Before and after you arrive
Visit visa can be issued on arrival at Bahrain International Airport for a small fee for most western nationalities. The Visit eVisa allows you to stay in Bahrain for 2 weeks. An extension can be obtained for another 2 weeks by visiting NPRA in Bahrain. The Visit eVisa can only be used once, for a single entry. Passports must be valid for the length of your stay and six months prior to your arrival in Bahrain.
For more information please check: http://www.evisa.gov.bh/VisaBhr3En.html
Getting there and around
Bahrain International Airport is well connected worldwide and will soon be expanded. It is only 12 kilometres away of Manama City, roughly 20 minutes. It services both regional and international destinations with all the main global airlines touching port there.
The airport also serves as a Gulf base for several international airlines including some cargo carriers and charter flight operators.
Bahrain International Airport contact details:
Airport Flight Information: +973 17339339.
The national carrier is Gulf Air, the first airline to be set up in the Gulf Region recently reshuffled and currently being re-organised.
Gulf Air Contact Details:
Call centre: +973 17373737
For more information please go to our iHelp section.
Passenger ferries cross the Gulf Sea from Bahrain to Iran in 16 hours through the two main ports of Bahrain: Mina Salman Port and Sitra.
The Saudi-Bahrain Causeway is the only link of Bahrain to the continent. There is a double custom passing and congestions are fairly common, especially from Wednesday to Saturdays, which includes the Saudi and Bahraini weekends. If you drive to Bahrain from Saudi Arabia by road make sure you have all the needed documentation required by the Saudi Authorities, often quite strict. Buses have a separate and more expedited line.
The most popular way of transportation in Bahrain is the taxi. And there are plenty of them. There is even a Bahraini version of the famous London black cabs. However, prices are high and usually higher for inexperienced foreigners. Always ask for the meter. There is also the Manama Bus Station, which is located in the Government Avenue, in the diplomatic area, with buses that connects all the main cities of Bahrain at a fairly low cost. However schedule is unclear and timing unpredictable. For long stays find a good taxi driver and negotiate a monthly/weekly fee or directly rent a car. Prices are fair and petrol is extremely cheap. In a couple of days you will get used to the main arteries of the city and if you get lost you just have to ask anyone in the street. You would be greatly surprised by Bahraini people hospitality.
Currency: Bahraini dinar (BHD) = 1,000 fils.
The dinar is pegged to the US dollar at a
rate of BD0.376:US$1. Coins are available
in 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 fils, and banknotes
come in ½, 1, 5, 10 and 20 dinars.
Currency Exchange: Currency exchange services
abound in Bahrain. You can change your money
at the airport on arrival, at the banks and hotels or
in the small currency exchange offices that are
widespread across Manama and have a much
better rate. (For the Exchange services list and
recommendations see the iHelp section).
Banking hours and credit cards: Banks in Bahrain
open from 7.30 to 15.00 from Sunday to Thursday.
ATMs are widespread across Bahrain and credit
cards are normally accepted.
International Dialling Code: +973
City Code: 1 Manama
Fixed lines: 276,500 (2011)
Mobile Lines: 1.694 million (2011)
Mobile Penetration: 133%
Batelco, the national operator
Zain, part of Zain Kuwait
Viva, part of Saudi Telecom Company (STC)
Internet Country Code: .bh
Internet hosts: 47,427 (2,012)
Internet Users: 961,228 or 77% of the population (2012)
Facebook users: 390,000 (2012)
Twitter Users: 80,000 (2012)
3 hours ahead of GMT
New Year's Day: January1st
Prophet Mohammed's birthday: January 24th
Labour Day: May 1st
Eid al-Fitr: August 7th
Eid al-Adha: October 14th
Islamic New Year (Muharram): November 4th
Ashura: November 12th
National Day: December 17th
Business working hours:
Generally Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 to 16:00. Weekend runs from Friday to Saturday. Banks open from 07:30 to 14:00 although some branches open in the afternoon.
Business etiquette and social conventions
The best asset of Bahrain is the Bahrainis. They are well-educated and trained business oriented people well known for their charisma and hospitality. Although more liberalised than its neighbouring countries, Bahrain is above all a Muslim country and Bahrainis are religious people.
