BAHRAIN TRAVEL GUIDE
Stay Safe & Healthy in Bahrain
Stay Safe In Bahrain
Bahrain had a near-civil war in 2011, with hundreds of fatalities, hundreds of injuries, and a significant number of activists and medical professionals imprisoned and tortured. Although the huge protests were ruthlessly suppressed, the environment remains volatile, and protests, rioting, and police killings may occur at any moment. Travelers should avoid the country’s northwest rural regions and communities. Large protests may happen at any moment, and although they can become violent at times, they are seldom anti-Western. Avoid locations where large groups of individuals seem to be congregating.
In Bahrain, the average incidence of social crime is low, while violent crime is uncommon. Robbery, theft, and theft do, nevertheless, occur. Minor crimes such as portfolio theft and theft of portfolios have been recorded, particularly in the old market districts known as souks. The nightclubs at most hotels are frequented by some nasty individuals. Despite the fact that hotels have sufficient security measures in place, including cameras, there have been instances of visitors taking their rooms.
If you’re on Exhibition Avenue (near Hoora), be cautious since ladies may have unpleasant encounters with (primarily) intoxicated Saudis. It’s a good idea to have a guy with you if you go there (especially at night).
Approximately 4,000 British citizens live in Bahrain, and thousands more visit annually. Most visits are without incident. In spite of the fact that crime is infrequent in the majority of regions, tourists should take precautions, including using trusted taxi services.
Even trace amounts of illegal substances are absolutely restricted. Even if you are transiting through an airport from one nation to another, consuming or carrying illegal narcotics can result in incarceration and expulsion. Buying or selling illegal drugs and narcotics is a serious offense that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Some cosmetic items and E-cigarette refills may include prohibited substances, such as CBD oil, in Bahrain.
It is wise to carry a doctor’s letter if you are utilizing prescription medications. If you intend to import prescription medications into Bahrain, you may be required to obtain prior authorization from the authorities. Before traveling, you should contact the nearest Bahrain Embassy or consulate.
Alcohol is legal in Bahrain, where there are a number of bars, licensed restaurants, and off-licences; however, drunken behavior in public or driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal, making the offender subject to a fine, imprisonment, and/or deportation, as well as the suspension of their driving license. Physical assault and destruction of public property while under the influence of alcohol is a crime that may result in incarceration.
There is zero tolerance for drinking and driving in Bahrain. If you are caught with even trace amounts of alcohol in your system, you may face charges and imprisonment. As violations of the law, tailgating, speeding, racing, lane-jumping, and cell phone use while driving can all result in hefty fines. There are a large number of speed cameras on roads and highways. Seatbelt usage is mandatory. Failure to do so can result in a fine.
- Traffic moves on the right.
- At roundabouts (traffic circles), cars within the traffic circle have right of way over those attempting to enter.
- Drivers frequently speed despite stiff penalties, including fines and possible imprisonment.
- Police can detain drivers for traffic violations.
- It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving, though it is very common.
- Drivers are required to wear seat belts.
- Traffic is more congested on the weekends with an influx of vehicles from neighboring countries.
Bahrainis typically dress conservatively in traditional attire, and they can be angered when others dress poorly or contrary to Islamic norms.
In public locations such as shopping malls, restaurants, and parks, suitable attire is encouraged. Clothing shall not be see-through, expose areas of the body indecently, or depict unpleasant images or messages. If you visit one of these venues inadequately attired, you may be asked to leave (most of the larger shopping malls display signs warning that respectable clothing should be worn). Any sort of nudity is strictly prohibited, even sunbathing without a top. During the month of Ramadan, when humility is encouraged, these principles are maintained even more strictly.
In Bahrain, Islamic religious beliefs are highly revered. Any disrespect for religious ideas or practices is regarded as extremely disrespectful and is likely to result in a hefty fine and/or incarceration. Other religions are respected and can be practiced freely in Bahrain. Follow a few simple respect guidelines:
Muslims perform five daily prayers. You will note that mosques use loudspeakers to call worshippers to prayer. Be aware that cars who are not close to a mosque may stop in a lay-by to pray discreetly.
Muslims fast from dawn till sundown during the holy month of Ramadan. During the month of Ramadan, eating, drinking, smoking, playing loud music, and dancing in public during daylight hours are prohibited and penalized by law, even for non-Muslims.
Climate and natural disasters
Bahrain often has extremely high temperatures. From June to August, the temperature can be above 50°C.
To avoid heat stroke and dehydration:
- drink plenty of water
- avoid long periods in the heat
Sand and dust storms happen often.
Occasional demonstrations and protests are possible. This may involve attempts to interrupt traffic as well as disturbances in rural areas and near economic centers. Infrequently, this leads to localized conflicts between government security forces and demonstrators. Occasionally, anniversaries of key events in Bahrain enhance the likelihood of spontaneous demonstrations. At the past, comparable instances have occurred in Sitra, Bani Jamra, Karbabad, Saar, Karzakan, the Budaiya Highway, and neighboring villages.
Even though there have been no direct threats or attacks against British nationals to date, you should stay careful, adhere to the advise of local authorities, and be mindful of your surroundings wherever you are on the island.
Those who may mistakenly find themselves in the vicinity of a violent rally are at risk.
If you meet a huge public gathering or demonstration, you must quickly evacuate the area. If you observe a suspicious object, avoid approaching or touching it. Move away and dial 999 or the Police Emergency Line 8000 8008.
During daylight hours, travel on the primary highways is often orderly. Several police checkpoints exist.
During demonstrations, roadways may become impassable, necessitating detours. These may reroute you through unknown territory. You should become familiar with other paths.
Local public opinion in the region continues to be impacted by regional developments. You must be conscious of local sensitivities regarding these matters. Follow the news and be aware of local and regional developments that may spark public unrest.
The Ministry of the Interior has issued a reminder that all residents and guests are required to carry picture identification. A fine of up to 300BHD may be imposed if you are unable to show picture identification when requested to do so by a member of the Bahraini government, as required by Bahraini legislation.
Stay Healthy In Bahrain
Make sure you drink lots of water. It may become extremely hot (up to 50 degrees Celsius) and humid from April to August. Protect yourself from the sun by using an umbrella. Staying hydrated is critical, particularly if you are outdoors throughout the day. Bottled water is available for purchase at extremely cheap rates nearly everywhere in the city, from “Cold Stores” and small eateries.
Small chilled bottles are sold by street sellers in the souk, but you may wind yourself spending more than the bottle is worth. If you want to stay in Bahrain for a long amount of time, you may arrange for a local Cold Shop to deliver bottled water to your flat, or sign up for water delivery via one of many businesses on the island. Many cold shops (as well as certain hotels) will bring their goods (or meals) to your hotel or flat for free.
There are no COVID-19 limitations in public areas, and all businesses, including stores, banks, and restaurants, are operating as usual. Masks are optional in both indoor and outdoor settings (except health facilities).
There are no COVID-19-related limits on the availability of lodging and facilities, including hotels and private rental units.
If you believe you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, you should call the local hotline at 444 and follow the advise of the authorities. For general inquiries on COVID-19 in Bahrain, please contact the Ministry of Health at [email protected]. Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by the authorities through the ‘BeAware’ app and will be obliged to self-isolate at home or in a hotel for 7 days (if fully vaccinated) or 10 days (if unvaccinated) from the date of infection. By acquiring a negative PCR result from a private hospital, the self-isolation period can be finished sooner. If necessary, therapy for COVID-19 will be provided at no cost.