Demonstrations & protests are a regular occurrence in Bahrain & can be violent. You should avoid large crowds & demonstrations.
27 August 2013| Last updated on 19 June 2017
While there have been no direct threats or attacks on UK citizens to date, it is strongly recommended that you maintain a constant awareness of your surroundings, avoiding in particular local hotspots. Violent protests do pose a risk to those who might inadvertently find themselves in the vicinity of an active demonstration. If you encounter a large public gathering or demonstration, leave the area immediately. Likewise, if you see any suspect item, do not approach it or touch it. Move away from the vicinity and notify the police, calling 999 or the Police Hotline 8000 8008.
Travel on the main routes during daylight hours is generally orderly. There are some police checkpoints. In September 2012 the Ministry for the Interior issued a warning about explosive devices on major highways. Don’t approach or touch any suspect item; move away from it and call the police on 999 or 8000 8008.
During demonstrations, roads can become blocked, resulting in diversions. These may re-route you to areas you are unfamiliar with. You should familiarise yourself with alternative routes to and from areas you frequent.
Developments in Syria, Iraq and on the Middle East Peace Process continue to have an impact on local public opinion in the region. You should be aware of local sensitivities on these issues. Follow news reports and be alert to local and regional developments, which may trigger public disturbances.
Around 8,000 to 10,000 British nationals live in Bahrain, and thousands more visit each year. Most visits are trouble free. Female visitors should take care when travelling alone at night. You should use one of the reputable taxi companies.
You can drive using a UK licence for 3 months. If you are staying for a longer period of time, you should get an International Driving Permit. Bahrain operates a zero tolerance to drink-driving. If you are caught you will be arrested and put in the drivers prison. Your case will not be heard until the next working day. First time offenders will have to pay a minimum £900 fine and could be banned from driving in Bahrain. British visitors from Saudi Arabia will subject to the same punishment but with the addition of a driving ban there also. For repeat offenders the fine and ban will be more serious.
You may face lengthy security checks on arrival at Bahrain airport.
Although alcohol is available at Bahrain airport, security officers and airline staff deal firmly with passengers believed to be drunk - even those who are in transit through the airport. You may be denied boarding, detained and fined.
Take care when travelling by Dhow. The safety of these vessels may not be up to UK standards. Make sure life jackets are available.
Many areas of the Gulf are highly sensitive. Vessels entering these areas have been detained and inspected, and there have been occasional arrests. Make careful enquiries before entering these waters or visiting ports.
Regional tensions may affect your route. Vessels operating in the Gulf of Oman, Northern Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Bab El Mandeb regions may be at increased risk of maritime attack.
The Government of Bahrain has imposed a curfew on the waterways around Bahrain between 6pm and 4am. You should respect this curfew.
To check for updates you can visit their website here
You can also follow the Facebook page of the British Embassy in Bahrain as they post regular updates about planned demonstrations