Business Meetings and tips
English is commonly spoken in Bahrain. In business meetings punctuality doesn’t have the Western meaning, so you might face delays. Be prepared to wait. It is always advisable to confirm the meetings in advance. Dates and Arabic tea are often served during business meetings. To prevent the tea boy from continuously pouring more coffee in your cap, move your cup sideways, which is sign that you have finished it. Unlike in neighbouring countries, women are an active part of the business and politics communities at all levels.
The traditional costume for men, which consist of a thobe or long white robe bottomed up to neck and a white squared scarf covering their heads, is used at official happenings and important occasions. But suit and tie are increasingly common. Women wear abayas or the long black dress from neck to toe and head cover with a veil, at least in public places and in official meetings. However, their clothing is also migrating into a more westernised style with trousers or long skirts, long-sleeved blouses and headscarf. For foreigners, suit is advisable for business meetings when it comes to men. For women the recommendation is to always wear modest and respectful attire.
Ramadan is the month of fasting for Muslims and it is illegal for a foreigner to eat, drink or smoke in public during that time.
Hello: as-salam alaykum (when you are the first to greet)
Goodbye: ma`salama (when you leave)
Goodbye: alla ysalmak (when you stay)
Good Morning: sabah ala-kheir
Good Afternoon: masa`al-kheir
Good Night: tisbah ala-kheir
Welcome: ahlan wa shalan / marhaba
Yes: aywa / na´am
Please: min fadlak / min fadliki (M/F)
Thank you: shukran
You are welcome: afwan
Excuse me: lo tismah
No problem: mafi mushkila
Let´s go: Yallah
Good willing (hopefully): inshallah.
You: inta/inti (m/f)
You: untum/inti (m/f)
Monday: yom al ithnayn
Tuesday: yom al-thalatha
Wednesday: yom al-arba´
Thursday: yom al-khamis
Friday: yom al-jama´a
Saturday: yom as-sabt
Sunday : yom al-had
What?: Shuw? Eesh?
May I?: Mumkin
Could You please…?: Mumkin min fadhlak?
Where is the…?: Wayn al…?
What does it mean?: Esh yanni?
What time is it?: Sa´kam?
It is…: Sa´ (time)
How Much..?: Bikaam
How are you?: kay fahlak / kay fahlik? (M/F)
Fine, thanks: zein al-hamdulillah
Who cares?: kalli valli
What´s your name?: Esh ismak?/Esh ismik? (M/F)
My name is ____: ismi ___
I understand: Ana fahim/ana fahma (M/F)
I don´t understand: Ana mu fa-him / ana mu fahhma (M/F) or la
Do you speak English?: titkallam inglizi?
I don´t speak Arabic: ma-atakallam arabi
Where are you from?: Inta min-wayn / Inti min-wayn? (M/F)
I´m from____: Anaa min ____
India: Al hindi
I´m sick: Ana marrriedh
I like: Ana ahebb
I don´t like: Ana ma ahehabb
I want: Ana Areed
above or up: fo´gh
in front of: jeddam
Next to: iyyaam
to the left: ala yassar
To the right: ala yameen
Our latest investment report on Kuwait was recently published in one of the leading Spanish dailies, ABC. FindMe in Kuwait explores the economic perspectives of Kuwait and the country´s future plans to compete with its fast developing neighbours. Once the leading country of the Gulf, Kuwait has remained silent for the past decade. And although many would like to see faster changes, Kuwait is moving, at its pace, to them. Inexorably. Learn about who is who in Kuwait and read what the leaders say about their own future in our upcoming release: FindMe in Kuwait Mobile app.
Stay tuned - Stay Ahead
Global Gulf Consulting has concluded its latest production on Bahrain, FindMe in Bahrain giving the country a fresh approach after a couple of difficult years of local demonstrations that matched the global recession. Bahrain is a small island in the Arabian Gulf with an incredible potential for logistics, industries and tourism. FindMe in Bahrain was supported by both the public and private sector of Bahrain. Banagas, Nass Corporation, BBK and DHL were GGC strategic partners in the development of the series among others.
FindMe in Bahrain is available at the local bookstores Jashamal and online as well as in the Apple Store. It is a full business leisure and business guide for any investor or visitor interested in traveling to Bahrain or for those that already live there.
FindMe in Saudi offers a multi-faceted overview combining business and leisure, economy and heritage. The book aims to capture the current development of Saudi Arabia in the words of the people who live and work there. It is an authoritative source of information for investors, businessmen and travellers produced to firmly position KSA as an attractive investment destination.
In contains general information about the country´ economic performance and who is who as a sectorial overview and a leisure guide.
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