The Kingdom of Bahrain is an island nation in the Arabian Gulf, situated between the east coast of Saudi Arabia and the Qatar peninsula. It is one of the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations. Bahrain, meaning ‘two seas’ in Arabic, is the largest island of the archipelago. It is one of the most densely populated countries in the Middle East, with 1.3 million inhabitants. The vast majority of the population lives and works in the capital, Manama.
Bahrain was the first country in the Gulf to discover oil in the 1930s, and was also the first to establish female education. In the 1970s, the country became a regional hub for banking and finance and today the financial services sector remains a key driver of the economy, with more than 100 institutions headquartered in the country.
Bahrain is connected to the region's largest and most populous nation, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, via a 25 km causeway, making it a popular weekend destination for many Saudi Arabians.