Bahrain skyline by day with the ocean in the foreground

Planning Your Trip

Bahrain is a true mix of old and new, with everything from dazzling skyscrapers and a bustling business scene to fine centuries-old examples of Islamic art, culture, and architecture. Bring a few key items to ensure that you’re ready to experience all Bahrain has to offer.

Overview of the coast with two lagoons, open sea, lush greenery and palm trees
Overview of the coast with two lagoons, open sea, lush greenery and palm trees
What To Pack

A lightweight shawl is a great versatile piece for women traveling to Bahrain — it can be used to ward off any chill from indoor air conditioning as well as a covering for the head and shoulders if visiting a site like the Grand Mosque.

Business Travel
  • The small island kingdom of Bahrain has an outsized presence on the global economic and business scene. If traveling for work, be prepared with conservative attire.

  • A dark suit and tie are the standard for men, even in very high temperatures.
  • For women, a traditional suit or modest dress and sensible heels are most common. Alternatively, visitors can opt to wear traditional Arabic national dress such as the thobe or disdasha for men or the abaya for women.
  • Bring a plentiful supply of business cards — exchanging cards at meetings is customary and not having one available can be seen as a sign of disrespect.    
Exploring the City

Bahrain has much to offer visitors, from world-class shopping and fascinating old bazaars and souks to pristine beaches and premier museums. Pack thoughtfully to make the most of it all.

June through September are particularly hot, with temperatures soaring beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit. While air conditioning is plentiful indoors, be prepared with lots of lightweight layers in natural fibers as well as sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.

The winter months of late November to mid-April can see temperatures dip, so consider a scarf or light layer to ward off any chill.

It’s easy to spend hours walking through the souks or while admiring the exhibits at the Bahrain National Museum, so be sure to wear a sensible pair of shoes.

Cultural Considerations

Bahrain is a conservative society, and visitors, especially women, are expected to respect local sensibilities by dressing modestly in public places where locals and ex-pats are mixed.

At beaches and pools, swimwear is acceptable, but a more modest cover-up should be worn once outside of the area.

For women, full-coverage clothing like skirts that hit below the knee, long pants, and long-sleeve shirts are best. Women are not expected to cover their heads unless visiting a place of worship.

Shorts are acceptable for men, though long pants are far more common.  


Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image
What To Reserve

With many mosques, minarets and mausoleums, there’s an endless array of things to do in Bahrain. In true Middle Eastern style, the country is a blend of the old and the new, with dazzling skyscrapers and majestic embodiments that speak of the fantastic Islamic art, culture, and architecture. And Bahrain is a small country, so a lot of the sights are within a short drive from the hotel.

Ritz Carlton Hotel image
Ritz Carlton Hotel image

Comprising more than 30 islands in the Arabian Gulf, between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Bahrain is a country of trade, history, and culture. In fact, the country dates to the Bronze Age, when it was a major trade route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Since, it has been ruled by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persian Empire, and the ancient Greeks, who made the nation a center of pearl trading. Today, the Al Khalifa royal family oversees the kingdom. And although its climate is primarily arid, Bahrain is well known as a major migratory bird corridor — more than 330 bird species have been documented on the islands.