In the Arabian Gulf region a bewildering number of empires, states and dynasties have come and gone with names lost to history – Hormuz, the Salgharids, the Tayyibi dynasty, colonial outposts, the Qarmatians, Hawala mini-states, the island kingdom of Qais and dozens of clans and tribes from central Arabia which have risen and disappeared over the centuries.

 

There is one name which has had a legendary stature throughout that period for being a continuing power-centre and a hub of wealth, stability and culture – this is Bahrain.

Dilmun

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Ten reasons why Bahrain is best - #9 Island nation

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Historically, Bahrain has always made its living from the sea – trade, fishing and pearling. Bahrainis instinctively look outwards and welcome all incomers. So much of Bahraini culture – food, dance, clothing, art and poetry – is a melting pot of the cultures that pass through Bahrain owing to its central location on the Arabian Gulf trade routes.

 

Unlike mainland Arabia, throughout history Bahrain has looked to on the sea for it's existence; for trade, for pearling and for fishing; as well as the sea constituting its primary defence against potential invaders.

 

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Ten reasons why Bahrain is best - #8 Dependable ally

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Bahrain is a central member of the Gulf Cooperation Council, but also prides itself on excellent relations with a broad range of nations round the world.

 

Bahrain's core role in the regional coalition against the so-called “Islamic State” illustrates both Bahrain’s capacity as a team player and Bahrain’s readiness to take on the forces of extremism, intolerance and sectarianism.

 

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Bahrain has politically come a long way since King Hamad came to the throne in 1999. His new constitution – the National Action Charter – was popularly approved by more than 98% of Bahrainis. This charter enshrined King Hamad’s vision that Bahrain was to be a Constitutional Monarchy, centred around a two-chamber Parliament.

 

Over the next 15 years the elected house of Parliament – the Chamber of Deputies – has progressively become a more significant element of the legislative and decision-making process in Bahrain. The 2012 constitutional amendments took this even further. The main effect of these amendments was to significantly increase the powers of elected MPs.

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