Bahrain Travel Advice
Security travel advice for Bahrain
How safe is the Bahrain?
Threat level: Medium-High
COVID-19 Situation in Bahrain
There are reported cases of coronavirus in Bahrain. As a result of this, Bahrain has taken a series of measures in a bid to slow down the spread of the virus, banning gatherings over 5 people, imposing social distancing measures in shops and restaurants and making the use of face masks compulsory in public. International commercial flights have resumed but are limited and travellers must undergo and pay for a PCR test on arrival and quarantine until results are received. For a stay of more than 4 days, travellers will be subject to another test on the 5th day and another one on the 10th day, and must download the “BeAware” app prior to testing. See our healthcare section for preventive measures against the virus.
Security in Bahrain
There is a heightened risk of terrorism in Bahrain and attacks could be aimed at places frequently visited by tourists, the general travel adive for Bahrain is for visitors to remain situationally aware and to also be culturally sensative. Recent terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait means that visitors should be alert at all times.
Recent Security Risk Events
June 2016 saw officials from Bahrain revoke the citizenship of a top Shia cleric, Isa Qassim's. This caused outrage with many of the country’s citizens and is thought to have been one of the motives behind the protests that followed it. A British based campaign group expressed concerns that this move would escalate tensions between citizens and government authorities.
There were public demonstrations planned for the Formula One race to be held in Bahrain on the 16th April 2017. Human rights campaigners urged Formula One management to cancel the event. It was cancelled in 2011 due to unrest when Bahrain declared a state of martial law. Any visitors to the F1 in Bahrain, are advised to be aware of their surroundings and not to join protests, as these in the past on occasions, have turned violent.
Demonstrations regularly break out in Bahrain and may include protesters trying to stop traffic, burning tyres and occasionally using home-made explosive devices. These events often happen with little warning especially during the night and at weekends and can turn violent quickly. As such, there can be clashes between security forces and protesters. You should be wary of such events and avoid them at all costs.
Bahraini officials require all residents and visitors to carry a form of identification on them at all times. If you are unable to produce ID on request, you may be subject to a fine.
Bahrain's International Relations
Bahrain achieved independence from Britain in 1971 and continues to hold strong diplomatic and trade relationship with Britain. It enjoys friendly relations with most of its neighbouring countries and is working on narrowing any disagreements.
The country is a member of United Nations, World Trade Organisation as well as the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf which is a union focusing on regional intergovernmental political and economic issues.
Bahrain and Iran have traditionally had a strained relationship since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, however at present, the countries are working on improving relations to increase regional harmony.
Travelling around Bahrain
The major roads and highways in Bahrain, particularly in the north, are well maintained. Some of the roads in other parts of the country including smaller older villages, many have congested roads that are narrow and often dangerous. Drive with extra caution in these areas. There is a waterways curfew around the country between 6pm and 4am. Travellers are asked to respect this.
You can drive in Bahrain using most national licences for a period of up to 3 months. Visitors beyond this length of stay should apply for an International driving permit.
There are strict regulations with regard to driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Should you choose to ignore advice and drink-drive, you will be arrested and put in a driver’s prison. The minimum fine is £900 and you can be banned from driving altogether in the country.
Commercial Travel Risk Services
Intelligent Protection International Limited provides companies and organisations with Commercial Travel Risk Services designed to mitigate risks of staff when they travel for business. If you are interested in these services, please see: Commercial Travel Risk Services.
Emergency Services in Bahrain
Currency: Bahraini Dinar (BHD)
Time now in Manama:
Consular information for Bahrain
U.S. Embassy Manama
Building No. 979,
Road 3119, Block 331
Telephone: +973 172 427 00
Telephone Emergency After-Hours: +973 172 751 26
British Embassy Manama
21 Government Avenue,
P O Box 6079
P O Box 114,
Telephone: +973 175 741 00
Visa requirements for Bahrain
Cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Bahrain. There is no vaccination against the virus, to avoid contracting the disease, apply good hygiene practices, maintain social distancing, and avoid gatherings and unnecessary travel.
Most nationals entering Bahrain will be required to apply for a visa before entering the country. In order to ensure a smooth arrival, it is recommended that you arrange your visa prior to arrival. This can be done online or via your local Bahraini Embassy. Alternatively, it is possible to apply for a visa upon your arrival in Bahrain. You can find out more visa information here: Bahrain visa requirements.
Cultural advice for visiting Islamic countries
If you have never visited an Islamic country before, you maybe have some unanswered questions the culture, what you can wear and general dos and don'ts. Intelligent Protection International Limited is highly experienced at working in Islamic countries and has done so for the past decade. We have written a guide that will help you understand what is culturally acceptable and hope you find it useful. See our page: Guide to Islamic culture for travellers.
Healthcare and Immunisations
It is advised that visitors to Bahrain are up-to-date with primary boosters such as MMR. It is recommended for most travellers to get a Tetanus vaccination. You may also want to consider Hepatitis A and B vaccinations.
Although there is no direct risk of the disease in Bahrain, if you are coming from a country where there is a risk of Yellow Fever, or transiting for longer than 12 hours in an at risk country, you will be required to provide a vaccination certificate. Check with your local health professional prior to travel if you are unsure.
The medical facilities available in Bahrain are generally very good standard, however you will be charged for any medical treatment during your trip anf this can prove costly. As such you should ensure that you are able to cover the cost at the time and that you have comprehensive medical insurance that will cover you for all treatments.