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The Kingdom of Bahrain is an archipelago of low lying islands located in the Arabian Gulf off the Eastern shore of Saudi Arabia. Frequently called the Pearl of the Arabian Gulf, Bahrain has a history of civilizations that date back more than 5,000 years.
Bahrain is the ancient site of the immortal land of Dilmun, and was the religious centre to Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians, as proven by many archaeological excavations. Many legends surround the land – the multitude of ancient burial grounds here gave rise to the title “Isle of Eternity,” before modern archaeology explained them as a legacy of Dilmun times; centuries upon centuries of human habitation packed into one compact site. Writings of the ancient Sumerians refer to Dilmun as a pure and sacred place where sickness and death do not exist, a paradise land of sweet waters.
The area does in fact have fresh water artesian and under seabed springs, rich in minerals and especially fluoride – known locally as sweet-water. These have sustained life here since the Ubaid civilization of Neolithic times 6000 years ago. The sweet-water springs may be the basis for the legend of Gilgamesh; a Sumerian epic of a quest for immortality from the flower of life (pearl) which leads to Dilmun, the “land of two seas”.
From the mists of time to a vibrant present Bahrain thrives under a stable and prosperous government.
Today, the modern Arabic name “Bah-rain” still retains this meaning – “two waters”, it’s landscape is a tapestry of marvelous old sites and colorful traditional markets dotted between modern skyscrapers and buildings. While relatively small in population, land area and resources, Bahrain has achieved a high level of social and economic development over a short period of time.
Land Area 770sq km
Key Sectors: Financial services, Logistics, ICT, Value-added manufacturing, Industrial services, Professional services
Main export Oil, Aluminium
Currency Bahraini Dinar (USD 1 = BD 0.376)
Time zone GMT +3
Source: Ministry of Culture: www.moc.gov.bh