The Kingdom of Bahrain (Bahrain) has been one of the Gulf’s most important commercial crossroads for over 4,000 years.

Bahrain is a collection of 33 islands located off the coast of Saudi Arabia: the 23km King Fahd Causeway provides a direct road link between the two countries. In addition there is a planned causeway that will also link Bahrain with Qatar, to the southeast. At 45km long, the ‘Friendship Causeway’ will be the world’s longest land bridge.

Most of the 1.2 million population live in Manama, the capital, which is located on the northern tip of Bahrain island; the largest of the 33 islands.

Bahrain has one of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) most diversified economies with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) forming an important part of the overall economic picture. Unlike any other Gulf country, Bahrain has a fully liberalised telecommunications sector.

As a result, Bahrain is ranked as the world’s 12th most open economy worldwide by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal’s 2013 Index of Economic Freedom (and number 1 in the Middle East).