For a country that has been the home of Arabian and Persian cultures in ancient times thanks to its outstanding location in the Arabian Gulf, The Kingdom of Bahrain history replete with nature’s munificence, global accomplishments and success among numerous interesting facts about Bahrain along the way as well.

Here are 12 fun and interesting facts about Bahrain you probably didn’t know.

1. The first country to discover petroleum back in 1932, the Kingdom’s relations with the United Kingdom got real close which drove the UK to move its British Royal Navy from Iran to the kingdom in 1935.

First Oil Well

2. Having an economy driven by pearl diving and fishing at the beginning of its time, the kingdom’s pearl market got severely hit by Japan’s introduction of cultured pearls.

pearl diving and fishing

3. Bahrain’s pearling trail – labeled as Pearling, testimony of an island economy by UNESCO – to this day is considered the last remaining heritage of the kingdom’s cultural tradition of pearling which was used by pearl divers till the early 1930’s.

Bahrain's pearling trail

4. Aspiring to get connected with neighboring countries, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on 1981 to start constructing King Fahd Causeway which was officially opened in 1986.

King Fahd Causeway

5. With another linkage causeway between Bahrain and Qatar, the Qatar Bahrain causeway – aka Friendship Bridge – was approved for construction in 2005, however, due to some financial turbulence the exact date by which the bridge will be complete isn’t identified yet.

bahrain Friendship Bridge

6. In 2004 Bahrain’s flag set the Guinness world record for the largest flag with 169.5 meters long and 97.1 meters wide.

Bahrain's flag

7. After the gulf war, the Kingdom was the first country to initiate a military cooperation with the United States of America that took the territorial waters opposite to Bahrain as a base for the US Fifth Fleet.

US Fifth Fleet

8. The Kingdom has one of the largest mosques in the world; Al-Fateh Mosque that sprawls over an area of 6,500 square meters and in 2006 became the official site of National Library of Bahrain that has over 7000 books.

Al-Fateh Mosque

9. For a country that is known to have little to no rain, the existence of “The Tree of Life’ would come as a surprise. A tree that is 400 years old and stands alone in the desert with no known source of water, this tree became the attraction of 50,000 tourists every year.

The Tree of Life

10. Qal’at al-Bahrain –aka Bahrain Fort or Fort of Bahrain– has been inscribed in 2005 as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Bahrain Fort

11. The scrumptious dish comprising of tender to the taste chicken and rice combined with a lot of spices for that extra kick in flavor, Chicken Machboos is Bahrain’s national dish.

Chicken Machboos

12. Due to the country’s limited land space, the kingdom produces only a small amount of its food consumed and imports the rest of its food requirements.

spices