Bahrain is a rare pearl in the Arabian Gulf. More relaxed than it's strictly Islamic neighbours - it combines the rich Arab culture with a more relaxed, somewhat Western, outlook. This small island, connected to the Saudi Arabian mainland by an enormous freeway, is oft a weekend escape for expats who can sample a pint of beer (alcohol is forbidden in most Muslim countries and anyone caught with it is severely reprimanded).It is also a place for great bargains. Wandering round the souk, you can find a range of goods at very competitive prices. From huge displays of 21 carat gold to sumptuous fabrics or hi tech devices, a visitor can take advantage of the competitive prices. Be warned though that you should be prepared to bargain!!
For the historically minded, a visit to the ancient fortress is a must. Alternatively you could go and look at the old pearling dhows, many of which are still in operation.Arab people are very friendly and in Bahrain, this is no exception.
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