|Tertiary professions||20 %|
The most common wind, shamal (nordan), is humid and blows from the northwest during the summer. A hot, dry southwest wind known as qaws occurs especially in the spring and draws in sand over mainly the southern part of Bahrain.
In winter, when the extremely low rainfall falls, the daytime temperature stays between 20 and 25 degrees.
693 km2 (2018)
Swedish +2 hours
Adjacent country (s)
Capital with number of residents
Manama 398,000 (Sources: Allcitypopulation.com)
Other major cities
Jabal al-Dukhan (135 m asl)
Tweet leads to jail
A person is sentenced to six months in prison for insulting the king via Twitter. The convicted was arrested along with three others in October.
Protests and crowds are banned
The government bans all protests and public gatherings. Earlier this month, a police officer was killed and one seriously injured by an explosion charge in connection with demonstrations against the government in the city of al-Akr a few miles south of Manama.
Human rights activist is sentenced to prison
A well-known human rights activist, Nabil Rajab, is sentenced to three years in prison for participating in “illegal meetings”. Rajab was one of the organizers of the protests in 2011. The sentence is reduced a few months later to two years.
Regime critics end hunger strike
The regime critic Abdulhadi al-Khawaja (see June 2011) ends a hunger strike that lasts for a couple of months, partly because he is forcibly fed in prison and partly because he thinks he has achieved his goal: to draw the world’s attention to the protest movement in Bahrain.
Protest against Formula One competition
Protests are being held in Manama ahead of the country hosting the Formula 1 Grand Prix competitions. The protesters, including many foreign activists, demand that the competitions be canceled because of Bahrain’s human rights violations. The competition is held as planned, under heavy police surveillance and without any major disturbances.
The demonstrations continue
In mid-February, protesters gathered in the city for the anniversary of the riot at Pärltorget. They are met by tear gas from security forces.