Electrical current in Bahrain is 230 volts, 50Hz
except in Awali where it is 110 volts AC, 60Hz. Bahrain uses UK
style 3-pin power outlets.
Arabic is the official language in Bahrain, although
English is widely understood and is used by most
Most restaurants and hotels in Bahrain add a service charge of
10-15% to their bills. However, you may leave a tip at your
discretion. Taxi drivers expect a 10% tip and porters will be happy
with about 100 fils per item of baggage.
* February 2011 has seen mass pro-democracy protests in the
capital Manama; given the volatility of the politcal situation here
and in neighbouring states, we advise against all non-essential
travel to Bahrain at this time. Although the crime rate in Bahrain
is relatively low, visitors should be fully aware that along with
other states in the Gulf region, the country is rated as high risk
for indiscriminate terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda on Western
interests. Visitors are advised to be vigilant at all times
particularly in public places.
Although it is a liberal state, Bahrain is an Islamic country
and many locals find scanty clothing and immoderate public
behaviour offensive. Visitors should dress and act respectfully.
Religious and social sensitivities should be observed and
respected, especially during religious festivals. Foreigners are
not expected to fast during the holy month of Ramadan, but it is
considered extremely inconsiderate to eat, drink or smoke in public
during this time. Homosexuality is illegal.
The international direct dialling code for Bahrain is +973, and
the outgoing code 00 followed by the relevant country code (eg.
0044 for the United Kingdom). There are no city or area codes.
Public phone booths are easily located, some accepting freely
available phone cards and some coins. The country is covered by a
GSM 900 and 1800 mobile phone network. There are several Internet
service providers and Internet is available at most of the larger
hotels in Manama.
Travellers to Bahrain over 18 years do not have to pay duty on
200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 250g tobacco (in open packets);
perfume up to 237ml; 1 litre alcoholic liquor and 6 cans of beer
for non-Muslim passengers only; and gifts to the value of BD 250.
Arms and ammunition, methylated spirits, drugs and jewellery
require an Import Permit.