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Guide: Bahrain

FACTS AND FIGURES

 

OFFICIAL NAME:

Kingdom of Bahrain

NATIONALITY: Bahraini
CAPITAL: Manama GOVERNMENT: Constitutional Hereditary Monarchy
NATIONAL DAY: December 16, (1971) LAND AREA: 711 sqkm (a bit larger than NCR)
LOCATION: Located in the Arabian gulf midway between the Qatar peninsula and Saudi Arabia
TERRAIN: Mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
CLIMATE: November-April: cold months (Temp. 15'C-24'C). July-September: summer, weather is hot (Average Temp. 36'C, ranges up to 40-42'C
NATURAL HAZARDS: Periodic Droughts; Dust Storms
POPULATION: 1,214,705 (as of August 2011)
PEOPLE: Bahraini-62.4%, Non-Bahraini-37.6% (2001 census)
LANGUAGES: Arabic (official); English (widely spoken)
RELIGION: Muslim (Shi'a and Sunni) - 81.2%, Christian - 9%, Others - 9.8% (2001 census)
WORKING WEEK: Public sector: Sunday to Thursday 7:30AM-2:15PM, Private sector: 8AM-1PM and 3PM to 5:30PM, Friday and Saturday are rest days.
CURRENCY: Bahrain Dinar (BHD), Exchange Rates: 1BHD = 112.387900 PHP (as of August 24, 2011)
CODE: COUNTRY DIALING =  +973     INTERNET  =  .bh  
TIME DIFFERENCE: GMT +3; Philippines Time is ahead by 5 hours.

 

REMINDERS:  Living in BAHRAIN

Bahrain is a Muslim country and the culture, customs and traditions practiced by its people are purely Arab, based on the teachings of Islam.  Learn about their customs, culture, laws and religion.

1.  DO Respect their prayer time.  Do not watch tem while they are praying.  It is also disrespectful if you walk in front of someone praying.

2.  DO Respect their praying carpet.  Never step on it or walk thru it.  Don't interrupt, or pass in front of a Muslim who may be praying in public place.

3.  When Holy Quran is being read, or being played on a cassette, radio or TV, it is best not to talk or disturb them.  Avoid eating, making any noise, or playing music.

4.  When giving or receiving something or eating, use your right hand.  The left hand is used for cleaning one's dirty parts of the body.

5.  If you're invited to the home of an Arab, you should always accept.

6.  You should accept refreshment whenever it's offered.

7.  Kissing both on the cheeks is a sign of appreciation.

8.  During Ramada, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking and smoking between sunrise and sunset.  Non-Muslim OFWs should refrain from eating, drinking or smoking in public or in front of employers, associates and the public. 

9.  The importation of narcotics, pork products and pornographic books and material is forbidden.

10.  DON'T offer alcoholic drinks to an Arab, unless you're certain that he drinks alcohol.  This can cause great offense.

11.  DON'T take photographs of mosques, military installations, airports, stations or other people, especially Arab women.

12.  DON'T Gamble.  Any form of gambling is forbidden.

13.  DON'T use drugs and never carry any prohibited drugs.

14.  AVOID show the soles of your feet or pointing your foot at anyone.  Keep your feet flat on the ground and not cross your legs.

15.  AVOID putting an Arab in a position where he might suffer a 'loss of face' in front of other Arabs.  He will appreciate this, if the notices your action.

16.  AVOID shouting and displays of aggression or drunkenness at all times.

17.  AVOID politicis and religion as subjects for discussion.

18.  AVOID blasphemy, particularly in the presence of Muslims and particularly in Saudi Arabian Muslims and particularly in Saudi Arabian Muslims.  Remember that there are many non-Gulf Arabs working in Bahrain, who aren't always as relaxed or tolerant as locals are.

19.  DON'T try to enter a mosque without first asking permission.  It's unlikely that you will be allowed in.

20.  AVOID helphing people who are in trouble especially Bahrains as you will be the one to be accused of doing the wrong acts.