The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of 33 low-lying islands located in the Arabian Gulf, between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Its total area is 780 km2. The capital, Manama, is also the country’s largest city. Manama enjoys a distinct reputation as a tourism and cultural hub, having been selected as the ‘Capital of Arab Culture’ in 2012, the ‘Capital of Arab Tourism’ in 2013 and the ‘Capital of Asian Tourism’ in 2014.
As a country that prides itself on being a thriving multi-cultural hub, home to diverse communities from around the world, Bahrain boasts a low cost of living in addition to an abundance of quality educational and health facilities and services. Considered an important regional economic and financial hub, Bahrain’s liberal economic policies have attracted foreign investment for decades leading the country to host a large number of global financial services companies.
Inhabited by different civilizations, dating back 5000 years, in ancient times, Bahrain was known as Dilmun, Tylos and Awal before assuming its modern name. Similar to the country’s contemporary position and role, Dilmun was an important hub on the trading route between ancient Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley in South Asia.
Described as paradise in the Epic of Gilgamesh, Dilmun is believed to have been perceived as the Garden of Eden in ancient times. An abundant and fertile land, until recent times, the prevalence of sweet water springs helped define the country’s diverse agriculture and ensure its prosperity within a largely desolate region.