Bahrain,officially the Kingdom of Bahrain,is a small island country situated near the western shores of the Persian Gulf in the Middle East.
Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilisation. It has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century.Bahrain was one of the earliest areas to convert to Islam (ad 628). Following a period of Arab rule, Bahrain was occupied by the Portuguese in 1521, who in turn were expelled in 1602 by Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty under the Persian Empire. In 1783, the Bani Utbah clan captured Bahrain from Nasr Al-Madhkur and it has since been ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family, with Ahmed al Fateh as Bahrain’s first hakim. In the late 1800s, following successive treaties with the British, Bahrain became a protectorate of the United Kingdom. In 1971, Bahrain declared independence. Formerly a state, Bahrain was declared a Kingdom in 2002. Since early 2011, the country has experienced sustained protests and unrest inspired by the regional Arab Spring, particularly by the majority Shia population.
Bahrain had the first post-oil economy in the Persian Gulf. Since the late 20th century, Bahrain has invested in the banking and tourism sectors. The country’s capital, Manama, is home to many large financial structures. Bahrain has a high Human Development Index and was recognised by the World Bank as a high income economy.
Population: 2014 estimate 1,343,000 (155th)
2010 census 1,234,571
Density: 1,626.6/km2 (7th)
Calling Code: +973
Arabic is the official language of Bahrain, though English is widely used.
The state religion of Bahrain is Islam and most Bahraini citizens are Muslim. There are no official figures for the proportion of Shia and Sunni among the Muslims of Bahrain, but approximately 65–75% percent of Bahraini Muslims are Shia. Read More