Situated in the Arabic Gulf, The Kingdom of Bahrain is perceived as a real treasure of the world. Appealing destinations might have made you add this amazing country on your list, but you may still wonder how safe is Bahrain for tourists. And we may add, you’ve come to the right place to find everything you need to know in order to stay safe in Bahrain.
As the 111th safest country in the world, Bahrain can pose some threats to its visitors, but all of these can be avoided or diminished if you’re equipped with the right Bahrain safety travel tips that will make your experience unforgettable. Check out our safety guide and decide for yourself if the treasures offered by Bahrain for its visitors are worth the trouble you could encounter during your stay:
Highest Risks You Expose Yourself to When Visiting Bahrain
Overall Risks in Bahrain: HIGH
Bahrain is quite difficult to be evaluated as a whole when it comes to dangers, as some regions of the country tend to be safer than others. Nevertheless, crime is pretty common, terrorist attacks are likely to be carried out and accidents might happen if you’re not well informed before embarking on this journey. Make sure you read our Bahrain safety travel tips in order to learn how to stay safe in Bahrain.
The most important tip to keep in mind when planning a trip to Bahrain is to exercise a high degree of caution during your stay. With common sense, the proper information in your pocket and the right measures taken before leaving to South Asia, you can experience a pleasurable journey.
Violence Risk in Bahrain: HIGH
Violence in Bahrain is strictly connected to demonstrations, which take place regularly. These gatherings are held on the occasion of Ashura, an important religious occasion in this country and even if usually it is a peaceful event, alcohol may turn it into a violent one. You would definitely not enjoy getting involved in such unpleasant events, therefore check out how to stay safe in Bahrain when violence occurs.
- How to avoid violence in Bahrain?
In order to stay safe in Bahrain, the first tip you should follow is avoid large gatherings of people. Observing them from a distance will for sure provide you with the large picture on the local customs and traditions and also will keep you away from trouble.
In case you get involved in a demonstration, leave the area immediately and do not hesitate to call the authorities. You can call the police on 999 or the Police Hotline 8000 8008.
Pickpocketing and Theft Risks in Bahrain: MEDIUM
From pickpocketing to mugging and scams, Bahrain comes with many dangers when it comes to crime, but the good news is that they do not occur very often and most visits are, in fact, trouble free.
- How to avoid pickpocketing and theft in Bahrain?
Your visit to Bahrain can be a pleasurable experience if you keep in mind a few tips that could save you a lot of trouble. First of all, stay vigilant during your stay, regardless of the place you visit: stations, airports, museums or markets (known as souks). Avoid walking alone at night and do not risk of traveling by yourself to remote places. In this way, you will not be a target victim, easy to steal from or attack.
Scam Risk in Bahrain: LOW to MEDIUM
It is well known that any country that comes with pickpockets and petty thieves has scammers as well – naturally, Bahrain is no exception. From the tiniest, harmless scams to the more complex ones, you may have to deal with some of them. This country is notorious for its online scams, which involve fake invoices, money requests, and other usual scams that are done via the internet.
When it comes to scams that you expose yourself to directly while in Bahrain, you can never know what to expect. You may be given wrong change after buying something or you may be given an item different than the one you have bought in terms of quality. Needless to say, anything that can bring profit to the one selling something to you or just approaching you may be considered as a scam. And this is why you have to protect yourself and be cautious at all times.
- How to avoid getting scammed in Bahrain?
As mentioned, in order to avoid being scammed in Bahrain, you have to be cautious and keep an eye on your surroundings at all times. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the local currency so that restaurants, pubs, and market vendors don’t succeed in scamming you by handing you the wrong amount of change or by asking for a payment higher than what you bought/ ordered costs.
It is also recommended that, when withdrawing money, you rely on ATM’s that are inside buildings with surveillance cameras or within banks, as they are much safer than the ones outside. You should also never shop around using high-valued bills and, instead, have a couple of each value from the lowest to the biggest – it is easier for you to figure out the change you have to receive.
Other than that, make sure to politely refuse anyone that approaches you and proposes a deal, asks for help, or anything similar. Such people are usually not in danger and all they look for is an opening towards your luggage, wallet, or compassion, if you know what we mean.
Kidnapping Risk in Bahrain: LOW
Back in 2007, Bahrain’s kidnapping rate was of 2.2 cases per 100,000 population, meaning around 21 cases of kidnapping. However, in 2007, the rate went all down to 0 and no such cases have been registered in the country – the good news is that it seems that this rate has been either 0 or very close to 0 every since, leaving you with nothing to worry about in terms of kidnapping.
On the other hand, as you will see below, there is a certain threat of terrorism in the country, meaning that there is a slight chance that groups of terrorists might try to kidnap people, either locals or foreigners. Still, there have been no cases of kidnapped, related to either terrorists or other groups, reported in the past few years.
