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Bahrain Travel Guides

The Basics:


Electricity

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.

Language

Arabic is the official language in Bahrain, although English is widely understood and is used by most businesses.

Tipping

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.

Safety Information

* 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.

Local Customs

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.

Business

Array

Communications

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.

Duty Free

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.


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