Despite being the smallest Gulf nation, Bahrain manages to punch above its weight in more ways than one. The country is seen as one of the best and most welcoming places in the entire Middle East for Western visitors because it manages to combine an authentic Arabic vibe while being more relaxed than some of its neighbours. Bahrain is a great place for shopping and culture. Manama, the capital city, is a place where traditional souks and air-conditioned shopping malls are found side-by-side, while there are several museums documenting the state’s history. Off the coast of the mainland, the Hawar Islands are a great place for anyone with a keen interest in bird watching.
Driving in Bahrain
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Road traffic signs throughout the country are written in both English and Arabic.
You can only park on the road on marked bays. Breaking this rule is likely to lead to a significant fine.
It’s common to see the car in front of you stop to give way to other drivers. Doing this yourself is advisable.
Driving culture in Bahrain
What are the roads like in Bahrain?
The road network here is pretty good. The motorways are in excellent condition, while even the smaller routes in the south of the country, despite being made of gravel, are pretty smooth and flat. In the centre of Manama and some of the surrounding towns, some of the smaller roads can be congested.
What are Bahraini drivers like?
Compared to drivers elsewhere in the Middle East, Bahraini motorists are among the best-behaved in the entire region. Partly because of strict driving laws and a sophisticated road network, incidents such as road rage are seldom seen on the roads. Drivers here are unlikely to speed up unnecessarily and are typically polite.
What are the best times to drive?
Traffic in Bahrain can be intense during the daytime. It’s at its worst in Manama, where many residents are battling to get to and from work on time, although it does ease up in the early afternoon and on evenings. Driving at night away from the cities and towns can be difficult at times.
What are the driving laws?
In Bahrain, it’s essential to have all the important documentation with you – driving licence, passport and insurance paperwork. Drivers and front seat passengers must wear seatbelts and appropriate safety seating, while small children have to sit in the back. If involved in an accident, you must contact the traffic police.