Introduction to Bahrain
The Kingdom of Bahrain a name that translates as "Two
Seas" is actually an archipelago of 33 low-lying
islands located in the heart of the Gulf. Situated along
major Arabian and international trade routes between Asia
and the West, the Kingdom has, for millennia, served as
an important port and center of business. The capital
city of Manama is a vibrant cosmopolitan center offering
an open economy and an educated workforce enhanced by
modern cultural amenities like museums, shopping, restaurants
and fine hotels.
Bahrain is consistently one of the top Middle Eastern
countries in the United Nations Development Program's
(UNDP) annual index on human development. The UNDP's report
tracks statistics like access to medicine and medical
care, life expectancy, infant mortality and availability
of safe drinking water. Bahrain ranks proudly among the
top countries in those important yardsticks.
H.M. King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is the constitutional
monarch of Bahrain and is both King and Head of State.
In 2002, Bahrain became the first Gulf state to introduce
democracy with universal suffrage. Today, the Head of
the Government is Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman
Al Khalifa who presides over a cabinet of 23 members.
The Kingdom has a bicameral legislature, with the 40 member
Chamber of Deputies elected by universal suffrage and
the 40 member Shura Council which is appointed directly
by the King.
prides itself on its reputation as the most stable, liberal
and open society in the Gulf, with a democratic political
system, acceptance of all faiths and established women’s
is a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
formed in 1981 to enhance the economies and security of
its six members: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates.
Kingdom also enjoys close economic ties with the United
States. Bahrain is the first Gulf nation to sign a Free
Trade Agreement with the United States, in 2004, enabling
open trade between the two countries and positioning Bahrain
as a conduit for US trade flows into the Gulf region.
Bahrain is home to the US Navy’s Fifth fleet permanently
based in Juffair, about 5 miles south-east of the capital
city of Manama.
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Key Fact Sheet
Bahrain is the most attractive business environment
for companies looking to access the MENA region