Bahrain F1 Grand Prix

16.04.2017 | Manama - Bahrain International Circuit

Key Facts

Location: Middle East, Gulf Coast.

Area: 710 sq km (274 sq miles).

Population: 1,300,000 (2011).

Population Density: 1831 per sq km.

Capital: Manama.

Government: Constitutional monarchy. Gained full independence from the UK in 1971 (had been a British Protectorate from 1861).

Geography: Bahrain is a mostly flat archipelago of desert islands off the east coast of Saudi Arabia. The main island has a supply of fresh water, unique in the region, both on land and offshore. There are extensive date plantations and market gardens near Manama. The strategic 24km- (15-mile-) long King Fahad Causeway links Bahrain with Saudi Arabia and a new causeway will in future link Bahrain with Qatar.

Language: The official language is Arabic. English is widely spoken.

Religion: Islam. Most Bahrainis (60%) are Shi'ite Muslims although there is a sizeable minority of Sunnis, including the Royal family.

Time: GMT + 3.

Social Conventions: Bahrain is a tolerant country but visitors will avoid giving offence if they observe a few courtesies, especially with regard to dress. Cover knees and shoulders, except within hotel grounds where more casual clothing is acceptable.

At business and social functions, traditional Arabic coffee is served as part of the ritual welcome. Cups are held in the right hand: accept two cups - taking only one cup will embarrass the host; taking more than three will embarrass everybody else. Never pass or receive items with the left hand and avoid pointing with the soles of your feet (for example, when sitting on the ground) as this is considered an insult.

Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz (Awali, 110 volts AC, 60Hz).

Head of Government: Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa since 1971.

Head of State: King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa since 1999.

Recent History: In 2002, Bahrain became a constitutional monarchy with a fully elected parliament in which both men and women are eligible to vote and stand for office. There is also a system in place to ensure transparency of government finances which has helped Bahrain compete to become the region's leading offshore banking and commercial hub.

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