The name Bahrain means “two seas” in Arabic. It is unclear what the term specifically refers to, and for much of its history, Bahrain was the name for the eastern coast of Arabia. Only recently has it come to identify the islands of the Awal archipelago. History The island’s first notable inhabitants were of the Dilmun civilisation, approximately 6000 years ago, but its geographically strategic location has attracted the attention of numerous empires over the centuries, including the…
From The Report: Bahrain 2016
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The kingdom of Bahrain has been ruled as a constitutional monarchy since 2002 under the leadership of Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The country pioneered the Middle East’s oil production in 1932, thus establishing the region’s initial framework for the petroleum industry. The energy sector remains a pillar of the kingdom’s economy, accounting for the bulk of government revenues but a shrinking proportion of GDP thanks to early efforts to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons. This led to the kingdom’s establishment as a chief financial centre in the region, with the country home to a thriving sharia-compliant segment and financial services representing the second-largest contributor to the country’s GDP. Elsewhere transport links across the kingdom are being upgraded, with major expansion works at Bahrain International Airport expected to boost the country’s status as a centre for trans-shipment and logistics as well as further fuel the country’s growing tourism industry.
This chapter contains an interview with Li Yong, Director-General, UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO).