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The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel And Spa
The Ritz-Carlton Bahrain Hotel And Spa
Building 88 Road 1703 Area 317 Manama,
Bahrain Travel Information and Hotel Discounts

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Bahrain Sheraton Hotel
6 Palace Avenue Manama,

Sheraton Bahrain Hotel & Towers, located in the heart of the business and diplomatic area of Manama.
Our hotel features 260 guest rooms and suites with magnificent views over the city or the Persian Gulf.

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Bahrain Sheraton Hotel

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The Kingdom of Bahrain, or Bahrain (formerly spelled Bahrein), (Arabic: مملكة البحرين) is a borderless island nation in the Persian Gulf (Southwest Asia/Middle East, Asia). Saudi Arabia lies to the west and is connected to Bahrain by the King Fahd Causeway (officially opened on November 25, 1986), and Qatar is to the south across the Persian Gulf. The Qatar–Bahrain Friendship Bridge, currently being planned, will link Bahrain to Qatar as the longest fixed link in the world.

Main articles, Tourism in Bahrain and List of Bahrain's tourist attractions

Bahrain has long been a popular tourist destination for visitors from neighboring states, but growing awareness of its rich heritage dating back five thousand years to the Dilmun civilization means that the Kingdom is steadily attracting visitors from further abroad.

Bahrain combines a modern infrastructure and comparatively liberal society with an authentic Gulf experience making it an ideal introduction to the Middle East. Tourist attractions include historic sites such as the recently UNESCO listed Qalat Al Bahrain castle and archaeological complex, the tens of thousands of ancient Dilmun Burial Mounds that dot the landscape, traditional Arab culture, shopping in the Kingdom's malls and souks, and the opportunity to relax in the many hotel beach resorts and luxury spas.

The Kingdom is becoming increasingly popular with celebrities: during a 2006 New Year break in Manama controversial former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan told the Telegraph that he found his "arch-enemies", TV presenter Carol Vorderman and journalist Des Kelly, sharing the same hotel swimming pool.

Main article: History of Bahrain
Bahrain has been populated by humans since prehistoric times, and has even been proposed as the site of the Biblical Garden of Eden.

Its strategic location in the Persian Gulf has brought rule and influence from the Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, and finally the Arabs, under whom the island became Muslim. Bahrain was in the ancient times known as Dilmun, Tylos (its Greek given name), Awal, as well as Persian name Mishmahig when it came under of the imperial rule of the Persian Empire.

The islands of Bahrain, positioned in the middle south of the Persian Gulf, have attracted the attention of many invaders in history. Bahrain, meaning "Two Seas" refers to the fact that the islands contain the two sources of water, sweet water springs and salty water in the surrounding seas.

A strategic position between East and West, fertile lands, fresh water, and pearl diving made Bahrain a centre of urban settlement throughout history. Some 2300 years BC, Bahrain became a centre of one of the ancient empires trading between Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and the Indus Valley (now the region near India). This was the civilization of Delmon that was linked to the Sumerian Civilization in the third millennium BC. Bahrain became part of the Babylonian empire about 600 BC. Historical records referred to Bahrain as the "Life of Eternity", "Paradise", etc. Bahrain was also called the "Pearl of the Persian Gulf".

Bahrain up until 1521 comprised the bigger region of Ahsa, Qatif (both are now the eastern province of Saudi Arabia) as well as Awal (now Bahrain Islands). The region stretched from what is now Kuwait to Oman. This was Iqlim Al-Bahrain (Province of Bahrain). In 1521, the Portuguese separated Awal (now Bahrain) from the rest and since then the name of Bahrain specifically referred to today's Bahrain.

Portuguese rule was followed by a period of control by the Persian Empire. In the late 18th Century the Al-Khalifa family invaded and captured the islands. In order to secure Bahrain from Persian expansionism to the East, the Emirate entered into a treaty relationship with Britain.

Oil was discovered in 1931 and brought rapid modernization and improvements to Bahrain. It also made relations with Britain closer, and this was evidenced by the British moving more bases to the island nation. British influence would continue to grow as the country developed, culminating with the appointment of Charles Belgrave as an advisor; Belgrave established modern education systems in Bahrain.

After World War II, increasing anti-British feeling spread throughout the Arab world and led to riots in Bahrain. In the 1960s, Britain put Bahrain's future to international arbitration and requested that the United Nations General Secretary take on this responsibility. In a plebiscite to decide the country's future, the majority of the population voted for independence and chose to reject the Iranian Shah's long held claims to the country.

The British withdrew from Bahrain in August 1971, making it an independent emirate. The oil boom of the 1980s greatly benefitted Bahrain, but its downturn was not as badly felt, and the economy was forced to diversify.

After 1979, Iran sought to export its revolution to the region, and in 1981 orchestrated a failed coup attempt under the auspices of a front organisation, the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Bahrain. The coup would have installed an Iranian based cleric, Hojjat ol-Eslam Hadi al-Modarresi, as supreme leader heading a theocratic government.

In 1994 occurred a wave of rioting by disaffected Shi'a Islamists due to what they perceived as injust actions by the government. The Kingdom was badly affected by sporadic violence during the mid-1990s in which over forty people were killed.

In March 1999, Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifah succeeded his father as head of state and instituted elections for parliament, gave women the right to vote and released many political prisoners; moves described by Amnesty International as representing an 'historic period for human rights'. This provided the country with a great chance to move forward, if somewhat falteringly[1], toward a political consensus.
Bahrain's small size and central location among Persian Gulf countries require it to play a delicate balancing act in foreign affairs among its larger neighbors. Possessing minimal oil reserves, Bahrain has turned to petroleum processing and refining, and has transformed itself into an international banking center. The new amir, installed in 1999, has pushed economic and political reforms, and has worked to improve relations with the Shi'a community. In February 2001, Bahraini voters approved a referendum on the National Action Charter - the centerpiece of the amir's political liberalization program. In February 2002, Amir HAMAD bin Isa Al Khalifa proclaimed himself king. In local elections held in May 2002, Bahraini women were allowed to vote and run for office for the first time.
Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia
Geographic coordinates:
26 00 N, 50 33 E
Map references:
Middle East
total: 665 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 665 sq km
Area - comparative:
3.5 times the size of Washington, DC
arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
noun: Bahraini(s)
adjective: Bahraini
Ethnic groups:
Bahraini 63%, Asian 19%, other Arab 10%, Iranian 8%
Shi'a Muslim 70%, Sunni Muslim 30%
Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu
Bahraini dinar (BHD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Bahraini dinars per US dollar - 0.3760 (fixed rate pegged to the US dollar)


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