Bahrain successfully hosted the opening Grand Prix of the 2006 season on March 12.
Bahrain's natural resources include large quantities of oil and associated and non-associated natural gas as well as fish stocks, which is perhaps fortunate as arable land constitutes only 2.82 percent.
Bahrain faces no threats from foreign nations, and is not involved in any international disputes.
Oil was discovered in Bahrain in 1932, the first place in the region to find oil.
From the sixteenth century to 1743, control of Bahrain drifted between the Portuguese and the Persians.
Desert constitutes 92 percent of Bahrain and periodic droughts and dust storms are the main natural hazards for Bahrainis.
Torture was a political tool in Bahrain between 1974 and 1999, when the State Security Act 1974 was in force, but prior to the accession of King Hamad.
The two main dialects are Baharna Arabic, spoken by the indigenous Baharna Shia, in the capital and in the Shia villages, and Bahraini Arabic spoken by the indigenous Sunnis.
Bahrain's traditional food include fish, meat, rice, and dates.
The British withdrew from Bahrain on August 15, 1971, making Bahrain an independent emirate.
The seabed adjacent to Bahrain is rocky and, mainly off the northern part of the island, covered by extensive coral reefs.
One of the most famous Bahraini dishes is machboos (?????), which is made up of meat or fish served with rice.
A plebiscite saw Bahrainis confirm their independence from Britain and their Arab identity.
Bahrain is the home of Formula One racing in the Middle East.
Bahrain was also called the "Pearl of the Persian Gulf."
The agricultural and domestic sectors' over-utilization of the Dammam aquifer, the principle aquifer in Bahrain, has led to its salinization by adjacent brackish and saline water bodies.
Up until 1521, the name "Bahrain" referred to the larger region including Ahsa, Qatif (both became the eastern province of Saudi Arabia) as well as Awal (now Bahrain Islands).
Relations with Iran were strained over Bahrain’s 1981 discovery of an Iranian-sponsored plot to stage a coup.
A strategic position between East and West, fertile lands, fresh water, and pearl diving made Bahrain long a center of urban settlement.
Football (soccer) is the most popular modern sport, while traditional pastimes such as falconry, horse riding, and gazelle and hare hunting are still practiced by wealthier Bahrainis.
Bahrain was the first location in the region in which oil reserves were discovered.
Bahrain became part of the Babylonian Empire about 600 B.C.E.
Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, as well as a tiny indigenous Jewish community, exist in Bahrain.
Khaleeji is a style of Persian Gulf-area folk music, played in Bahrain with polyrhythms.
Bahraini men usually wear the thobe and the traditional headdress which includes the keffiyeh, ghutra and Agal.
Sultan Hamid, Ali Bahar and Khalid al Shaikh (a singer and oud player) are among the most popular musicians from Bahrain.
Al Wefaq National Islamic Society (????? ?????? ?????? ????????? Jam'iyat al-Wifaq al-Watany al-Islamiyah), Bahrain's largest and most popular political society, has a Shia Islamist political orientation, and is led by a cleric, Sheikh Ali Salman.
Other substantial segments of Bahrain's economy are the financial and construction sectors.
Bahrain's cities and towns include: Al Muharraq, Isa Town, Hamad Town, Jidhafs, Sitrah, Al Riffa, and Um Al Hassam.
In 1521, a Portuguese force invaded Bahrain to take control of the wealth created by its pearl industry.
Bahrain has two seasons—an extremely hot, humid, summer and a relatively mild winter.
Modern music institutions in Bahrain include the Bahrain Music Institute, the Bahrain Orchestra and the Classical Institute of Music.
The music of Bahrain is part of the pan-Gulf khaleeji folk traditions.
Bahrain Defense Forces comprise Ground Force (includes Air Defense), Naval Force, Air Force, and a National Guard.
Coffee, called Gahwa, is considered a part of the traditional welcome in Bahrain.
About 2300 B.C.E., Bahrain became a center of one of the ancient empires trading between Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and the Indus Valley (now in Pakistan and India).
Bahraini make up 62.4 percent, and non-Bahraini 37.6 percent, according to the 2001 census.
After World War II, increasing anti-British sentiment through the Arab world led to riots in Bahrain.
Underground freshwater deposits extend beneath the Gulf of Bahrain to the Saudi Arabian coast.
The typical Bahraini woman dresses conservatively, usually the abaya, a long loose-fitting black gown, is worn.
In 1960, the United Kingdom put Bahrain's future to international arbitration and requested that the United Nations Secretary-General take on this responsibility.
A small number of newspapers appear in English - Gulf Daily News, Bahrain Tribune.
Bahrain also had the freest economy in the Middle East according to the 2006 Index of Economic Freedom published by the Heritage Foundation/Wall Street Journal, and is 25th freest overall in the world.
In 2004, Bahrain signed the US-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement, which will reduce certain barriers to trade between the two nations.
The Bahraini male-only pearl diving tradition is known for the songs called Fidjeri, a musical repertoire performed traditionally by male pearl divers.
Bahrainis eat other Arabian food such as falafel, fried balls of chickpeas served in a bread, and shawarma, lamb or chicken carved from a rotating spit and wrapped in pita bread.
Bahrain’s wealth is related to the creation of a unique, indigenous middle class.
Bahrain has a unique, indigenous middle class, which contributes to the tendency of that nation being more liberal than its neighbors.
The Bahraini band Osiris has achieved some international renown since the 1980s with its style of progressive rock, most recently including elements of Bahraini folk music.
On some occasions, Bahrainis wear a bisht, which is a cloak made of wool, over the thobe.
Bahrain University offers standard undergraduate and graduate study, and the College of Health Sciences—operating under the direction of the Ministry of Health—trains physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and paramedics.
Until Bahrain embraced Islam in 629 C.E., it was a centre for Nestorian Christianity.
After the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, Bahraini Sh?'a fundamentalists in 1981 orchestrated a failed coup attempt under the auspices of the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain.
Causeways and bridges connect Bahrain to adjacent islands and the mainland of Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain in 2006 changed their weekend from Thursdays and Fridays to Fridays and Saturdays, in order to have a day of the weekend shared with the rest of the world.
The official religion of Bahrain is Islam, which most of the population practices.
The University of London External has appointed MCG, one of the oldest private institutes in the country, as the regional representative office in Bahrain for distance learning programs.
Quranic schools (Kuttab), aimed at teaching children and youth the Qur'an, were the only form of education in Bahrain at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Bahrain has a bicameral legislature with a lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, elected by universal suffrage for four years, and the upper house, the Shura Council, appointed by the King.
Petroleum production and refining account for over 60 percent of Bahrain's export receipts, over 70 percent of government revenues, and 11 percent of GDP (exclusive of allied industries), underpinning Bahrain's strong economic growth.
Bahrain is a constitutional monarchy headed by the King, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Bahrain remained a member of the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council.
In 1970, Iran simultaneously laid claim to both Bahrain and the other Persian Gulf islands.
Bahrain is a popular tourist destination with over two million tourists a year.