Manama, 16 December 2021 (TDI): The Kingdom of Bahrain is celebrating its 50th National Day. Bahrain is located between the Qatar peninsula and the east coast of Saudi Arabia. Huge celebrations are happening in the country to mark this important day. 

This day is celebrated when the first Amir of Bahrain ascended to the throne after the country gained independence from British Rule in 1971.

The Kingdom celebrates its 50th National Day as a public holiday on December 16 and 17. Earlier during the day,  the government decorated more than 100 meters with illuminated corridors of different shapes and patterns. Besides, the Kingdom streets are embellished with flags and slogans.

In addition, the celebration includes the display of fireworks, as well as art performances organized by the government. Therefore, the Bahrainis have the opportunity to enjoy a great variety of artistic expressions. For instance, poetry recitals, exhibitions, music concerts, among others.

Bahrein decoration for its National Day
Bahrain decoration for its 50th National Day
Unique Geographical location

The Kingdom of Bahrain consists of Bahrain Island and 33 other smaller artificial islands. However, Bahrain used to be known as a 33 island archipelago, but it is built-in reclaimed land with a total country area of 702 km2. That is why in August 2008, Bahrain islands increased from 33 to 84 in total. 

On the other hand, despite Bahrain does not share a land boundary with another country, it has territorial waters of some 10,000 km2. In other words, The Kingdom shares its 161 km (100 mi) coastline with Iran, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.


Bahrain has a history that dates back to 5000 years. The country has remained the home of great civilizations. Over many centuries, Bahrain has been regarded as the land of immortality or the great paradise. The region was famous for fresh water and palm tree fields.

Since the 1860s, Bahrain was part of the British protectorate. This was because the Government of British India overpowered Bahrain when its allies refused to protect it. Along these lines, British General Pelly signed a treaty with the Al Khalifas tribe to place Bahrain under British rule and safeguarding.

This tribe was previously given Bahrain power through the General Maritime Treaty. Nonetheless, they couldn’t overcome regional difficulties by themselves and requested the British government’s support.

Therefore, it is important to mention that Britain promised to support Al Khalifas within the territory of Bahrain. That is how Sheikh Issa was the first of the Al Khalifa to rule Bahrain, but he needed British consent to establish foreign relationships.

Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa
Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, proclaimer of Bahrain’s independence and builder of a modern city on the Persian Gulf.

In this line, Sheikh ʿIsa ibn Salman Al Khalifah proclaimed Bahrain’s independence in August 1971. The main reasons were related to the demand for legitimate power of the Al Khalifa tribe to rule the country. Also, the disagreements from the Bahrain population against British rule and Britain’s decision to withdraw all of its forces from the gulf in 1968.

Bahrein independence and Foreign Relations

Bahrain’s 50th National Day is not linked to its independence date because it just consolidates the Al Khalifa official rule in the country. That is why after Bahrain got its independence, Sheikh ʿIsa ibn Salman signed a friendship agreement with the United Kingdom.

In the following years, the Kingdom became a member of the United Nations and the Arab League. Furthermore, in 1981, it joined with other 5 Arab states to form the Gulf Cooperation Council and strengthen diplomatic ties with its members.


On the other side, regarding its population, Bahrain has over 1,58 million people under its last census in 2021. To this extend, most people who live in the country are national; however, there are also non-nationals from the Middle East and South Asia. 

Thus, most Arab non-nationals come from Palestine, Oman, and Saudi Arabia. The rest of the foreign-born inhabitants arrive from Iran, India, Pakistan, the UK, and the US. They also constitute three-fifths of the labor force in the country. 

On top of that, following specific ethnic groups, Bahraini Shiites and Sunnis make up the state. From the second group, Sunni Arabs are most influential in the State even though they are the minority.

Nonetheless, the Shiʿi population is the majority and usually underrepresented. That is why tensions increased between Bahrain and Iran after the Kingdom’s independence. So that Iran continues its ties to Bahrain’s Shiʿi community. 


Furthermore, due to its geographical location, Arabic is the official language of Bahrain. In addition, it has an important connotation in politics. Because, according to article 7 of the Bahrain Constitution, politicians must be fluent in Arabic to stand for parliament.

However, English is compulsory learning as a second language in schools. On the contrary to Persian that is widely used by Bahrainis but mostly at home.


The religion of Bahrain is Islam. Nonetheless, there are more religious affiliations in the country. Therefore, Muslims represent 73.7% of the total population, Christians 9.3%, Jewish 0.1%, others 16.9%.

According to its Constitution, Bahrain safeguards the Arab and Islamic heritage. So that the State has in its main aspirations to enforce its bonds between Islamic countries. That is why the Constitution also encourages the royal family’s right to govern guaranteed by the Islamic Shari’a.


On the other hand, the culture of Bahrain reflects its cosmopolitanism and ethnic diversity. From marriages between nationals and foreigners to the annual “Spring of Culture”, Bahrain is rich in cultural expressions and traditions.

Therefore, the annual festival called “the Spring of Culture”, promotes artistic performances in the Kingdom. The festival, organized by the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, showcases presentations for an all-ages audience.

In this way, during the event, visitors will appreciate everything from computer-generated imagery at the “Dive into the Jurassic” exhibition to porcelain and contemporary artworks. They will enjoy music concerts and mystical dances performances such as the “Hadid Tears” show.

Dive into the Jurassic
“Dive into the Jurassic” is a computer-generated imagery show interesting for an all-ages audience.

Regarding that, tourism represents Bahrain. It is a mix of old but modern buildings on all the islands. Some of the most impressive tourist attractions are the 400-year-old Tree of Life, Smoke Mountain, the twin towers of the Bahrain World Trade Center, and the Royal Camel Farm.

Bahrain Cosmopolitan State at the 50th
Bahrain impressive Four Seasons Hotel at the heart of the modern bay.

In addition to that, it is essential to note that Bahrain is tourist-friendly due to its low indicators of crime and violence. That is why tourists constantly visit the Kingdom as it is an exotic enclave with many incredible diving sites, picturesque desert towns, and craft centers.

Economy and Commercial Indicators

On top of that, and although the Kingdom gained popularity due to its incredible export of pearls. Today it is recognized for its oil refineries and its production of crude oil and natural gas.

However, Bahrain has been even more successful in manufacturing and commercial financial services. It means that the banking system of Bahrain consists of 85% of the total wealth management of financial assets and promotion of insurance companies and investment.

For example, operating in Bahrain costs approx. 50 – 55% less capital than it does in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Thus, Bahrain’s banking industry assets stood at over US$212 billion in July 2020. That is why it is a pivotal sector in the consolidation of the Kingdom as GCC’s most established financial State.

Government Political Structure

Last but not least, the head of the Āl Khalīfah family rules Bahrain. Therefore, according to its Constitution, Bahrain is a hereditary monarchy with a king as the head of state. His name is Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.

Bahrain's King at the 50th anniversary
Bahrain’s King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, is head of the Āl Khalīfah’s family.

In addition, the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers, appointed by the King conformed to the Executive branch. In addition, the Kingdom consists of two houses in the legislative power. Of which King Hamad bin Isa appoints 40 members and 40 more are elected universally.

Finally, in Bahrain Constitution article 2, the Islamic Shari’a is the main source of legislation. From which justice is the basis of Government and family the stone of society.




Bahrain foreign policy is built on a solid ground of common values and interests, that led to a strategic partnership that is keen on maintaining regional and international peace and security, as a natural result of the wise foreign policy that the Kingdom follows under the wise leadership of His Majesty the King.