The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade strongly recommends that you obtain comprehensive travel insurance which will cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before travelling to Bahrain. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.
Irish Citizens should note that the Irish Government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Irish citizens, either visiting or residing in Bahrain, are strongly advised to register their details with the Embassy of Ireland in Riyadh. Please click here to do so.
Irish nationals in Bahrain are advised to maintain a high level of security awareness especially in public places and on the roads, and avoid crowds and all demonstrations. On 30 October 2012, the Bahraini authorities announced a ban on public protests and gatherings. Irish citizens are advised to respect this ban.
Irish citizens in Bahrain should stay current with media coverage of local events.
The Government of Bahrain has lifted the state of National Safety. However, the National Guard is maintaining a presence on the streets.
The risk of outbreaks of violence is ongoing and the security situation remains uncertain.
While travel on the main routes in Bahrain has returned to normal, police checkpoints remain along the main highways. There are regular demonstrations and Bahraini security operations continue. The Bahraini Government has imposed a sea curfew on the waters around Bahrain between 18.00 and 04.00. Irish citizens are strongly advised to respect this curfew.
All travelers to Bahrain face increased scrutiny from the Bahraini authorities and a number have been refused entry. Visitors must have legal status when they depart and may incur heavy fines if they overstay or fail to extend their legal residency.
Safety & Security
Some US Embassies in the region have been instructed to close until 10 August. The Embassy of Ireland in Riyadh which is accredited to Bahrain remains open.
On 5 November 2012 five explosions occurred in the Adilya and Gudaibiya areas of Bahrain, resulting in two fatalities. Irish nationals are advised not to touch any suspicious objects and to instead immediately inform the local authorities.
Most visits to Bahrain are trouble-free. However, you should be aware of the general threat from terrorism in the region. Attacks could be indiscriminate, and targeted against Western interests as they have been elsewhere in the Middle East.
International events and political and military developments in the region and domestically may prompt large demonstrations. Tensions may be high at religious gatherings. You should avoid any large gatherings and demonstrations throughout Bahrain including as you may be arrested and as protests may become violent.
Demonstrations and outbreaks of violence related to domestic political issues took place regularly over the past year and a half. Although now banned, protests continue across various parts of Bahrain, some of which are violent.
Please be aware that a dhow pleasure boat capsized off the coast of Bahrain on 30 March 2006, resulting in a number of fatalities. Many areas of the Gulf are highly sensitive. Vessels entering these areas have been detained and inspected, and there have been occasional arrests.
Road travel can be dangerous due to unsafe driving practices. Roaming animals and drifting sands are additional road hazards. Off road driving can be hazardous. You should ensure that your vehicles are well-equipped and properly maintained.
There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Offenders are usually detained, fined and often banned from driving.
Local Laws & Customs
Bahrain is a relatively liberal state in comparison to other countries in the region, but many Bahrainis are conservative and find scanty clothing or immoderate behaviour in public offensive. It is best to dress conservatively except within the confines of hotels or clubs, at least until you know your way around. Religious and social sensitivities should be observed and respected, especially during Ramadan as well as during other religious festivals when black flags and banners may be in evidence.
Hotels may refuse accommodation to couples unable to provide proof of marriage. Public displays of affection may offend.
You should not bring video cassettes or DVD's, as these may be withheld on arrival at the airport. Be aware of significant Muslim holidays, and note that Bahrainis observe a number of religious anniversaries that may not be celebrated in other Gulf countries. It is now against the law for any Muslim to purchase alcohol from retail outlets.
Business travelers involved in commercial disputes with Bahraini companies or individuals may be prevented from leaving the country until the dispute is resolved.
Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Bahrain.
Additional Country Information
For entry requirements for Bahrain, please contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Bahrain.
It is advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you. During your stay you should carry a photocopy of your passport at all times.
Diplomatic and Consular MissionsTop