Bahrain Language and Culture
Official name of the state
According to a2zgov, Bahrain is made up of three larger and 30 smaller islands in the Persian Gulf, which are 25 km from the coast of Saudi Arabia and about 30 km from the Qatar peninsula. The islands are flat, the highest point is the Djebel Dukhan (134 m). Most of the Bahraini oil wells are located here. The main island has the advantage of having sufficient fresh water. In the north there are extensive date groves and irrigated orchards and vegetable gardens. The 25 km long King Fahad Dam connects Bahrain with Saudi Arabia.
Constitutional monarchy since 2002. Two-chamber legislature with elected lower house and upper house with upper house appointed by the king. Independent since 1971 (former British protectorate).
Head of state
King Hamad Ibn Isa Al-Khalifa, since 1999.
Head of government
Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, since 1971.
In Manama and other cities: 230 V, 50 Hz (Awali: 110 V, 60 Hz), three-pin plugs.
Arabia Standard Time: CET +4
The official language of Bahrain is Arabic. English is spoken as a second language in business, commerce, schools and universities. Due to the large number of guest workers, Farsi (Persian), Urdu (Pakistani national language, which is also spoken in some states in India) and Hindi (Indian official language) are widespread. French or German is sometimes spoken in hotels.
Arabic is spoken by around 320 million people worldwide as their mother tongue, and another 60 million people speak it as a second language. Because of its importance as a sacred language in the Islamic faith, Arabic has developed into a world language. Along with Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish, it is one of the 6 official languages of the United Nations. In addition to Bahrain, Arabic is also the official language in Egypt, Algeria, Eritrea, Israel, Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, although the local dialects are sometimes very different from one another. The Cairo dialectis generally understandable due to the large Egyptian film production. Standard Arabic is rarely used as an oral means of communication, for example when reading out the news or at church services.
The written language for all dialects is written standard Arabic. It is written from right to left. In the Arabic alphabet there are only consonants and long vowels. Arabic is a current script, which means that the individual letters of a word are connected with one another.
100% Muslim (Shiites (70%) and Sunnis (30%, including the royal family)).
Social rules of conduct
General: The attitude towards women is more liberal than in other Gulf states. Drug possession is severely punished. Prostitution and homosexuality are punishable by law.
At the time of prayer (five times a day) all other activities come to a halt. One should pay attention to the Islamic customs and traditions. During the month of fasting, non-Muslims are also prohibited from eating, drinking or smoking in public during the day. During the mourning month of Muhharam (the first month in the Islamic calendar) restraint is also advisable, especially when spectating the funeral processions at Ashura.
Etiquette: Traditions persist, and interactions are more formal. It is common to sit cross-legged on a pillow or sofa, but never showing the soles of your feet as this is an insult. The left hand should never be used to hand over or receive objects. When invited, it is considered polite to drink two small cups of coffee or tea, always holding the cup in your right hand. Visitors to private houses will i. General expects them to share the hosts’ bedroom as guest rooms are almost unknown.
Clothing: Well-groomed, casual clothing is acceptable on the street, but knees and shoulders should be covered. Women should avoid deep necklines. Arab women will only be seen wearing long sleeves in public.
Taking pictures: It is illegal to take pictures of military facilities. Completely veiled women should not be photographed.
Best travel time
Very hot and dry in summer (June to October) with temperatures up to 42 ° C, between December and March much cooler, especially in the evenings. Generally little rainfall, in winter it rains a little more. The most pleasant seasons are spring and autumn.
Area code +973 Area (square km) 760 Population 1346613 Population density (per square km) 1772 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 999