While such things should not be on your mind, it is still better if you are properly prepared and know how to avoid and prevent being kidnapped.
- How to avoid getting kidnapped in Bahrain?
Kidnapping is easy to avoid – you have to stay away from any areas that you think you may get kidnapped while visiting. Obviously, if you stick to the tourist-designated areas and stay on the beaten path, your chances of being kidnapped or approached by criminals are very slim. These being said, you have to avoid any shady alleys, neighborhoods with a bad reputation, the city outskirts, as well as the slums.
When traveling, you should avoid carrying expensive items with you, especially ones that you cannot conceal, so to say. A high-end camera, for example, will most likely draw unwanted attention towards you and will make you the target of either petty thieves or of criminals that have bigger plans.
It is important that, through your outfit and items you are displaying, you draw as little attention to you as possible. If the criminals/ thieves have no visible reason to pickpocket or assault you, they simply won’t do anything like that. Act like a simple traveler and don’t try to be the center of attention, even if you are in a remote area, such as a village.
Terrorism Risk in Bahrain: MEDIUM to HIGH
Another dangerous threat Bahrain poses for its tourist is the terrorist attacks that could be carried here and that could be indiscriminate. Such unfortunate events have been recorded in the last years and therefore, the risk of encountering a terrorist attack during your stay in Bahrain is pretty high, especially when you are a tourist visiting the most popular places for tourists. Public places such as markets, crowded streets, museums and others might be the target locations for terrorist groups to carry out attacks and since the Gulf region has been the target location for explosive devices, a high degree of caution must be exercised during your stay there.
- How to avoid terrorist attacks in Bahrain?
If you want to know how to stay safe in Bahrain, you cannot rule out getting equipped with the proper measures to be taken in order to avoid the risks of encountering such an unfortunate event. Therefore, make sure you avoid staying in one public place for longer periods and avoid large gatherings of people. You must be aware of your surroundings and always be accompanied by your travel partner(s).
In case you encounter a terrorist attack, make sure you take shelter and get away from the crowd. Do not hesitate to call the authorities and get help as soon as possible. In such cases, every second is important, so your vigilance could help you and the others around you.
Risks for Women Travelling Alone in Bahrain: LOW to MEDIUM
Women travelling solo in Bahrain should know that they are about to enter a conservative society where women are usually hidden from view, not to mention that they are expected to cover their whole body when walking in public. This is why tolerance towards women dressing lightly is very low and can be connected with acts of violence directed towards them.
- How to avoid risks if you are a woman traveling alone in Bahrain?
Get well informed about the local color and laws and cover up whenever you walk on the streets of Bahrain. Avoid walking at night and try to be accompanied by a local guide, who can show you around and protect you in case of trouble.
Rape Risk in Bahrain: LOW to MEDIUM
Back in 2008, Bahrain had a rape rate of 3.2 cases per 100,000 population, with a total of 36 cases of rape. Even though it was an increase, compared to the previous year, this rate seems to fluctuate and never goes above 3.3 cases. Moreover, there have been no reports of such cases involving foreign nationals in the recent years.
There are also little to no articles that tell of such cases. Most online news outlets do talk about some cases of violence against women or against people that defend women’s rights, but serious cases of rape do not show up.
These being said, it is important that you know how to protect yourself from such incidents and know how to avoid them.
- How to avoid getting raped in Bahrain?
In order to avoid getting rapped while visiting Bahrain, it is important that you stay within the areas that are designated for tourists and avoid visiting any other areas that might be dangerous. While traveling to remote areas, it is recommended that you are accompanied, by either fellow travelers or by a tour guide.
When exploring the city, stick to the main routes and avoid using any shortcuts. Naturally, stay away from the city outskirts and the city slums – in short, stay within the areas where you can actually see or photograph something worthy rather than trying to explore the city in it’s entirety.
Approach a decent dress code and avoid the display of valuables, such as gadgets or jewelry.
Risks for People Traveling with Children in Bahrain: LOW to MEDIUM
When talking about risks visitors expose themselves to, trips to Bahrain are usually trouble free. The only risks most governments talk about tell about women traveling alone during the night and the use of unofficial taxis – obviously, you should not be traveling alone during the night, no matter if you are a man or a woman, and you should always rely on reputable taxi companies.
When it comes to traveling with children, there are little to no dangerous things that could happen to them. Clearly, if they carry any valuables, such as a smartphone or camera, they may be targeted by petty thieves. But, other than that, the only real danger is them getting lost while you are not paying attention to them.
While visiting a foreign country and having your children on board, it is important that you keep an eye on them at all times, especially when in crowded areas, such as shopping malls or markets.
- How to avoid unwanted scenarios?
As mentioned before, any type of unwanted scenario can be easily avoided if you look after your children. We all know how naughty and restless they can be when in a new environment – and a foreign country is just the perfect environment for them to go wild and train their exploring skill. How funny that may be, it is important that you don’t let them wander off too far away and that you have someone keeping an eye on them at all times.
