Kingdom of Bahrain
Political Status: Independent emirate proclaimed August 15, 1971; constitution adopted December 6, 1973; constitutional monarchy established on February 14, 2002, under constitutional amendment decreed by the emir in purported accordance with National Action Charter endorsed by national referendum on February 14–15, 2001.
Area: 258 sq. mi. (668 sq. km.).
Population: 650,604 (2001C); 786,000 (2008E). Both figures include non-nationals (approximately 264,000 in 1999).
Major Urban Centers (2005E): MANAMA (152,000); Muharraq (119,000).
Official Language: Arabic.
Monetary Unit: Dinar (official rate December 1, 2009: 1 dinar = $2.65US).
Sovereign: King Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al KHALIFA, descendant of a ruling dynasty that dates from 1782; succeeded to the throne as emir on March 6, 1999, upon the death of his father, Sheikh Isa ibn Salman Al KHALIFA; proclaimed himself king under ...