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State of Bahrain

Capital:
Manama
Population:
516,444 (1992 est.)
Population density:
737 per sq km
Distribution:
81% urban,19% rural
Land area:
678 sq km (262 sq mi)
Elevations:
135m (443ft)
Official language:
Arabic
Major religion:
Islam
Literacy:
77% of adult population
Universities:
Bahrain University
Life expectancy:
Women75-Men 70
Infant mortality:
21per1000 live birth
GDP:
$4.0 billion $7500 per capital
Foreign trade:
Imports -- $3.7 billion
Exports $3.7 billion
Currency:
Bahrain dinar
$1 = 377 fils
Government:
Monarchy
Head of state:
H.H Hamad bin Isa bin Sulman Al-Khalifa.
Legislature:
National Assembly
Subdivisions:
12 municipalities
Railroads:
None
Roads (1988):
2614km (1624 mi)
Major ports:
Mina Sulman
Major airfields:
GulfAir

Time zone:
GMT + 3 hours

Weights and measures:
Metric
Electricity:
220 volts, 50 cycles

IDC:
+973

Business hours

Friday is the weekly day of rest. Many businesses close early on Thursday. The 36-hour week with Thursday and Friday as weekend applies to all branches of the Civil Service and schools.

Government offices: 07.00-14.15 Sat to Tues; 07.00-14.00 Wed

Commercial organizations: 07.00-12.00 then 14.30-17.30 Sat to Thurs

Shops: 08.00-12.30 then 15.30-18.30 Sat to Thurs

Banks: 07.30-12.00 Sat to Wed, then 15.30-17.30 (some banks); 07.30-11.00 Thurs

Media

Bahrain has four terrestrial television channels. Two broadcast in English and two in Arabic.
Bahrain 55 : 1700 - 2300 English Programs
Bahrain 57 : 24 hours BBC World Service
Bahrain 4 : 24 hours Arabic Programs
Bahrain 44 : 24 hours Arabic Programs

Broadcasts from other GCC countries can be received, atmospheric conditions permitting. Bahrain offers a satellite microwave network facility featuring the Star TV channels, as well as CNN, on an annual subscription basis.

Radio Bahrain broadcasts in English 24 hours a day on 96.5 and 101 FM serving a diet of mostly contemporary music interspersed with features and occasionally comedy programs from England. Bahrain Broadcasting Service transmits in Arabic on 612 and 801 kHz VHF from 0600 - 2400.

Bahrain has four daily newspapers - two in Arabic and two in English. Akhbar Al Khaleej and Al Ayam are the Arabic papers, and Gulf Daily News and Bahrain Tribune are the English papers. A number of Arabic and English language business magazines are published locally The two main UAE English papers also are circulated in Bahrain. International newspapers, magazines and publications are widely available.

Climate

June - October, hot and humid (44șC); December - April, mild (l0șC - 20șC); December, January and February can be quite cool and rainy with cardigans, sweaters and even electric heaters required occasionally.

Clothes

Lightweight clothing is suitable for May - October. Medium-weight clothing is suitable for November - April. Sunglasses are necessary. Bahrain is very modern in its approach to everyday life. While no formal dress code is imposed, for the sake of courtesy and common sense, visitors should dress sensibly when in town. This means, shorts are not normally acceptable for either sex, and women should not wear short, low- cut, backless or sleeveless dresses which may give offence to some members of the local community.

Religion

Islam is practiced by 85 percent of the population However. Bahrain being an extremely tolerant society allows freedom of worship to a number of other faiths including Hinduism, Parseeism, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity. There are a variety of places of worship available on the island including both Anglican and Catholic churches.

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