Bahrain, Bahrain – where do we even begin with Bahrain? Well, let’s just kick off this article with mentioning the fact that Bahrain is one of the greatest places to visit in the world. Now, with that out of the way, let us see some basic stats. Harbouring just over 1.5 million inhabitants and considered one of the fastest growing countries in the world in terms of economy, Bahrain sits between Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Technically an island nation that only encompasses 765 square kilometres of land, it is still large enough to offer a few gasps of awe and wonder. So, before we spoil too much of what we are going to discuss below, let us hop right into the pros and cons of breaching its bounds (wink)!
1. Religion and Demographics:
So here’s the thing: you will actually find more expats and foreigners in Bahrain than locals. Over 51% of the population is made up of the former group and they make the country a melting pot of cultures and religions in an inadvertent fashion. Though it is important to remember that the predominant religion is Islam and the government itself also adheres to its rites. If you have more questions about how to behave in a Muslim country, please read our following article: “11 Things to Know before Travelling to Muslim Countries”.
As you may have already guessed, the workers of Bahrain’s establishments that pertain to the hospitality industry all expect to be tipped. This is a by-product of the fact that there are so many expats living there and it should be considered a basic norm. A 10-15% service charge will be added to each bill but that is not guaranteed to reach the workers themselves. The best thing to do is to go beyond that a little bit and go for another 10% (that is a standard that never goes wrong). Taxis also expect 10% (rounding up the bill alone will not work) and porters should be tipped a bit for each bag they help you with. Stay polite and stay smart (wink)!
3. Language barriers:
Bahrain, as mentioned above, is a multicultural country and for that particular reason, English is not only widely taught but also spoken and understood everywhere. Locals are encouraged to dabble in it to be able to interact with expats and it is slowly clawing its way up to second position after Arabic. Most people are bilingual or trilingual there, so the conclusion is that there is no reason to be concerned about language barriers.
4. Shopping paradise:
If you like shopping or if you are looking to give your lady a brilliant time, then you are bound to adore Bahrain. Street-side stalls and large marketplaces the likes of the Marrakech Medina are as prevalent as magnificent architectural wonders. From silken clothes to exquisites, you can find anything there. Oh, and do hit the central marketplace of the city of Manama (the capital), for that is bound to drop your jaws. On a side-note: expect a great deal of haggling (triple wink)!
5. Alcohol and clothes:
Though Bahrain is technically a Muslim country, alcohol is not prohibited. This is precisely why you’ll see a lot of people coming over from Saudi Arabia for weekends to party and go wild. This leniency does seep into the realm of the dressing code as well but only to a slight degree – a certain conservative code should be respected at all times. Do not reveal too much skin if you are a lady and all will be well.
Did you enjoy our list? How was your trip to Bahrain and what lasting impressions have you retained? Tell us all about it in the comment section below and be sure to check back from time to time for some exciting new updates and articles! Safe travels and merry adventures!