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Bahrain Geography


This group of 35 islands lies in the Persian Gulf, close to the eastern coast of Saudi Arabia and not far from the western coast of Qatar. Bahrain, the main island from which the country took its name, is connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway. Another causeway links Bahrain with Al Muharraq, the second largest island in the group. The capital city of Manama is located in the main island. All the islands are low-lying; the highest point is 400 ft (122 m). Most of the land is naturally barren. However, drainage and other schemes have increased the amount of cultivable land. Summers are extremely hot and humid, and there is virtually no rain between June and November. Wintertime temperatures remain around 65ºF (18ºC).

Middle East, archipelago in the Persian Gulf, east of Saudi Arabia

Geographic coordinates
26 00 N, 50 33 E

Map references
Middle East

total: 665 sq km
land: 665 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative
3.5 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries
0 km

Coastline 161 km
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
continental shelf: extending to boundaries to be determined
Climate arid; mild, pleasant winters; very hot, humid summers
Terrain mostly low desert plain rising gently to low central escarpment
Elevation extremes lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m
highest point: Jabal ad Dukhan 122 m
Natural resources oil, associated and nonassociated natural gas, fish, pearls
Land use arable land: 2.82%
permanent crops: 5.63%
other: 91.55% (2001)
Irrigated land 50 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards periodic droughts; dust storms
Environment - current issues desertification resulting from the degradation of limited arable land, periods of drought, and dust storms; coastal degradation (damage to coastlines, coral reefs, and sea vegetation) resulting from oil spills and other discharges from large tankers, oil refineries, and distribution stations; lack of freshwater resources, groundwater and seawater are the only sources for all water needs
Environment - international agreements party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note close to primary Middle Eastern petroleum sources; strategic location in Persian Gulf, through which much of the Western world's petroleum must transit to reach open ocean




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