¨Bahrain has been one of the Gulf’s most important commercial crossroads for over 4,000 years.
¨The word Bahrain means ‘2 seas’ in Arabic, indicating how the country’s geographic position as a collection of islands has been important throughout its history.
¨As the land of the ancient Dilmun civilisation, Bahrain has long been a trading centre linking east and west. The country has benefited from its position at the centre of the Gulf’s trade routes and rich pearl diving industry.
By the mid-19th century, the country was the Gulf’s pre-eminent trade hub, emerging as a modern state.
¨Merchants from countries across the Gulf and beyond established themselves on the islands.
¨Bahrain was the first Gulf state to discover oil, in 1932, and in the past 40 years has led the regional transition to a modern economy.
¨Subsequently, as the first Gulf state to move away from dependence on oil, we have become the region’s most diversified economy.
¨In particular, the country has become the region’s leading financial centre since the 1980s.