Cool Facts About Bahrain
An island nation that derives its name from Arabic as “TwoSeas”, Bahrain’s life revolves around water. The country offers the mix of both Arabian and Persian culture as since ancient times both the regions have made an indelible influence in shaping the history and way of life of its people. Initially, economy of Bahrain thrived on pearl diving and fishing and today it has boomed because of its vast oil reserves that were tapped since the 1930s. Now, the prosperous economy of Bahrain is not solely reliant on oil but it has diversified in sectors like education and tourism, evidently making it one of the sought after destinations in the Gulf. The flourishing economy of the country has eventually paved way to turn the Manama city into a major financial and communication center. Plans are on track to construct a causeway that will connect Bahrain and Qatar; once completed, it will become the world’s longest marine causeway. Another mega project is the proposal of building Murjan Tower that will be at a dizzying height of 1,022 m (3,353 ft) ousting the reigning tallest man-made structure in the world, Burj Khalifa. Adding to the list is the Bahrain International Circuit for Formula One Grand Prix, the first in an Arab country. With such bold and mega projects envisaged and executed Bahrain is beckoning the world to immerse itself in its grand bliss. Following are some interesting facts about the country.
Largest City: Manama
Official Language: Arabic
Legislature: Constitutional Monarchy
Independence: 15 August 1971 (from theUnited Kingdom)
Area: 750 sq. km
Population: 1,234,596 (2010 estimates)
Currency: Bahraini dinar (BHD)
National Animal: Arabian Oryx
Interesting And Fun Facts About Bahrain
- Bahrain is the smallest among the Arabian countries.
- The name ‘Bahrain’ means two seas, which is attributed to the sweet water springs and salty water in the seas that surrounds the island country.
- Located in a gulf between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 islands.
- One of the earliest cradles of civilization, with an archeological legacy of 5000 years, this island served as a very important strategic spot due to its location in the Persian Gulf.
- Bahrainis connected to mainland of Saudi Arabiaby a 26 km long bridge called the King Fahd Causeway.
- The causeway was built in 1982 and about 1.2 billion US dollars were spent for its construction.
- Bahrain was the first Arabian country to discover petroleum in 1932.
- The currency of Bahrain is Dinar. 1 Dinar is equivalent to 2.66 US Dollar.
- Bahrain is believed to be the biblical place of the Garden of Eden.
- The official religion of Bahrain is Islam and the main language spoken here is Arabic.
- Bahrain’s size is approximately 50 kilometers in length and 16 kilometers by breadth, at the widest parts. The island is spread over an area of 665 sq. kms.
- A sizeable portion of the Bahrain land is reclaimed land that is made by filling the shallow coastlines or joining sand bars by sand or landfill.
- There is a famous Mesquite tree called “Tree of Life” which is 400 years old and stands alone in the desert of Bahrain. The fact that the water source of the tree is not known attracts huge number of visitors.
- Bahrain is known for its scorching summer where temperature can reach up to 45 degree Celsius and the apparent temperature along with humidity can be as high as 50 degree Celsius.
- Once Bahrain hoisted the largest national flag that stood 318 by 555 feet high. The record was broken by an Israeli Flag.
- The world’s largest simultaneous coin toss event was organized in the British School of Bahrain, by the Guinness Book of World Records.
- The Bahrain World Trade center is the world’s first high rise building to have incorporated wind turbine in its design.
- With the protection of the British government, Bahrain joined Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (then known as Trucial States) in 1968 to form a union of Arab emirates. But after 3 years, in 1971, the union of this sheikdom was not realized; as a result, Bahrain parted ways and decided to declare independence from the British.
- Bahrain’s population is predominantly of Shiite sect but the country is ruled by Sunni Muslims.
- There has been an incessant conflict between the Shiite majority and ruling Sunni tribe ever since the country gained independence from the British.
- After the declaration of Independence by Bahrain, Iran put its claim on the Island but its claim was revoked by the United Nations.
- Bahrain is among the only 3 countries having Shiite majority, the other two countries areIraqandIran.
- Gulf Daily News is a Bahraini English newspaper based atManama.
- A significant overhaul in the political and economic areas ofBahrainwas done by King Hamad bin Isa Alkhalifa who became the king ofBahrainin 2002; this action consequently putBahrainin the fast track of development.
- For the first time in 2002 election, women inBahrainwere given the political right to vote and stand in the national elections.
- In 2004, Dr. Nada Haffadh became the first female cabinet minister, who was appointed as the minister of health in the same year.
- The first Middle Eastern woman to become the President of the United Nations General Assembly was Haya bint Rashid Al Khalifa fromBahrain.
- The Bahraini capital ofManamais 3 hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time.
- 92% of the land inBahrainis desert while only 2.82% of the total land is arable.
- Bahrain is one of the fastest growing economies in the Arab world.
- The 2011 Index of Economic Freedom ranks Bahrain first in the middle east as the freest economy while around the world it has been ranked as the 10th freest economy.
- In 1782, Bahrain was captured by the Al Khalifa family from the Persians.
- Dance and music form an innate part of the culture of Bahraini people, which loads their culture with numerous kinds of art forms.
- With the combination of modern infrastructure and Persian culture, many a time it has been described as ‘Middle Eastlite’.
- In Arabic, theKingdomofBahrainis known as ‘Mamlakat al-Bahrayn.’
- Since ancient times, various spots of fresh water gushing in the middle of salt water have been sighted in the NorthernseaofBahrain.
- The flag ofBahrainhas a white and a red area that is separated by five red triangles merging in the red area. These five triangles represent the five pillars of Islam.
- Bahrain is the first Arab country to host the Gulf Air Grand Prix in 2004. Other major events include, Bahrain Grand Prix, Australian V8 Supercar event, etc.
- Bahrainhas been described as ‘an excellent introduction to thePersian Gulf’ by the lonely planet guide.
- Qal’at Al Bahrain or the Bahrain fort has been listed as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO.