The history of Bahrain tells a rich story of economic growth and diversification, with an impact on the world that far outstrips our compact size. Take a look at this collection of interesting facts about Bahrain and find out about the facets of our offer which have been integral to our success and which position us strongly for the future.

A commercial crossroads for 4,000 years

The word Bahrain means ‘two seas’ in Arabic and our geographic position has been important throughout our long history as a trading centre linking east and west. A major stopping point for foreign merchants and home to the rich pearl diving industry, Bahrain made a name for itself as the Gulf’s pre-eminent trading hub. The history of Bahrain, its government and its influence on the surrounding world are impressive and far-reaching:

3,000 B.C.

As the land of the ancient Dilmun civilisation, Bahrain has long been a trading centre linking east and west.

Mid-19th Century

The Gulf’s pre-eminent commercial crossroads, Bahrain emerged as a modern state and became home to merchants from the GCC and beyond.


Bahrain was the first Gulf state to discover oil and over the past 40 years has led the regional transition into modern economies.


The first GCC nation to move away from its dependence on oil, Bahrain became the region’s most diversified economy and leading financial centre.


Bahrain became a constitutional monarchy with a democratically elected parliament, marking a period of on-going reform.


Bahrain was named Capital of Arab Culture in 2012, Capital of Arab Tourism in 2013 and Capital of Asian Tourism in 2014.


Bahrain makes strides towards becoming a digital economy and the region’s FinTech hub. The launch of the region’s first Regulatory Sandbox mark the ongoing expansion of the commercial role of Bahrain.

International awards and recognition

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s status as a financial power on the world stage has gained significant recognition in recent years. The following information offers just a small sample of what Bahrain has accomplished in terms of our economic development.

Globalization Hotspot

1st in MENA for Trade Freedom based on Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom 2022, 15th Globally for Emerging markets logistics 2022, based on Agility.

Best Investment Promotion Agency

Bahrain’s FDI Strategy is ranked 5th Globally and 1st in MENA for all sized cities, based on The Global Cities of the Future 2021 / 2022 report Issued by FDI Intelligence.

Bahrain EDB is ranked 2nd Best promotion agency globally in Technology, based on the 2021 OCO Global Innovation Index

Digital Infrastructure & Talent

1st in GCC in Trade ICT in services (% of GDP), based on UNCTAD’s Technology and Innovation 2021 report.

1st Globally in Digital literacy education, based on The Inclusive Internet Index 2021 issued by Facebook & The Economist.

1st Globally in Female Digital Skills Training & STEM Education, based on The Inclusive Internet Index 2021 issued by Facebook & The Economist.

An established track record of diversification

Bahrain has one of the most diversified economies in the region, the result of a government with a commitment to a sustainable future. With strong performance indicators across our industries and a powerful regulatory framework, there are opportunities in Bahrain for every investor, both foreign and domestic.

Bahrain makes business sense

Truly business friendly

The facts about Bahrain speak for themselves. Our low commercial costs are among the most favourable in the Gulf while operating costs are up to 51% lower than neighboring hubs in the manufacturing sector.

Why Bahrain is the better choice

A future to look forward to

Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 has created sustained controlled growth, and its National Development Strategy is steering the country towards achieving the goals of the vision.

More on the National Development Strategy

Business Friendly Bahrain

Invest in Bahrain and you’ll see significant financial benefits that ease business operations, increase competitiveness and bolster the bottom line. Bahrain’s population is full of skilled professionals equipped to take on and grow any foreign business venture, while the government has created a framework that offers unparalleled business stability in Bahrain.

Read about our competitive offering

Love life here

Globally, Bahrain is ranked 1st in the 2022 InterNation’s Expat Insider Survey for expat essentials (Ease of digital services & settling in procedures such as opening a bank account & applying for a visa)

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