The Kingdom of Bahrain is an Arabic island nation situated off the coast of the Persian Gulf. It is an archipelago comprising 33 islands, the largest one being Bahrain Island. Its capital and largest city is Manama. Other large cities include, in order: Riffa, Muharraq, and Hamad Town. Over 1,200,000 people live in Bahrain.
The country features an arid climate, with two main seasons: winter and summer. Temperatures tend to be warm all year round, but they can rise to impressive values during summer months. Humidity is high, even during night time. Rainfall is minimal and irregular throughout the year.
Officially, Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy, but it lacks any parliamentary power and the head of state enjoys extensive executive authorities. There is no independent judiciary power in Bahrain.
According to the United Nations, Bahrain is considered to be the fastest growing economic power in the Arab world. In addition, it is also considered to have one of the freest economies worldwide. The main sectors of economy include financial services, oil production, and tourism. The country’s major exports are represented by petroleum and petroleum-derived products. The local currency is the Bahraini dinar (BHD).
Arabic is the only official language in Bahrain, and most of its people speak a local dialect called Bahrani Arabic, which differs slightly from the standard Arabic language. English is also widely spoken, as is Persian. Most institutions will display their signs both in Arabic and English.