Country Listing

Bahrain Table of Contents


Transportation and Telecommunications


Control tower personnel at Bahrain International Airport, on Al Muharraq, Bahrain
Courtesy Embassy of Bahrain, Washington


Causeway from Bahrain to Al Khubar, Saudi Arabia
Courtesy Embassy of Bahrain, Washington

Bahrain's small size and level terrain made the development of its excellent road system easy. In 1993 the country had more than 200 kilometers of paved roads linking all populated areas of the island. Two paved roads and several gravel roads run through the sparsely inhabited southern half. A twenty-five-kilometer causeway, completed in 1986, allows traffic to cross to Saudi Arabia. A second causeway links the capital with the international airport on the island of Al Muharraq. With its 3,660-meter runway, Bahrain International Airport can handle the largest airplanes in use. In 1993 it was the eastern terminus for British Airways nonstop service from London using the Concorde. Gulf Air, jointly owned by Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, and Oman, provides regularly scheduled service to more than twenty international destinations.

Bahrain's main port is Mina Salman on the tip of the island of Bahrain. Opened in 1962 and expanded several times thereafter, Mina Salman has sixteen berths and can handle vessels with a draught of up to nine meters. Crude and refined petroleum passes through the port of Sitrah, about ten kilometers southeast of Manama. A dry dock on the southern end of the island of Al Muharraq handles repairs of ships of up to 500,000 tons.

The telecommunications system is modern and has good domestic service and excellent international connections. In 1992 the country had some 98,000 telephones, or eighteen per 100 inhabitants, one of the highest per capita figures in the Middle East. Radio-relay and submarine cables link Bahrain with all its neighbors. Three satellite ground stations--one operating with International Telecommunications Satellite Corporation's (Intelsat) Atlantic Ocean satellite, one operating with Intelsat's Indian Ocean satellite, and one operating as part of the Arab Satellite Communication Organization (Arabsat) system-- provide excellent international telephone and data links and live television broadcasts. Two AM and three FM radio stations provide broadcast services in Arabic and English. A shortwave AM station beams programs in Arabic throughout the Middle East.

Data as of January 1993