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Bahrain

A city state for the well heeled

bahrainThe smallest of the gulf states (Persian Gulf), The Kingdom of Bahrain—a name meaning "Two Seas"—is actually an archipelago of 33 low-lying islands located in the heart of the Gulf between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The capital city of Manama is a vibrant cosmopolitan center with modern amenities.

Between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is more liberal than many Islamic states and you can even buy alcohol legally. There is the usual mix of very rich and very poor so take the usual precautions. For things to do, there is the ocean, the desert, shopping and social life. The restaurants often feature bellydancers and the formula one motor race is an annual event.

Bahrain like many other states has been fought over and one relic is a 16th century Portuguese fort. The countries initial wealth was from pearling and as a trading centre. The oil began flowing in 1931 and Bahrain has not looked back.

Today Bahrain's economic attractions besides tourism today is its tax free status and many businesses flocked there and the country has become famous for it's extravagant architecture which beside buildings includes a 12 acre water park, Palm and World Islands.

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