Middle East - Bahrain



Country Profile:

Bahrain – whose name means ‘two seas’ – was once viewed by the ancient Sumerians as an island paradise to which the wise and the brave were taken to enjoy eternal life. It was one of the first Gulf states to discover oil; as such it benefited from oil wealth before most of its Gulf neighbours. But Bahrain never reached the levels of production enjoyed by Saudi Arabia or Kuwait and has been forced to diversify its economy. It has turned to petroleum processing and refining and has transformed itself into an international banking centre. With its highly developed communication and transportation facilities, Bahrain is home to numerous multinationals with business in the region. It is also investing in the promotion of its tourism industry. Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy, headed by Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Main Trade Partners:

France, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UK, USA

Main Industries:

Oil & Gas, Aluminium, Financial Services, Ship Repair, Tourism


718,306 (incl. 235,108 non-nationals) (July 2008 CIA World Factbook est.)


717 sq. km.


24.5 bn. (2007 IMF est.)

GDP Real Growth Rate:

6.6% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

GDP per Capita:

$32,064 (2007 IMF est.)

GDP per Sector:

Services 56.1%, Industry 43.6%, Agriculture 0.3% (2007 CIA World Factbook est.)

Stock Market Capitalisation:

$21.12 bn. (2006 CIA World Factbook)

Exchange Rate:

1 Bahrain Dinar = 2.66 US$ (Fixed) 1 US$ = 0.378 Bahrain Dinars

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