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City MapBahrain is the pearl of the Arabian Gulf is a fascinating archipelago of over 30 islands situated at the heart of the Arabian Gulf the country lies between the east coast Saudi Arabia and the Qatar peninsula a latitude 26 North almost parallel to Miami. The islands cover a total land area of nearly 700, which makes them slightly smaller than Singapore.

The word Bahrain literally means two seas. It refers to the natural springs of water rising from beneath the sea which are used by the country's famous pearl divers. Bahrain has a rich heritage and culture revealed in its museums, archeological sites, handicraft centers and preserved structures There are landmarks of a civilization which dates back 5000 years when Bahrain was known as The island of a million palm trees Ancient crafts of dhow building, basket weaving. pottery and cloth weaving are still practiced.

Bahrain offers a unique blend of ancient and modern values which add to its charm Modern skyscrapers rub shoulders with majestic looking mosques embodying the cultures art and architecture of Islam. Also to be found are air conditioned shopping malls with every modern amenity as well as colorful souks with narrow streets lined with shops selling a myriad of items which cater to the tastes of a variety of visitors.

Scientists believe Bahrain has only been an island for about 6000 years, before which it was part of the Arabian peninsula. The Bahrain -Saudi King Fahad Causeway , a four lane highway. which was opened in 1986 once again links Bahrain to the mainland. This has resulted in an increased inflow of visitors from GCC countries. The country' has a varied topography ranging from reply deserts to lush green vegetation, sandy beaches, traditional architecture and parks spread over all the islands in the group, most of which are accessible to off-shore cruises.

Bahrain's year round fine weather offers scope for a wide range of leisure activities whether on land or sea. The island offers facilities for year round swimming, game fishing. and all types of water sports like scuba diving snorkeling. water skiing. and diving. For those who are more at home on firmer ground there are golf courses. race courses, riding clubs and health clubs Alternatively cars are available for rent thus enabling long drives around the country' to be undertaken.

Bahrain is developing into a premier vacation center in the Gulf. It has already become a popular weekend resort for neighboring countries Bahrain 's liberal crime-free lifestyle the hospitality of its people, its rich culture and heritage. its natural attractions and its strategic position as the hub of middle east aviation makes these group of islands an ideal destination for a holiday or for a stopover.

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