Other than that, make sure that you have prepared any medication that they might need during the trip – headache, stomachache pills and so on, as well as band-aids, in case of any minor injuries or bruises.
Natural Disaster Risks in Bahrain: MEDIUM
Get well informed before planning a trip to Bahrain, as this kingdom is often characterized by high temperatures, sandstorms or thunderstorms which could ruin your journey.
You should also know that Bahrain is affected by earthquakes as well – this natural disaster is, currently, the one responsible for the most of the country’s economic losses. Always take the necessary precautions against such events, including the ones mentioned above, and make sure that your first-aid kit contains any type of medicine or treatment that might be useful in such circumstances.
Before leaving your accommodation for the day, check the local news and weather report, as well as online sources that you trust so that you can properly prepare yourself for the road – or, in some cases, postpone your plans for the day.
Transportation Risks in Bahrain: LOW to MEDIUM
Even if the road conditions are pretty good here, accidents are still happening on a daily basis. Speed limitations and driving rules are not followed by many of the local people and this situation can lead to accidents. The authorities are also very strict about the rules and drink-driving is perceived with zero tolerance.
One of the most important aspects to consider when driving on the roads of Bahrain is to avoid the isolated roads and always use the main roads to get from one place to another. What is more, you should avoid driving at night, as many drivers forget to turn on their headlights.
Night-Clubs, Pubs, and Bar Risks in Bahrain: LOW
Currently, there are no reports of serious incidents occurring in night-clubs, pubs, and bars. While you may encounter the usual pub brawl or the local harassers, so to say, there are little to no risks that you expose yourself to while visiting such locations. However, it is still recommended that you are cautious and pay attention to your surroundings.
When going to and returning from a night-club, pub, or bar, we recommend you to use only taxis from reputable companies – check for the company’s logo, phone number, as well as for the meter (working, turned on or off) when getting inside the taxi. While inside a bar/ pub, you should always buy your own drinks and don’t accept any from strangers – while there are no reports of spiked drinks being used, you can never be too cautious.
Other than that, make sure to select your company properly and to not trust someone even if you know them for a day or two. Obviously, we do not recommend you to visit such locations alone. Always be accompanied so that, in case something goes wrong, you have someone close that can help you.
Health Risks in Bahrain
There are no diseases, outbreaks, or viruses that you should worry about when traveling to Bahrain. The country comes with well-equipped hospitals and trained personnel, so you shouldn’t worry about the quality of treatment, in case you may need any.
Keep in mind that you will be charged for each type of treatment, even emergency one. In this respect, it is recommended to make sure that you travel with proper travel health insurance and with enough funds to cover the costs of any medicine or treatment that you may be subject to while in Bahrain.
The number for emergency medical assistance is 999. If you are referred to a medical facility for analysis or treatment, you should contact your medical assistance/ insurance company as soon as possible and inform them of your current situation.
List of Vaccines You Need in Bahrain
Even if Bahrain is known for its well-equipped hospitals and you can be safe there in cases in which you need medical assistance, you should still visit your medical care provider before traveling to this Asian country. Make sure you have the right medical assurance and do not forget to get the right vaccines at least 4 weeks before embarking on your journey, respectively the routine vaccines against: measles and rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella, influenza and others.
Another dangerous threat is the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV), which is a respiratory disease you might encounter when traveling to this part of the world. Make sure you take into account every factor before embarking on a journey to Bahrain.
Most Dangerous Areas in Bahrain
Because clashes have been registered all over the country and dangers can be encountered during your journey almost at every corner, you should try to plan your trip so as to avoid the following areas:
- Sanabis area
- Hamad town
- Sitra areas
- Shia-majority areas
Apart from these dangerous regions, you might want to stay away from remote roads and isolated areas, as well as avoid staying in the area out of the central district, especially at night. Crime and violence risks can be avoided if you follow our Bahrain safety travel tips.
Concluding Remarks: Is Bahrain Safe to Visit?
With our Bahrain safety travel tips in your mind, you’re all set to embark on this wonderful journey. Even though some of the threats mentioned above might have made you think twice before deciding how safe is Bahrain for tourists, you can still enjoy everything Bahrain has to offer if you keep our tips in mind:
- Make sure you have a medical insurance and the vaccines needed in order not to get exposed to dangerous viruses.
- Do not carry valuable objects with you and, in case you do, do not let them unattended;
- Do not trust everyone you meet and try to be skeptical about the help you are offered;
- Avoid isolated areas and very crowded areas, especially when you travel alone;
- Do not forget about common sense, as local people really appreciate it;
- In case of trouble, do not resist the attacker and ask for help to the local authorities;
- Keep up with the news and check the recent reports on terrorist attacks;
- Always be aware of the surroundings and keep a high level of precaution at all times.